July 7, 2015  

How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf

Confession: I am a scarf addict.
There. I said it.

When I saw the invite to participate in a blogger Scarf Week, I couldn’t resist! I have had a habit lately  my entire life of way over-committing myself, so I reigned myself in and only signed up for one day. But my how I would have loved to have the time to crank out five fabulous scarves!

Have no fear about a shortage of scarf inspiration, because once you check out my beautiful–and totally doable–brush stroke scarf tutorial, you can see dozens more creative scarf projects. Because while eyes are glued to TV screens full of shark footage this week, blogland is being flooded with killer scarf inspiration. Here are the themes for the second annual Scarf Week. Today is dyed, painted and stamped scarf day!



Create Your Own Brush Stroke Scarf

You know all of those intricate, impressive, totally over-the-top DIY projects you see on Pinterest? Well, I’ll tell you right now that this is not one of them. This, my friend, is a totally affordable, simple project that you can complete in an hour. What’s that? You say you’re not crafty or artistic? Well then, this project is perfect for you! I insist you give it a try.

>>Don’t have time to read right now? Pin the tutorial for later:

Brush Stroke Scarf Pinterest Graphic

I recently bought an array of blue/green paints that are all of my favorite shades of color, so I decided I would use those paints for my scarf since I had them on hand, they match my entire wardrobe, and I was aiming for a cheap project. Plus, I was in a hurry, which means I needed to avoid the paint section because that always equates to an hour of my time drooling over the color options, delighting in each of the clever paint names, and lamenting over which color will be the perfect one. So, I stuck with my tried and true paints. Since this project takes very little paint, it would be a good way to use up those last drops of paint in your bottle. And you could use as many or as few colors in your scarf as you’d like.

If I was going to be impressive, I would have found some white fabric and sewn a blank scarf. But, I was feeling lazy. I went to Walmart to see what sort of scarf selection they had, and I was ecstatic to find sets of two scarves for $5.00. Yes, you read that right. TWO SCARVES for $5.00. One was a fun pattern, but the second was a blank white. Perfect! Go to Walmart right now and pick one up. Seriously, the Walmart in my small town is super tiny, so you’re bound to find a cheap white scarf if you have a larger store with a bigger selection.

Brush Stroke Scarf Walmart Scarf

Next, you will want to prep for painting. I recently bought a nifty bottle of fabric medium, which mixes with paint to create a more runny paint meant for fabric. You can find fabric medium at any craft store. If you’d rather, you could certainly use actual fabric paint. Whatever floats your boat. The paint I used was actually chalk paint. It dried a bit stiff, so I need to experiment next time with mixing in more fabric medium. Or perhaps I should have followed the instructions and used acrylic paints as the bottle stated. But for a scarf, it’s no big deal if the splotches are a bit stiff, especially since we’re not covering the entire thing in paint. I made about a tablespoon of each color of paint. Dixie cups worked great to mix them in!

Brush Stroke Scarf Paint Mixing

Once your paint is ready, get out a plain ol’ paintbrush and cover your surface with newspaper. Now’s the fun part! You just start brushing paint on randomly! I’m serious when I say you can’t mess this up. Make your strokes as long or as short as you like.


Since I used an infinity scarf, it didn’t lay out completely flat so I just painted my scarf in sections. Because I was impatient, I busted out my hairdryer and used the cool setting to dry the paint after I finished each section. Blasting the cool air on it for a couple minutes helped to set the paint so it does’t rub off onto the rest of the material. Because the fabric is thin, my paint leaked through onto my newspaper, so I laid out a fresh layer of newspaper before painting each section.

Once you’ve painted to your satisfaction, follow any other steps listed in the directions of your fabric medium or fabric paint. My fabric medium says to iron it after drying, so I ironed it quickly and viola! A beautiful, brush stroke scarf you can wear with pride because when people ask you where you got it, you can smile and say “I made it!”

Brush Stroke Scarf DIY

P.S. Looking for a way to organize all of your scarves? Check out my blog post about how to make an Easy Hanging Scarf Organizer in one hour for under $20. 

Scarf Organizer


Want More Scarf Week Inspiration?

The dyed, painted, and stamped scarf fun has only just begun!  Be sure to chomp those shark scarf teeth into each of these inspirational D.I.Y. projects hitting the blog-o-sphere today.

13 Dyed, Painted, & Stamped Scarves | Just 1 of 5 inspirational themed days of tutorials during Scarf Week 2015.  Whether it's tie-dye or painting with stencils or stamping it up, you'll have no shortage of creative ideas for ways to create your own scarves and dress up the ones you already have!

