Upcycled Child’s Art Smock


Parents of young children who love painting face the challenge of keeping their children’s clothes clean during messy art activities. Children can easily get fully immersed in the creative process, and this can lead to paint ending up on their clothes, which can be frustrating for parents, as paint stains can be tough to launder out of a favorite shirt.

Fortunately, parents can protect their child’s clothing and give them the freedom to fully embrace processed art by using an upcycled art smock. The art smock acts as a barrier, preventing unwanted paint or other media from staining their clothes. Moreover, repurposing an old men’s dress shirt into an art smock is a practical and sustainable solution that saves money and reduces waste.

I attended a Joyful Parenting class when my children were younger and learned how to repurpose old men’s dress shirts into art smocks for little ones. 


-Man’s long sleeve button down shirt.  Use one that you are about to throw away or donate.


Have your child put their arms into the shirt, wearing it backwards. Then button up the back of the shirt.


Rolling up the sleeves to the wrists is a great way to minimize clean-up when kids are painting. The more skin that’s covered, the less likely it is that paint will end up on clothing or other surfaces. By rolling up the sleeves, parents can allow their children to fully immerse themselves in the creative process without worrying about the mess. Plus, it’s a simple and easy step that can save time and energy during clean-up.

Then let your child paint away.  We were painting on tinfoil …my daughter loves to paint with her hands.

Look how messy my hands are!

See how much paint she got on herself?  Daddy’s old shirt saved the day and kept her clothes all clean!  Just throw it in the washing machine when they are done painting, and it will be ready to go for the next time.

Having baby wipes readily available during painting activities allows parents to be more efficient in cleaning up, making the process smoother and less stressful.