Covering Stains with Fabric Markers

jeans decorated with flowers

Are you looking for some ideas about how to cover stains on clothing? If you can’t remove a stain, your next best option is to cover it up. Here are some fun ideas that show you how to cover stains using fabric markers.

covering stains with fabric markers

You’d never know that these flowers are hiding stains!

Fabric markers are designed to be permanent and machine-washable, and they come in a bunch of great colors. They work really well to cover stains on clothing, and they are very easy to use. Read on for some tips about how to cover stains on clothing.

I used these fabric markers. The company didn’t ask me to review them or give me the markers for free (although that would have been awesome!) I’m just using these because I really like that brand of fabric paint, so I figured I’d try their markers out.

These particular fabric markers don’t need to be heat-set; you just let them dry for 24 hours and then it’s okay to machine-wash the clothing. They’re non-toxic, so they’re safe for kids to use. And they aren’t sloppy wet like some markers are, so they didn’t bleed through to the back side of my jeans. (But they might bleed through something thin, like a t-shirt, so it’s always a good idea to be safe and put some cardboard inside the clothing before you color on it.) And any fabric dye or marker will show up much better on light-colored fabric than dark fabric.

Plan Your Design Over the Stains

Eeew, stains!

I actually picked the markers to use based on what color the stains on the jeans were. There were large smears of something orangeish-yellow, and since there was so much yellow, I wanted to work with that color instead of fighting against it. (I don’t remember where the stains came from. I think I wore them around some little kiddos, so maybe kool-aid?) But in general, as long as the color of your marker is darker than the stain, you should be fine.

Test the Colors

testing the color of fabric markers

Here’s a cool trick that I recommend doing before you start decorating your jeans: Make a mark on the inside of the waistband to test out each color you are thinking of using in your design. This is because the colors will show up slightly differently depending on the base color of your fabric. Testing them first ensures you won’t have any surprises when you start drawing your design.

Cover the Stains

I freehanded some simple flowers in the colors of my stains: brown, yellow, and orange. You can see in the video how I space the petals at the beginning, and then fill out the flower. I usually rotate the jeans as I go, so that I’m always drawing from the top. But I didn’t want to do that for the video and make you all seasick.

If you want to be precise about the placement of the flower petals,you can use these handy tricks to evenly space items in a circle. You can also trace a template or use a stencil, but real flowers are a little wonky, and I personally didn’t want my flowers to look like they were stamped on. So I varied the size and style slightly from flower to flower, but used the same colors so they would all go together.

jeans decorated with flowers

Obviously the placement of the flowers was dictated by where the stains were, but I also added some extra flowers down the leg and around the side where there weren’t any stains. This made for a more pleasing arrangement of flowers, and it looked more purposeful (and less like I was just trying to cover kool-aid stains).

Add Some Sparkle

I also decided to add some glittery gold fabric paint to the top of my flowers, for some extra sparkle. I added a very small amount, basically scratching the flowers with the tip of the paint bottle. It highlighted the flowers beautifully, and made them stand out even more because they catch the light as I move.

You can also add a little sparkle using rhinestones and flatback gems. I have an assortment like this, and glue them on with my favorite fabric glue. You can also use hot-fix gems that you apply with an iron or hot wand. Or, glue and stitch some beads to the jeans.

Make a Stain Monster

Here’s an idea for a goofier design. You can outline your stain with the markers, add a face and legs/arms, and make a little stain creature. This is especially fun for kids’ clothes, and it’s a great way for them to use their imaginations.

See? You’d never know there were stains lurking under the pretty designs! I hope you can use these tips to give new life to some stained clothes. Or embellish a pair of plain jeans, a jacket, or a t-shirt just for fun!

About SnazzyBot

I am an artist and fashion designer with a passion for helping people bring their own creative dreams to life. I love sharing my projects with fellow crafters, and I hope you find ideas and inspiration on my blog! As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use my affiliate links to make a purchase.

2 Responses

  1. Hi, loved your idea, looking for help with a bedpread I bought at Goodwill, saw some stains, and hoped I could “fix” them somehow. Any deas youhave would be appreciated. If you could email me back, I can reply with photos of the stains I am dealing with. The bedspread is unlike any I have seen, almost a towel fabric, and almost a chenille design on top, so it will be a challenge, I appreciate any ideas you can come up with
    Thanks, Darla Powell

    1. Hi Darla, that texture does sound like a challenge! I’ll send you an email (check your spam folder if you don’t see it) and let’s see what we can do about those stains!

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