Stained Tragedy to DIY Pretty Sweatshirt

Friends, it is a gross day here in central Ohio.  It’s the sort of day that makes you want to stay in your jam-jams til it’s dark again, binge watch Netflix, and eat only carbs.  Alas, most of us do not have that option, and hence, must find ways to convince our bodies that our work clothes are comfortable, and sit at a desk poking buttons all the livelong day. But settle your spirits, my lovelies, knowing that miraculously, over the past couple winter seasons, the fashion industry has finally become enlightened (or our culture is just lazy enough) to the idea of making SWEATSHIRTS PRETTY!!


I like to call them sneaky sweatshirts.

Needless to say that last one ‘caught me in ma good eye’ and I was IMMEDIATELY reminded of the terrible tragedy that occurred in my own home, just last winter.

It’s not a long story, but it is oh so sad.

My birthday is in November (wink*).
I asked my husband [via my Pinterest birthday list (wink wink*)] for a simple gray “wear-it-with-jeans” crew-neck sweatshirt from Target.
He didn’t know which one it was, and got me the wrong ones (two different wrong ones), online.

Bless his dang heart, he tried s’hard.

No biggy. We took them to Target and exchanged them.

Not one week after all the work to get the right sweatshirt home, I was making cookies, and got grease on the shirt, and it would not come out.

It was ruined, but I kept it to use for, well…keeping warm whilst doing chores.

Then I was inspired…perhaps, divinely, by that children’s J.Crew sweatshirt.

Perhaps, the Good Lord, in his infinite wisdom, said “Amber’s Hubby Man deserves for her to wear this top, for all his good intentions and hard protestant work,” and placed that exact picture in my Pinterest feed just at the right spot.


Anyhoo…that brings us to the project.

You will need:

  • 1 sweatshirt, plain.
    • Probably, a basic Hanes crewneck is not gonna cut it for this one.
    • Mine is a raglan style Mossimo, from Target for less than $20 on sale
    • I’m not finding the one I received, but this one is very close.
  • Soft Fabric Paint ($3.99 – $5.99 @ Hobby Lobby)
    • Not slick
    • Not puffy
    • Any color you desire, I went with metallic gold.
  • A round sponge
    • I used the end of a foam paint roller, because none of the “pouncers” I saw at the craft store had a big enough diameter for my liking, and I have rollers just laying around my house.
    • Mine was about 1.5” across
    • You can do whatever you like
  • A plate, or something to use as a palette
  • Paint tape, or something to guard the areas where you don’t want paint
  • A flat surface
  • Perhaps, something to guard said flat surface, unless you are far more cautious than me.

Lay the sweatshirt flat on a table or the floor, making sure the side seams are completely flat (Note: dreadful spots).


*See MacBeth, Act 5, Scene 1, line 25, for my feelings about sweatshirt spots.*

Tape off the areas where you don’t want paint.  I wanted mine to look as similar to the j.Crew one as possible, and they didn’t print past the shoulder seams, ergo, that is where I taped.


Squeeze a good amount of paint onto your “palette”
Dab your “pouncer” or “stamp” or “hacked paint roller” into the paint, and then poke it around on the plate to remove any excess.  This will help in making the dots uniform.


Starting in the middle of the very bottom of the front panel of the sweatshirt, make a dot.


Continue out to the sides of said panel, spacing the dots about 2” apart, and making sure to use a uniform amount of pressure, to keep the dots looking the same.

Continue up to the next row, starting wherever you feel most comfortable, and placing the dots above and between those on the row below.


Once I got to the middle of the sweatshirt, I turned it around so the neckline was closest to me, and continued to “stamp” from there.


I didn’t want to chance getting paint on the clothing I was wearing, or smudge my already-made dots.

Keep going til you’re finished,


Let it dry some, and remove the tape

And boom…


A pretty sweatshirt, with grease-stains camouflaged.

An adult sized version of a $50 children’s sweatshirt, for less than $25 (yes, mine has more dots).

Make sure to let it dry overnight, or at least 8ish hours before wearing.
Washing should soften up the paint a tad, as the spots will be a touch rough.



  1. Tosha says:

    Amber I love this! Gold has been my color of choice lately so that’s a plus!!! Will totally try this!

    • says:

      It’s crazy how things come and go. When I got engaged, and especially when J&T Fish got engaged gold was looked at like an old lady color, but I think it’s so timeless and classic. Thanks for commenting, beautiful-gorgeous

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