Sunday, 26 April 2015

Baby Mermaid Library Bag

My Baby Mermaid Library Bag (although you could could use it for many purposes) actually began because I didn't want to waste the left over Pebeo Setacolor paint I had been using on another project. Here's what happened...

  • I had left over Pebeo Setacolor Opaque fabric paint in Oriental Blue, Light Green and Butter Cup
  • I grabbed a piece of washed (without fabric softeners) and ironed cotton "Homespun" craft fabric
  • I added some water and swished it on randomly - just to see what would happen.
  •  I was happy with this result, and it reminded me of a water scene, and of course MERMAIDS
  • So I grabbed a Pebeo SetaSkrib marker pen and marked in the basic shapes of my baby mermaid.
  • The basic shapes to draw to start off your mermaid are a circle for the face, a football shape for the body, and a triangle for the tail - it can be that simple.
  • Once you have drawn in your shapes with the marker, begin to fill them in with Pebeo Setacolor Fabric paint. I mixed together White and Bengal Pink to make the face and Used the Bengal pink on its own for the body and tail.

I used a heat dryer to spend up the paint trying so I could move on to the next layer.

  • Next I used a stencil and white fabric paint to add a pattern on the body. I used a Princeton Stencil brush at first, then a finer brush to make the white paint thicker around some edges to add shading and dimension

  • Add some detail on the tail with white paint

  • I used a mixture of Pebeo Setacolor in Parma Violet and White, with a fine brush and wavy strokes to create the hair (imagine hair floating about in water). I started the beginnings of my face as you can see. The neck is just a small line and the arms are simple stick arms and hands.

  • I love to add dots so I added swirls of white dots in the hair
Note how I have also added some Parma violet shading on the tail. You can also go over any of the colours as they dry to increase their intensity.

    The finished Baby Mermaid
  • Use a fine brush and/or Setaskrib markers to create facial details. Don't forget to add a dot of white paint for a hi-light in the pupil to give a "starry-eyed" look. Note also how I haven't outlined the bottom of the eye, this adds youth and whimsy to the face.

Although my design had started just as a play on a piece of fabric, I ended up really liking it and wanting to use it in some way so I decided to make a simple children's library bag. Here's how I did it:
  • Cut a piece of cotton fabric to required size, mine is 35cm X 40 cm finished. My fabric is a remnant of uncoated curtain fabric.

  • As you can see in the above photo I cut a long piece of fabric so the bottom or the bag has a folded edge. BEFORE stitching up the side seams I have finished the top edge of my bag with my overlocker, and folded over a seam of about 3cm. This will create a casing to thread through a cord. You can see I have marked in a button hole. I actually did not sew the button hole in this position, as the hole would have ended up on the inside of the bag and I wanted it to be on the outside.

    Note the button hole is only sewn through one thickness of fabric (before the top edge is folded over)
  • Once you have sewn in your button hole, sew up your side seams, then fold over your casing and stitch in place. Press with your iron.
  • Next you will need to adhere your design to your bag. To do this you need a double sided adhesive web which you will be able to buy from a fabric and craft store. There are many varieties available but I used Heat - n -Bond Ultrahold. Follow the instructions on your product.
Here I have peeled off the backing on one side of the adhesive web and ironed it to the wrong side of my design. Next I will cut around the design, then I will peel off the paper backing and iron it to my bag while it is till out flat.
As a final touch I've used a bit of Dimensional Fabric Paint 

  • Once you have adhered your design, attach a safety pin to a piece of cord and thread through the casing. Going the cord together with your sewing machine and you are done.


  1. She's adorable Dee.You nailed the watery effect. Great colours.

  2. Oh......she is just so CUUUUUUUUUUTE! I love her!