Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Special Guest Artist: Debra Valoff, Founder of RubberMoon Blogs Today

We are so excited to have Debra here as a special guest artist! Debra is, indeed, special. As many of you know, Debra is the original Moon Goddess! She is the founder of RubberMoon and we are over the moon to have her here, sharing her talent and tutorial on this wonderful project!

                                                       Debra's Creative Project Bag

At any one time I can easily have 4-10 different projects going. To help keep supplies contained I like to have *project bags* whenever possible. I used to just throw things in plastic shoebox type containers but making bags are fun and easy, not to mention a whole lot more attractive.


Fabric- heavy weight like a duck cloth is what I used. Canvas or denim would work good too. My piece was 11 1/2 x 13 1/2" because I had a 11 1/2" zipper. So before you buy your zipper or cut your fabric be sure to consider what you'll be using the bag for. If you'll be using it for a journal and pens be sure to make it a couple of inches bigger than your book to allow for the thickness.

Thread, I used black
Masking tape

Acrylic paint- I put out several colors that I thought would work well together but ended up just using 3 colors. Light and dark green and white.

One inch sponge brush
Permanent black ink
Rubber stamps
Sharpie marker
Sewing machine-basic sewing skills (honest)

After cutting my fabric wide enough for my zipper and twice the length I wanted the bag (remember it will be folded in half) I laid it on a covered table.

The top of the bag, where the zipper will be sewn, is on two outer edges (the sections I painted white) the darker green (in the middle) is the bottom of the bag.

I knew I wanted a checkered pattern on the top edge with a one inch stamp so I knew I had to paint a 2" white stripe. The bottom part I knew I wanted a darker color and the rest I just filled in with a complimentary color. I used a sponge brush and didn't mind if tiny sections of fabric showed through.
With the combination of acrylic paint and warm weather, I didn't have to wait long for the paint to dry.

RubberMoon Stamps  used in this project

The very top edge is where the zipper will be sewn so I laid masking tape over 1/4" of the edge. This also works great as a guide for where to place my image.  I used black permanent ink. I'm sure fabric ink will work great too.

After stamping both white sections I wanted to define the line between the white and green. The little bee stamp worked perfectly for this.

The bottom section I stamped repeatedly with the bulls eye stamp. I didn't re-ink after each stamping and I also overlapped the image~ working fast just to fill in the area.

Next I stamped the zen garden image and lastly, I filled in the outer edges of the bullseye stamp, where the garden stamp overlapped them, with a black Sharpie pen.

This is how it looks folded in half:

Next comes the sewing!

I knew I didn't want a "finished" look because why invite the frustration in a simple bag? So, I first pinned one side of the zipper to the right side of the bags top edge. Make sure on the bottom that the fabric isn't overlapping the zippers teeth.

First I stitched along the edge of the zipper with the zipper foot. Next I changed to a regular foot and stitched an interlocking stitch. Wanted to make sure it would hold up from a lot of tugging.

After pinning the zipper edge to the other top edge of the bag you'll need to open the zipper so you can sew it in place.

Now zip the bag back up and stitch down the sides of the bag! Again, I used an interlocking stitch but more for looks than strength.

Now your bag is finished and ready to be filled with treasures!

The red velvet heart was just done with free motion sewing, cut out, then an eyelet added and attached to the zipper with a jump ring. A shrink plastic charm made with a RubberMoon image would also be a nice touch here. If I could have found my shrink plastic I'm sure I would have made one! (Honest)

Sending Moonbeams,


  1. Very cool idea, Debra, thanks for sharing with us!

  2. Debra...this is Just so so adorable. I love everything about it.

  3. Completely inspired here at RubberMoon!! Cannot wait to give tis a try!

  4. Thank you for sharing this exciting project.

  5. Love this tutorial and the project! Debra, you are a natural teacher...well done!

  6. Love this post great direction and stamps.

  7. Love this project and it is great to see Debra's art on the cover of Rubber Stamp Madness too!

  8. Thanks gals! It's a fun project to do and I hope you give it a try.
    Since I made this one I have used a good quality muslin (which is easy to find) and it works great.
    kybarb~ Thanks! I'm still smiling over that.

  9. I cannot even remember how long it's been since I installed a zipper. That part was especially helpful. And the bee-stamp border is pure inspiration. The heat of Panama has not dimmed your cleverness, not a speck. You are an excellent teacher. xoxo

  10. I agree with Marylinn Kelly! You teach well. But, best of all you created Rubbermoon. Thanks for reminding us that we don't always need to go to the store to get storage for your "stuff".