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How to Paint a Silk Scarf

It’s easy to create your own scarves with just a few materials, creativity and imagination. Having fun in a group and seeing what other people come up with is a great idea, but you can also do it at home. Some materials you’ll need and probably don’t have are:

  • A white (or lightly colored) silk scarf in the size and style of your choice

  • Silk painting dyes

  • A dye-set

  • Vinyl or latex gloves

  • Freezer paper

Materials that you may have around the house are:

  • something to cover your work area

  • water

  • an iron

  • gentle detergent

  • paint brushes

  • old containers or an ice tray for dye mixing

  • a sink for rinsing the scarf


A few hours before you plan on painting, wash your scarf in a gentle detergent. Wash and dry according to the tag on your scarf. Also before you begin painting, lay down something to cover your work area. Insurance won’t cover the stains of silk dye spills!

Then iron the silk onto the glossy side of the freezer paper so the scarf stays flat (unless you want a crinkled look). Next put on your gloves, mix the colors you want (use a very small amount), and get ready to paint!

The Fun Part

Now you can start painting! You can add water to the dyes for a more transparent/white look.

Once you’re happy with how your silk looks, move on to follow the directions on the bottle of the dye set. Then you’re finished, enjoy your hand-painted scarf! To experiment, you can even paint yourself some silk curtains!

For some ideas and more detailed instructions, click this link!

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