DIY: Painted Tote Bag

In February I headed up a Ladies retreat at our church, and I was surrounded on my planning committee by four other lovely, highly capable women.  God certainly blessed me with each of them and it was wonderful to see each of them use their gifts in such amazing ways.  Through all of the compliments that people paid me over a well run retreat, all I could say was that I had a wonderful team.  I could never have pulled it off without them.


But what do you get such amazing women as a thank you? As I scrolled through my Pinterest DIY board, I found a quick and easy craft by Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore (tutorial from Ashley found here).  A quick stop at Dollarama for doilies and tote bags (I was hoping for canvas ones, but could only find burlap ones. I think canvas ones would have been a lot easier to work with, so hopefully next time!), and at Michael’s for fabric paint, and I was good to go!

1) Position your doily on the bag.  Leave enough room so that the stencil of your letter will fit in the negative space left by the center of the doily.

2) Place a substantial amount of fabric glue on an old lid (coffee cup in my case).  The fabric will soak up the paint, so be sure to apply a liberal amount.

3) Using your paintbrush more like a stipple, paint over the doily.  You might need to do a couple coats.

4)  While the paint is still wet, SLOWLY pull the doily off and discard.  I then let the paint dry for about one hour before starting the initial stencil.

5) To make an initial stencil, choose a font from your computer that you like, make it the appropriate size that you want for your bag, and print off.  I then made a small cut through the side of the paper, cut out the letter, and then retaped the stencil closed.  Easy peasy, as Payton would say.  Then just position your stencil so that the letter is centered in the negative space left, and paint.

This is me, hard at work (trying not to get my hair stuck in the paint- lesson learned)

6) When the paint is still wet, SLOWLY pull off the initial stencil and you should have something that looks like this:

And you are done!  Super quick, super easy craft that makes a lovely gift.  I did use liquid pearls to try and make the bags look more polished, but the pearls ended up collapsing and making me upset.  Oh well, they still turned out well, even though I would use puff paint likely for the pearls next time.  Four of these went off to the lovely ladies who were such a blessing to me and all the other ladies who attended our retreat.

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