DIY! Paint your own bags blanks now at Zoe's Bag Boutuque

A few months ago I had one of those light bulb moments. I know I have some artistic people who buy my bags. I had this flash of them painting their own Morphin Messenger Bag flaps. Since the flaps are removable I thought it might be of interest to them to get a "blank" flap and decorate it with their own art work.

I asked a couple of them what they thought. Both were enthusiastic. So I went in search of a fabric. Found something pretty quickly, an untreated cotton canvas, and sent a swatch to each of them.
They were kind enough to provide me with their feedback on the fabric. Both positive.

So I made a flap. Then I thought, hmmm there is no reason why I can't do more of my products in this fabric. So I did a coin purse and a zippered bag. It seems to me that it would be of interest to those who want to give a gift of their own work to a loved one, but also, a nice gift to give to an artistic friend or relative as well.
Click here to find these items in my shop
But I am also open to making some of my other products in this fabric so please feel free to request a custom item!

Feedback from my artistic consultants!

Hi Karen!

I did get the fabric swatch you sent me and got around to painting it today! This is my first time working on any kind of fabric so it was a new (and slightly nerve-wracking) experience. I went for something simple, just a lily on a solid background. I did not have any fabric paints nor did I have the money to purchase some, so I chose to go with what I did have, Gouache paints. They worked very well for my purpose, and the only issue I had to deal with was my colors bleeding when the fabric was still too wet (common problem with watercolors and the like anyway, so I should have expected it).

I was honestly expecting my paint to bleed through the fabric and show through the back, so I was really surprised when it didn't, except for in one tiny spot (which I really overworked so that was my fault). My only concern at this point is that the paint I used is a water-based paint, so getting it wet would be a major no-no without mixing my paints with an acrylic medium of some kind to make them waterproof. Or I could just use a non water-based paint such as actual fabric paints or acrylics. :P Even markers may work (I've seen people use them to color white shoes, very cool).


Hmm... I think that most painters would already have a feel for what they could do with it, although it will take a bit of experimentation to figure out what works best. Acrylic artist's paints would work best if they have a fabric "medium" added. That allows more flexibility once the paint is dry and allows a more fluid paint application without bleeding. Obviously, paint that is manufactured specifically for fabric would be a safe bet, and fabric markers work very well on this material. I would recommend hand-washing or just wiping with a damp cloth for cleaning any of those materials. Anything oil-based will cause fabric breakdown and staining of adjacent fabrics, so I wouldn't suggest that anyone go at it with their artist's oil paints! Cracking would be a problem as well with oils.

As Bonnie discovered, overworking when painting directly on fabric causes problems. When paint is thin, it bleeds, when it is thick it will tend to pile up layers as you work but those layers will be prone to cracking and peeling. I am thinking of starting with fabric markers to sketch on my flap, then using acrylic with fabric medium added to intensify/modify the image. I have been playing around with the fabric markers on the swatch and they work very nicely.


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