Magic in a marker

My daughter has become rather picky about her wardrobe these days. She changes at least 3 times a day and that’s not including the various princess costumes she has to wear throughout her waking hours. This morning was beyond cold so I grabbed some jeans for her to put on. She refused saying “I only like pretty pants”. These, unfortunately, were plain ol’ regular jeans… no bling, no bedazzling or embroidery, you know, the kind we wore as kids.

Lucky for me, I just got a hold of some new fabric markers to try out. The package arrived after today lunch and it couldn’t have been better timing. They’re the MARVY Fabric Markers (the fancy glitter variety). I have a pile of fabric paint, but mostly the kind you paint with a brush. In the past, fabric pens and I haven’t always played nice together. Today, with these ” boring pants” being abandoned so quickly I decided to try the pens out on the denim.

Painted kid pants
Painted kid pants by Jen Goode

I was delighted to see how easy these were to draw with. In just over 20 minutes we had some pretty new pants that my darling princess will happily wear (except now we’ve realized they’re too big – ha!). I love how thick the fabric paint is, the color coverage, even on the denim, is fantastic. The pen makes it much easier to draw than the standard paint and brush but the quality of the paint is comparable for sure. I used silver, gold, purple, red and blue… all glittery colors.

I have other colors I’ll try out as soon as I come up with a new fabric project – I love drawing on fabric!

A couple things about using these pens:

  • The tip is great for drawing especially on more dense fabrics. If you want to try to decorate softer fabrics like cotton such as kids t-shirts or leggings I suggest using a brush tip pen instead (MARVY has some nice brush tip fabric pens too). The tip on this particular pen set is a more coarse material so tends to grab at the softer fabrics. However, if you have a layer of paint on the fabric already, these pens would be great for adding extra accents to your work as a second layer.
  • If you want to layer colors on top of each other, make sure you let the first layer dry first, especially with the glitter markers. Otherwise the first layer just absorbs the color of new layers.
  • Make sure you put a layer of cardboard in between your fabric so you don’t have your drawings leaking through to the back of your shirt or even the table. It would be a shame to make a pretty piece of art on the front of a shirt only to find it’s mirror image on the back. I used an old cereal box… creative and caring for the environment all at once!
  • Finally, when you first get these pens you need to release the ink into the nib (pen tip) before starting to draw. The instructions say to shake and then press down (as if to draw) so the ink is released into the nib. Sometimes, on the first try, the pen will release a bit more ink than you’d expect – this is standard with paint pens, not just MARVY pens. To prevent messes or ruining a project, the very first time you press down on the pen, do it on a nice thick stack of paper napkins of paper towels.

Free shipping at! Code: AP319You can buy MARVY Fabric Markers and other Uchida products online at At the time of this writing, they were on sale too!

Happy Crafting!