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Textile Design kit Activity Sheet

Activity 1: Paint your shoes!

For this activity, you can go grab cheap shoes on your local store, or revamp a pair of used shoes you have at home.

You can use both the fabric pens and the acrylic paint pens on shoes, keep in mind the fabric pens are permanent but the acrylic paint pens will fade if not protected with fabric protector, or if washed too frequently (we recommend you use the paint pens on pairs of shoes that don't need to be washed as often).

Step 1: Grab your supplies. Canvas shoes are the easiest, white preferably for the fabric pens.

Step 2: Use a pencil to plan out and sketch your design on the shoes. In this case we are going for a dripping rainbow effect, so you'll need to make a squiggly line alongside the front of the shoe and some round blobs to make that fun dripping effect. Shoes by Jaz (13 years old, mum Daphne Birett).

Step 3: Grab your fabric pens and paint stripes of different colours to make the rainbow gradient.

Step 4: Line up the edges (where you marked with pencil) to make the dripping paint effect pop!

More shoe ideas you'll love:

"Bee kind" shoes by Bronwyn Giblin, with lovely bees and sunflowers. These shoes were painted using the paint pens, over the black canvas shoes. It's best to do a white coat first and finalize your painting process with a clear fabric protector (Bronwyn recommends Scotch Gard which is water repellent).

sSuperhero shoes are every kid's fantasy, so why not make their own Spiderman, Superman, Batman (and all the other fantastic heroes out there!).

Hayley Harding

Katrina Dean

Nicole Stark

Flower power shoes

Invite your kids to make a delicate flowery design, start with the green brances using freehand lines, add little leaves using a lighter green colour... and then add colourful flowers all around! Design by Bea, mum Daphne Birett



  • Tote bag (included in the kit)
  • Life of colour Fabric pens (included in the kit)
  • Life of Colour Stencil pack (included in the kit)
  • Lead Pencil and white eraser

Standing out from the crowd at Library time is easy when you design your own library bag using the Tote bag and fabric pens that we provide for you in this kit.

We have a few different ideas to share with you about how to create colourful rainbow patterned bags. 

Mermaid Tail Library Bag

Step one

Get your lead pencil and draw a mermaid tail coming out of some waves. If you make a mistake use your white eraser to rub out the pencil lines and start again.

Step two

Choose a dark colour to go over the top of the lead pencil - we used a purple for the mermaid tail, magenta for the heart and blue for the water and water splashes. 

Step three

Use the rainbow stencil and lead pencil to help you draw the layered mermaid scales. Start at the top of the tail and work your way down until finished. Trace over the top of the lead pencil using the fabric pens.

Step four

It’s time to start adding colour to the library bag! The waves are coloured in with dark blue at the top then sky blue at the bottom. Use the lighter blue to colour in the water splashes and add a little bit of dark blue around the edges.

Step five

Colour in the mermaid's tail and scales with your fabric pens and wait for it to dry. Once the rainbow colours are dry use your black fabric pen to go over all of the edges!

Different types of mermaid tails

To get more ideas about how to design your mermaid tail have a look on the internet below we have provided a couple of different tails for you to copy. One has smaller scales and the other has rainbows coloured onto each of the larger scales.

Happy Rainbow Unicorn Library Bag

Using the Life of Colour stencils to make fun designs on your library bag is another easy option. 

We are going to show you how to make a cheerful and happy unicorn picture on your tote bag! 

Step one

Use your lead pencil to draw a rainbow shape onto the centre of the Tote bag.

On one end of the rainbow use the stencil with clouds to draw a cloud, flip the stencil over to draw a cloud at the other end. Trace around the word happy underneath the rainbow and put a unicorn next to each cloud. 

Step two

Colour in the rainbow and the word “happy” using yellow, green, blue, pink and purple. Each cloud is lightly coloured in blue with the edges coloured a bit darker.

Step three

Give the unicorns a colour each- we chose green and purple for ours. To finish off the bag go around the outside of all of the edges with the black fabric pen. 

Activity 3: Make a jellyfish mobile

This jellyfish hanging mobile will be a very fun craft to make together, blend the wonderful colour of the fabric pens to achieve the jellyfish watery aesthetic - and finish it off with the fun fabric tentacles.

Step one: Cut paper into 5 equal circles with cuts around the edges. Wet paper and set onto a dome shaped bowl, once dry, spritz the paper dome with water to and use your paint pens to colour the paper!

Step two: Using the Life of Colour Fabric pens draw different patterns onto the strips of material, if you have stencils you can use those to make the patterns more geometrical. Have fun with it and combine lots of colours and patterns together! 

Step three: Cut the patterned fabric into thin strips and glue onto the underside of the domes ensuring to face the right side of the fabric out!

Step four: Make a small incision into the centre of the each dome and attach a piece of string to be able to hang your jellyfish mobile anywhere you like!




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