DIY Tutorial – Painted Scarf (Anthro Knock-off)

Today I'm excited to share this easy, no-sew DIY tutorial, a knock-off of this scarf from Anthropologie. This scarf makes a great addition to your everyday spring wardrobe and a lovely gift for Mother's Day. All you need is fabric, dye and a paint brush. Oh, and a little bit of confidence painting. But trust me this is really easy to paint and super fun too. 

As soon as I saw our inspiration scarf, I thought it would make a great DIY knock-off. I love the abstract, uneven texture and the exposed brushstroke look. This scarf is just 2 yards of fabric painted with dye. The ends are left raw and the selvages are intact. When you choose your fabric, make sure you like the look of the selvage. For this version, I used a very lightweight cotton voile that is 58 inches wide. It's BIG but the fabric is so thin it folds up quite nicely around the neck. I bought the fabric from Michael Levine downtown for just $5 a yard. I think this is it online. This DIY costs about $20 to make which is a great bargain compared to the original cost of our inspiration scarf.

DIY TUTORIAL: Brushstroke Painted Scarf


2 yards pink cotton voile

Dye-Na-Flow liquid dyes


Scissors or Rotary Cutter


Step 1: Trim the raw ends of fabric and gently fray. Lay out fabric flat on a protected work surface.

Step 2: Mix blue, black and violet dye in glass jar. (You don't have to mix but I wanted my color to be darker and redder.) Dip brush into dye and tap off excess. Paint rough stripes the length of the fabric. Repeat until fabric is covered in stripes. Touch up as needed.

Step 3: Allow fabric to dry. Set dye by ironing. Touch up frayed ends as needed. 

Some notes: I was intending to post this DIY last week as part of my brushstroke theme. I made a scarf using a white poly-cotton blend and I added water to the dye. The dye spread a lot during painting, soaking into the fabric. I even took pictures of the scarf but ultimately decided that I didn't love it.

I chose to use dye rather than paint because I wanted the color to soak into the fabric as opposed to sitting on top. After my first psuedo-fail, I even tried paint but didn't like it. It was much too heavy for the voile. So I went back to the dye, and by not adding water, it really was the perfect medium. I highly recommend testing out your painting on a fabric scrap before starting on your scarf.

What do you think? Will you make yourself a painted scarf this spring? Or maybe one for Mother's Day? I hope you enjoy the tutorial!