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Mermaid At Heart Tote Bag

By: Mary Beth Temple from
Mermaid At Heart Tote Bag
Mermaid At Heart Tote Bag
This image courtesy of

From the Designer: "Channeling my inner beach person with this fun project made with a pre-sewn canvas bag, and stencils and Soft Fabric Ink from Fabric Creations (Plaid). Follow along with the instructions to make the bag the way I made it, or go to town with different stencils, colors, and placements to make a bag that is uniquely your own. One of the great things about the Soft Fabric Ink is that once it has dried for 24 hours and you heat set it with a dry iron, the project is washable. And it never gets stiff or cracks!"

Primary TechniqueFabric Crafts


Project TypeMake a Project

Materials List

  • Canvas Bag
  • Fabric Creations Stencil packs - Large Mermaid at Heart and small Mermaid and Sand Dollar
  • Fabric Creations Soft Fabric Inks - Gray Mist, Nude, Marigold, Aqua, Turquoise, Crimson, White, Navy
  • Palette and brushes


Video Tutorial

  1. Prewash canvas bag with soap, but no fabric softener. This removes the sizing which helps the ink adhere.

  2. Iron the bag flat.

  3. Cut a piece of cardboard the size of the bag and insert it. This prevents ink transferring to the back, and provides a flat surface on which to paint.

  4. Adhere the large self-adhesive Mermaid at Heart stencil to the front of the bag, with the bottom of the stencil a little below halfway down.

  5. With Crimson, paint the heart.

  6. Using Aqua and Turquoise, randomly changing colors (you can leave both colors on the brush at once or go back and forth but do not mix them together) paint the work Mermaid.

  7. With Navy, paint the dashes outlining the heart, and the word At.

  8. Mix White and Crimson for a lighter shade of Crimson, paint the swirls outside of the heart.

  9. Using Nude, Gray Mist, and Marigold and the small pored sponge, dry sponge the bottom front of the bag.

  10. Using Aqua and the large pored sponge, sponge over the sandy colors below up towards the heart.

  11. Allow to dry for 1 - 2 hours.

  12. Place the mermaid from the small mermaid stencil at an angle to the left of the word Mermaid.

  13. Using Aqua, paint the mermaid, and dry brush a small amount of ink to the top, left, and bottom of the stencil as shown in photo.

  14. Place the sand dollar stencil towards the bottom left of the bag.

  15. Using White, paint the sand dollar.

  16. Using Gray Mist, lowlight the sand dollar if desired.

  17. Allow to dry 1 - 2 hours.

  18. Re-use the sand dollar stencil below and to the right of the painted sand dollar. Paint as for first one.

  19. Place the two larger of the starfish stencils (on the same small stencil as the mermaid) in the bottom right corner.

  20. Paint starfish with Gray Mist.

  21. Allow piece to cure for 24 hours.

  22. Heat set the ink with a hot, dry iron.

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