Making Watercolour Tags for My Journal

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been gently soaking in the universe of Willa Wanders, aka Wendy Solganik, who makes fabric and paper journals that feel ever so tactile and delicious.

Inspired by Wendy’s journal class, I wanted to make little fabric tags to include at the back of the journal.

For fun, I thought I’d share how I made them in case anyone else wants to do the same – because the more, the merrier!

As fabric, I used a few different ones; Old white tea towels I previously coffee-dyed, offcuts from IKEA curtains that were too long, etc. In short, all second hand white or beige fabric.

The other materials were:

  • Watercolour paints, brush & water
  • Alphabet stamps & ink
  • A pair of scissors

First, I stamped my words on the dry fabric, with black ink. I tested the ink the first time to make sure it was sufficiently waterproof once dry, so that it wouldn’t fade or move when wet.

I kept the phrases in a grid, so that I could later easily cut or tear the fabric into little squares.

I left the ink to dry properly… ok that’s not true, I used a heat gun for a few moments to make it dry faster because patience isn’t my forte.

Once the ink was dry, I painted using watercolours. I did a few in two different ways; Either allowing the fabric to get completely wet so that the colours travel further and mix more, or with less water to get more defined, dry-brush effect. The “kitty noses” tag is an example of the dry brush effect where the plain fabric is still visible in some spots.

Finally, tear or cut your fabric. Some fabric is more suitable to tearing, but one of mine was too loosely woven and got misshapen if I tugged to tear, so I cut it and manually removed a few strands on each side for the rustic effect.

Sew your tags into your journal, or use them in whatever creative way you like. (Tag me or use #alongthelanes on Instagram if you make your own, I’d love to see them.)


– Vero