Tag Archives: diy watercolor pencils

DIY: Decorate A Canvas Purse with Watercolor Pencils

Today (Thursday) was one of those days when I had everything planned out to do, then it was all messed up by my own unfortunate misinterpretation of what time 12:00am is!  Which left me with a full day to do whatever I please 🙂  Naturally, art day!  So I got all my paints together, picked up some canvases from my stash, yada yada yada.  And what did I find?  A canvas purse that I bought on clearance over a year ago, but had never done anything with!  PERFECTION!

If you haven’t seen it already, I watched this YouTube video by The Frugal Crafter last night, and it sounded like so much fun!  So of course, I find this purse and I must try it out!  I won’t keep you in the dark, she uses Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils to draw right onto fabric!  It was so gorgeous!  I don’t have Inktense pencils, but I do have a small set of Derwent Watercolor Pencils that so far have been working out nicely for my projects.

Moving along.  So I have this penguin tshirt, I love it, its so cute!  I decided to trace the penguins from there, and use those for my purse.

If you’re interested in doing this yourself, grab your supplies:
pattern for tracing (look at your clothes, search online, check out books, etc)
tracing paper big enough for your pattern
purse: canvas fabric works well, try something like these
regular #2 pencil
watercolor pencils
fabric medium
cup of water to clean brushes + separate cup of clean water
iron to heat set according to fabric medium directions

First I traced my image from my tshirt.  Then I traced the WRONG SIDE of the tracing paper, with dark outlines.  Don’t make the lines too thick and skip any small parts that you can estimate placement yourself and will be a lighter color on your fabric. (aka don’t trace in black something you want yellow)

DIY Penguin Purse Design with Watercolor Pencils

Trace your image, place paper directly on top of image to trace.

DIY Penguin Purse Design with Watercolor Pencils

Now trace the WRONG SIDE of your paper with dark lines. This will be how we transfer the image.

Now place the WRONG SIDE face down onto your canvas/purse/fabric.  Use your #2 pencil to heavily mark the images, you can trace the outlines on the RIGHT SIDE or mark/scribble horizontally over the lines.  You can see it better in the next photo.  You could also try using graphite paper, but that is really messy and can easily smudge the rest of your fabric!

 

DIY Penguin Purse Design with Watercolor Pencils

I left this image bigger so you can more easily see how the penguins now look a little “fuzzy” on the edges. Its because I am scribbling over the outlines to transfer the image to the fabric.

GAfter you transfer all of your image.  Decide on your colors.  I used the black to first draw the outline darker.  Then dark blue for the penguin’s body, and orange for their beak and feet.

 

DIY Penguin Purse Design with Watercolor Pencils

I added the dark black outline for the penguins bodies. I messed up the eyes on the one on the right. He’s supposed to be “suspicious” not “angry”.

Fill in all your colors. Go light at first, you can always add more color after the next step. Now, get your colors wet. Use a paintbrush to “paint with water” on your colors. Go one color at a time. If you like, do all the dark colors first then the light colors.  My oranges got a little muddy from the pencil tracings, this is why I suggest you skip the small bits when doing the tracing/transfer.

DIY Penguin Purse Design with Watercolor Pencils

I wanted more blue on my penguins, so after I got them wet, I went back over their bodies with a lighter blue pencil and then blended with water. Then I added their ice floe so they wouldn’t just be floating in space.

Next, and you don’t have to wait for anything to dry, go over the entire pattern with Fabric Painting Medium.  Again, you can choose to do this by color or lights and darks separately.  Thats what I did, I saved the oranges for last after I cleaned off my brush.  I don’t have white pencils, so I left their tummies the same color as the fabric.

 

Don’t forget to heat set the design with your iron according to the directions on your fabric medium bottle!

I wanted one more penguin so I added one to my purse flap.  What a cutie.

Fill in all your colors. Go light at first, you can always add more color after. Now, get your colors wet. Use a paintbrush to "paint with water" on your colors. Go one color at a time. If you like, do all the dark colors first then the light colors. If you make one too, be sure to link back here so I can see your designs!  All those inexpensive canvas aprons, purses, hats, totes, etc would be perfect for this project.  Plus, this would be a fun project for your crafty teenagers!

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