Painted Scroll Pattern on Fabric - 8 steps to success          

Hand painted Decorative Scrolls on Fabric

Decorative scrolls, whether painted, carved from wood or marble or gilded on the side of furniture, are a mainstay in the architectural vocabulary and our cultural aesthetic. As a deviation from the expected, we’ve chosen to illustrate this technique as a detail for window treatments, painting directly onto fabric.

Hand Painted Floor Cloth

Freshen any room with this creative checker board painted floor cloth.

painted floor cloth tutorials

The magic of a painted floor cloth can transform a common space into a unique and beautiful expression of you and your family’s personality. Use these versatile cloths for entrance floors, children's rooms, porches, or just about anywhere. Due to the hand painted nature of each floor cloth there is a great opportunity to customize an interior detail to the home, adding quirky elements and personal touches that help create these singularly unique painted floor cloths.


Color Palette

Color 1 – Ochre

yellow ochre fabric paint

Color 2 – Olive Green

olive green fabric paint

Color 3 – Raw Umber

raw umber fabric paint

Step-by-step tutorial starts here...

painting scrolls on fabric

Step 1:

I will first measure the curtain to insure I illustrate the scroll pattern using the correct proportions. Lay the fabric onto a flat surface and spread it out evenly. I will create a pattern that repeats 4 times along the bottom of the curtain. Using this method, I’ll only need to create one pattern and repeat it once, then flip the pattern to create the symmetrical inverse for the other side. First I find my center point using a tape measure, and then divide each section in half. 

step-by-step scrolls painted on fabric

Step 2:

I’ve started to create my scroll pattern by first drawing a containing box to insure I keep within my required proportions. I looked at existing scroll patterns found in books and on furniture for use as inspiration and sketched out my desired pattern onto tracing paper (see page XX). You may also refer to the template on page XX.

By using multiple layers of tracing paper, you can continually re-draw portions of your scroll to create a final pattern that is fluid and rhythmical. Simply create an initial sketch, layer on a fresh sheet of tracing paper, then redraw the pattern, refining it as you go.

decorative scrolls painted on fabric

Step 3:

Transferring the image

The transfer technique is the same as found on page XX, however, this time we will be using colored transfer paper, purchased at your local art store. For this technique I will be using yellow colored transfer paper. Starting from the center point, I place the transfer paper over the fabric and lay the scroll pattern on top of this and begin to outline the forms. I’ve placed the pattern about 3 inched above the bottom seam and calculated my pattern to end about 2 inches from each side.

A strip of blue painter’ tape laid on to the base line of the pattern helps insure I remain straight when transferring my patterns.

hand painted scrolls work on fabric

Step 4:

Outlining the forms

I begin by outlining the pattern using a No. 0 brush dipped into my Ochre Fabric Paint. I carefully trace over the image left by the transfer paper. To prevent too much bleeding, causing fuzzy appearing lines, don’t over load your brush with the fluid fabric paint. 

how to paint scrolls on fabric

Step 5:

Begin filling in the larger forms by using the No. 3 brush. First wet the area with clean water, then follow this with more of the Ochre fabric paint. The water allows the fabric paint to flow smoothly without staining the fabric. Remain just inside the outlines and allow the fabric to ‘pull’ the fluid paint outward towards the lines edges.

scrolls painted on fabric

Step 6:

We can now add our secondary color, the Olive Green, with the No. 3 brush. The idea is to mimic a shadow line to create volume while introducing a secondary color to add visual interest and character to the scroll pattern. 

decorative scrolls work painted on fabric

Step 7:

. I complete the motif by reinforcing the shadow areas with a few brush strokes that imitate the veining of leaves. Mix Brown with Ochre and, utilizing the No. 0 round brush, I add accents over the shadow created in step 6. 

Step 8:

When the pattern is complete, I use a hot iron and go over the reverse side of the fabric to firmly set the fabric paint.

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