My kids’ love to help with the shopping it’s actually a bit of a dream since they don’t have a choice to come along or not.;) If the grocery store has a wheelie basket Kingston is the man with the basket, but when stores don’t have the luxury basket with wheels; he wants to carry his own bag and have me put things in as we shop. Usually that means he carry’s around a produce bag or one of our big shopping bags, not that exciting really. I thought for Christmas I would make both kid’s their own little shopping tote (if King has one Harley needs to have one as well), and why not take a few photos along the way and share it with you.
This is how to print your very own graphic little tote (a full size tote, or tee would be great too) using the freezer paper printing method (with downloads below).
- Tote Bags (you can buy blank canvas totes from your local craft store). I bought the smallest size possible for the kids.
- Paintbrushes. I like to use a round stencil brush for the main stencil, a 1/2″ flat brush for larger areas, and a tiny little paintbrush for finishing details (and fixing mistakes).
- Fabric Paint. In what ever colors you please. I use Dylon or Pebeo, but you can also buy an Acrylic Fabric Medium (which when mixed with any acrylic paint makes it workable on fabric).
- Freezer Paper. Which you can find in most large grocery stores.
- Iron. not pictured
- Self mending mat for cutting. (or an old magazine). not pictured
- Exact-o Knife. For cutting out the stencil. not pictured
- Ruler or Rulers. Metal cork back ruler (which is great for cutting), a one to measure the surface our going to print on. not pictured
- Magazine. This is to put between fabric layers when printing (to prevent bleeding). You can use the same magazine you used for cutting. not pictured
1. Measure your bag length x width and decide how large you would like your print to be. Then measure how far from top&bottom and each side you would like your print (you can make a small mark at all four corners with a tiny pencil mark if you like).
2. Tear a piece of freezer paper (a little larger then the print size you just measured). You can print your graphic out of a regular piece of printer paper (below are downloads you can use to create your stencil in two different sizes) then trace it onto the freezer paper. But I like to save that one step and paper, and trace directly from the computer screen (just make sure your image on the screen is at 100% before tracing. Since I traced from the computer screen (and on an angle) my tracing is a bit wonky, but that is easy to fix when you cut out the letters. *Be sure to trace onto the matte side, the shiny side is the side that faces the fabric when being ironed.
3. Get your self mending cutting mat (or place a thick magazine under your freezer paper, something to save your table surface from permanently looking like your stencil), and a cork back metal ruler (these work best but any ruler will be okay).
4. Cut along the lines. As neat as possible.
5. Save all the pieces you cut out. Put the letters aside for later and keep the center of each letter for the next step.
6. Place your freezer paper stencil on your tote, use those little pencil marks you made early to help you place or quickly measure again. After you iron the large stencil on; place the center pieces in their place (the center of the o’s, etc) and iron those on.
7. Insert a few pieces of paper or a magazine into the tote bag, to prevent the paint from bleeding through to the other side.
8. Paint away. I like the circle brush, much better for stenciling and results in less bleeding.
9. Peel back the stencil when the paint is still slightly damp. Let dry fully and Iron to set the paint. Now the front is done.
10. On the back side of the tote, measure the same distance from top&bottom and side to side and make four small marks in each corner. Lay out the individual letters (that you saved from when you cut out the stencil), I like to keep the file open on the computer so I can use it as a base when laying out the individual letters. Iron the letters onto the bag.
11. Using pencil or chalk draw by hand a large shape (larger so the letters will end up sitting inside the shape) that you like or trace a shape from a cut out piece of paper (or use the star or heart download below).
12. Paint the shape all the way to the lines filling the entire shape in. For this type of painting I like to use a flat brush as it gets better coverage for such a large area.
13. Peel back the letters after the paint is almost dry. Iron after the paint is totally dry to set the ink. If you like fill in the letters with a color (I did this on the Awesome bag), just use a smaller paint brush and free hand it.
The Final Product: two little tote bags printed front and back.
I’m pretty sure Kingston and Harlow will love these little bags, like I said they love to help with the shopping and having their very own special bags to carry is going to make it extra fun. Also I have a feeling these little graphic bags being carried around by two little kids might put a few smiles on strangers faces.
These steps and stencils would be great for t-shirts too (adult or kid sized).
The Stencils: (click the links below then right click>save as on the image)
(for personal use only, please)
also I had planned to do this for The Paper Mama’s 50 DIY Days of Christmas, but I couldnt get my act together in time. But you should check out some of the great DIY’s she has there as well.