Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Sharpie Doodle Bag Tutorial

I have been hanging out a lot on lately and came across how to "tie-dye" using Sharpie markers. Since I like to do my tie-dye the original way, I was mildly curious about how these folks thought the process was anything remotely like tie-dye, however it did pique my imagination and get me fired up about a new project...

Doodling my own pattern pieces for hand bags.

Here's the end product, my "Doodle Bag".

It was inspired in a vague sort of way by this Anthro bag that sells for $88!! I didn't have the tassels or bangles handy and I have to have a strap on my bag, but the pattern is reminiscent. :P

And here's how I did the doodling. You can do this for any bag pattern you might want to use. I didn't use a pattern but traced the general outline of one of my favorite small bags and basically "winged" it. This tutorial is more about the doodling process and less about bag construction. Just use your favorite pattern and do the doodling on the cloth using this technique.

Using a pencil, I traced a favorite small basic bag's shape onto plain 100% cotton cloth, similar to sheet material. I made sure to leave a generous 1/2" of seam allowance all the way around. If using a pattern, cut the pattern pieces out along the outline and then trace the pattern pieces using a pencil onto the cloth.


Draw some general guidelines for your design in pencil if you like.

Next, using an embroidery hoop, circle a portion of the traced pattern piece and tighten down the hoop.

Using Sharpie fine point colored markers, begin to color in background areas. If you want to make these colors looks a little like "watercolor", you can use a dab of rubbing alcohol applied with a Q-tip to the areas. Be sure to use VERY SPARINGLY!! It will totally ruin your design if you use to much -- practice on a test piece of cloth you have colored on to get the *feel* for it.

The example below was gently touched with an alcohol Q-tip in several places. If you look close you can see that the color bleeds a little.

Continue to color in your design however you like. For larger areas of color I like to use a crosshatching technique or scribbles that are in small sections at varying angles.

When coloring sections where you want black to outline lighter colors, apply the lighter colors first. Outline in black afterward.

When you've completed a section, move the hoop to a new blank area and continue until you have the whole pattern piece covered with doodles. Don't be afraid to let your mind wander while your hand takes over. Some of my best doodles are done while watching TV or talking on the phone. There doesn't have to be any rhyme or reason to the design for something beautiful to happen.

 Cover each piece of cloth where you traced the pattern with doodles and then cut them out. After you have them cut, depending on your pattern, you may want to apply fusible fleece to give the bag some body/stiffness.

Assemble your bag according to whatever pattern instructions you are using and you now have a one-of-a-kind piece of functional art! The Doodle Bag!


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