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Dimensional Sunburst Tutorial

How to add surface layers to decorate a canvas bag.

The techniques could be used to decorate a canvas, cards, a quilt block, a baseball cap ...

The medium I used was EXpandIT 3D Expanding Fabric Medium which I coloured with a couple of Adva-Print concentrated fabric colours.






I used the TCW287s Mini Burst stencil to create the design, but you could use a stencil you have or make your own.


My bag was new. So I washed it, and then ironed it when dry.


Before you start decorating a bag, it is good to add some thick card inside the bag to stop it from sticking together and the design seeping through to the other side. This way you can decorate both sides independently if you wish.


First I added EXpandIT mixed with a little golden yellow using a sponge or stencil brush. Here you can see that I didn't cover the whole stencil design. This is one way to make a surface design your own.




Without waiting for this to dry, I added fluorescent orange to the coloured EXpandIT and added that to the rest of the stencil design. 

I then hung the bag up to dry.

Once dry I used a heat tool to expand the 3D medium paint. Keep moving the heat tool around to avoid overheating/scorching the medium. You can watch my burst design expanding ExpandIT Exploits on my YouTube Channel.

This is my most-watched video!



I wanted to add a little sparkle to the burst design with foiling.

First I added some flexi glue holding the bottle at 45 degrees and gently squeezing. I put some on top of the expanded medium and a little just at the edges of the burst design.


I let this go tacky, then laid a foil sheet over the top. I used two different transfoil sheets, summer rainbow and rose gold.






If you would like to try out some messy mixed media techniques and produce your own surface designs, either in my sewing lounge or a workshop I can bring to your group, then please do get in touch.


May you have bursts of joy in your life


Helen x

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