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Handprinted Head Scarf for Mother's Day! by Brenda Ponnay for

Handprinted Head Scarf for Mother’s Day!

By Brenda Ponnay

I’ve noticed that head scarves are fashionable again, which is GREAT for summer and sweaty bangs that otherwise could create bad hair days. I thought it would be cool to make a hand-painted head scarf for Mother’s Day. Moms love wearable art made by their children. This DIY gift craft was fun and easy to whip up in an afternoon!

Tutorial for Hand-Painted Head Scarf for Mother's Day

Supplies for Hand-Painted Scarf

1. A yard or more of cotton gauze fabric – It’s light and wearable and the way it crinkles up makes it super easy to adjust for any style you might like.  (Need styling tips: just do a quick search on YouTube and you’ll find zillions of them!)

2. Fabric paint in colors of your choosing

3. Optional: a sewing machine and thread, scissors etc.

Directions to make a Hand-Painted Scarf

Step 1:
First you’ll cut your fabric. (If you are worried about durability, we recommend pre-washing the fabric but we did not pre-wash and it painted just fine.)  We made our scarves a little on the short side but if you like the kind of scarf that will wrap around your hair multiple times and tuck under or you’d like to wear it around your neck with flair…you might want to make your scarf longer. Ours was about five inches wide and a yard and an eighth long. I wish I had made it a yard and a half long, personally.

Step 2:
Spread your fabric out on a counter or table with paper underneath. The paint can seep through the fabric so make sure your surface is well-protected. Also, you’ll want to make sure you are protected too because fabric paint is forever. Wear an old t-shirt you don’t care about or an apron because once fabric paint has dried, it does NOT wash out.

Step 3:
Next, paint your child’s hand with fabric paint. You’ll want to coat it well but don’t glob it on. The thicker the paint, the longer it will take to dry so you want just enough paint to get a good solid handprint but not so much that you’re leaving globs on the fabric that soak through and adhere to the paper underneath never to be separated again. Keep it medium to light.  If you’d like a more watercolored look, you could even add water to the paint. This will lessen the handprint definition but it could create a pretty floral pattern. For this craft we stuck to handprints because moms love to preserve their kids’ prints but this craft could easily turn into a artistic masterpiece.

Step 4:
After your child’s hand is painted, firmly plant it on the fabric. Push down for five to ten seconds and then remove. Wash your child’s hand in between colors and stamp away! When you have your scarf covered in handprints, set it aside to dry according to the fabric paint directions (Usually 4 hours). In 72 hours you can wash the scarf but if you don’t sew the edges I wouldn’t recommend washing. We left our edges raw and they will probably ravel over time but they look good for now.

If you’d like a more finished edge (and you are handy with a sewing machine) just do a quick rolled hem. Then you can wear your headscarf and wash it as often as you like!

Mother wearing hand painted scarf made by a child


Happy Mother’s Day to all the fashionable moms!

More Mother’s Day crafts you’ll love:


About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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