Big initial MIn last week’s post, I showed you a pair of shoes that I’d sponge-painted using a palette of six different colors. This week I want to show you how to do a variation on that all-over sponging.

Moon face purse before at 72 dpi This is a technique I used on a vintage leather purse given to me by a friend from my wearable art group. The purse was a dark red and my first step was to prep the leather with rubbing alcohol and paint the whole thing black, using Jaquard’s Neopaque Black. (There is no black in the Jaquard line that I usually use — Lumiere — so I used a comparable paint from their line of non-metallic, non-pearlescent colors, which is called Neopaque. Like Lumiere, they are suitable for leather, manmade leather and fabric.)

Cosmetic sponges Next I chose a palette of colors.  I wanted strong colors that would contrast with the black background, were similar in value and would look yummy together. I picked Pearlescent Blue, Pearlescent Violet, Metallic Olive Green, Metallic Bronze and Metallic Russet. Next I got out my bag of trusty wedge-shaped cosmetic sponges.

The technique for this type of sponging is similar to the all-over sponging I described last week. The only difference is you use a lighter touch and leave some of the background showing. Here’s a closeup of the results.

Moon face purse painting closeup at 72 dpi Unlike the all-over sponging, this requires a little restraint (not something I’m known for…). I’d recommend practicing on something with the same background color first, something small, just to get  your confidence up. It could even be a piece of paper.

I decided as I went just to sponge-paint the flap of the purse. I put drafting tape over the gold fastener to keep it paint-free as I went. Here’s what the purse looked like when I was done (sorry about the reflection across the top.)

Moon face purse at 72 dpi


Moon face purse CLOSEUP at 72 dpi Did I hear you say, “Oh Margot, what a delightful embellishment”? So glad you asked. Here’s a closeup. I put this one together from a large Asian coin daubed with Lumiere Metallic Olive Green, then topped with a dichroic glass square and an imitation ivory button carved to look like a moon/face. They are glued together with E6000, then the embellishment was stitched on using the shank of the button and FireLine beading thread.

I call this purse Full Moon, and it’s usually for sale in the Sassy Feet store. Right now, however, it’s on display at The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco, where I’ll be teaching an all-day class called “Don’t Toss That Purse — Revamp It!” on Saturday, March 6.

A last tidbit before I close this post — I had paint leftover on my palette, so I grabbed a little black leather wallet I’d picked up from one of our local thrift stores, prepped it with rubbing alcohol, and went to work with a fresh cosmetic wedge, daubing it front and back. This is called the Metallic Daubs Wallet, and it’s in the Sassy Feet store if you’re interested. Mostly, I hope you’ll try out this sponging technique yourself. It’s very simple and hugely satisfying.

Metallic Daubs Wallet


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