Tie Dye Infinity Scarf Using Super Soaker Water Gun by The Southern CoutureFrom Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative SavingsFlower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a MomTie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap CraftsDIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically FunctionalHow To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff CountsAbstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where the Smiles Have BeenCreating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty BondsRorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was WeekendD.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking ClosetGraffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & TrueDIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting NookDIY Linen Scarf by H2O BungalowImage Map

Click the images above or links below to check ’em out.

1.  Tie Dye Infinity Scarf Using Super Soaker Water Gun by The Southern Couture

2.  From Drab to Fab: Stenciled Scarf Makeover by Creative Savings

3.  Flower Embellished Ice-Dyed T-Shirt Infinity Scarf by Architecture of a Mom

4.  Tie Dyed Scarf {tutorial} by Ginger Snap Crafts

5.  DIY Pink And Gold Elephant Scarf by Practically Functional

6.  How To Create A Brush Stroke Scarf by The Small Stuff Counts

7.  Abstract Ink Blot Black and White Scarf Dyed with the Sun by Where the Smiles Have Been

8.  Creating a Butterfly Infinity Scarf by Crafty Bonds

9.  Rorschach Inspired Art with Yarn by It Was Weekend

10.  D.I.Y. Galaxy Print Infinity Scarf by The Thinking Closet

11.  Graffiti Bicycle Scarf by Tried & True

12.  DIY Gold Polka Dots Scarf by The Crafting Nook

13.  DIY Linen Scarf by H2O Bungalow

Coming Soon….

To access all 5 days of Scarf Week, visit our co-coordinators, Lauren from The Thinking Closet and Vanessa from Tried & True. They’ll be updating their posts with the clickable collages as they go live this week. And you can also follow along with our hashtag, #ScarfWeek2015.

It’ll be wave after wave of killer inspiration, no fish-bones about it!


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About the author

Emily Counts is the founder of Small Stuff Counts, a home and organization blog she created in 2013. Her goal is to help moms make home life easier so they can create beautiful, organized, and thriving homes. She shares life at home as a working mom juggling two young kids, a corporate job, and all that goes into managing a home. The Iowa-based blogger lives in the suburbs of Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband, two children, and rescue dog. Emily has collaborated with brands including The Container Store, Cricut, Command Brand, Bissell, Sam's Club and Rubbermaid.

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  1. Emily, your scarf is so beautiful! And it sounds pretty simple to make, which I always love ;) Thanks for sharing with Creative Spark last week. I’m featuring your project tomorrow. Hope you’ll stop by and link up again! The party starts at 6am EST :)

  2. I cannot believe you made that! It just looks so beautiful and I love your colour choices.

    1. Thank you so much for visiting! I’m so proud of how it turned out, so your comment means a lot. Aren’t blues just so pretty?

  3. I love this scarf and you used some of my favorite shades of blue. $5? really? I’m heading over to Walmart tomorrow, I’d love to make one like yours:) Thanks for sharing your tutorial! Pinning & sharing!

  4. What is it about scarves that makes us hoard them?! I seriously adore this tutorial and will be adding a blank white scarf to my shopping list. Thanks so much for joining Scarf Week 2015!

    1. Aww, thanks so much Vanessa! Scarf Week has been a lot of fun. I hope you create a fabulous brush stroke scarf of your own. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Yay for fellow scarf addicts! Well, you definitely found your “people” with Scarf Week. So glad you are a part of it! (Also, I couldn’t help but note that you’re wearing a scarf in your profile pic. So appropos!)

    Your brush stroke scarf turned out SUPER cool. I love the brush stroke look, and you’ve convinced me that this would be such an easy and do-able project. Way to go on finding that Walmart deal, too! Can’t beat $5 for two scarves. No siree. Off to pin this gem!

    1. Haha, yes I am wearing my most favorite scarf in my profile pic! You caught me, I’m a total scarf addict. Thank you so much for organizing Scarf Week.

  6. You’re scarf turned out so good! What a clever way to personalize it & make it unique. :)

  7. Such a cool post and your scarf looks AWESOME!! :) Nice work!

    I’m really enjoying your blog posts, hope you are doing well!

    1. Thank you! I have been having so much fun on craft projects lately, and it’s even more fun to get to blog and share them with others. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  8. Oh my goodness…..your scarf turned out beautifully! Seriously, it looks so high-end and expensive! Super impressed over here, and sharing for sure! I’ve enjoyed taking part in this Scarf Week event with you! :)

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you were able to stop by and visit me. I’m very happy with how my scarf turned out, and the others all look amazing as well. Looking forward to visiting all of the others participating in Scarf Week!

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