April 30, 2012


One of the many traits of the daughters in our house is bag collecting. Some of us collect more bags than others, but we each have our own stash of tote bags, purses, and the like. Some are handmade, others store bought, and some are hand-me-downs from one sister to another.

Anyway, if you follow my pins, you may have noticed my recent pins related tote/canvas bags. And while I didn't actually go with any of the designs I pinned, I'm still super excited about this tote I made:

finished product

Okay, I didn't really make it. I just painted it with fabric paint. But it's neon and neon+neutrals are in, right? So at least I'm being a little trendy.


If you're curious, here's what I used:
  • 1 Back to Basics canvas tote (12.75in x 12in x 7.25in) from Michael's (but any canvas tote will work too)
  • 1 bottle of Tulip soft fabric paint (I used a bottle of lime in 1oz. and it worked perfectly for the amount I painted)
  • 1 paint brush (I recommend that you use a normal brush even though a foam one is pictured above)
  • Painter's tape
  • Ruler
  • Newspaper or something to paint on
The process is pretty simple, too.


First, take out any inserts (mine came with a removable insert to keep the bag opened), tags, and or stickers. After setting down the newspaper on your hard surface, begin the process of taping all around the bag.


As a tip, I recommend using a ruler to make sure your tape is at the same height all the way around the bag. I chose to paint mine at about 13.5 centimeters from the base of the bag. Using your fingers, make sure the tape (especially along the piping) is firmly adhered to prevent paint leakage.

Now, all you have to do is paint (underneath the line of tape, that is)! And if you're wondering why I switched to a normal paint brush (as opposed to a foam brush) it's because I found that it gets into the small spaces (i.e. the along the piping) way better than the foam brush could.




If you find that you're running out of paint, you can also add a little bit of water (a few drops) to the bottle, shake it up, and then continue painting as well. I did that at the very end in places where paint didn't soak in as well. The key is not to add too much water to prevent the paint from changing color.

As a cautious painter, I let mine dry overnight, but I noticed that the bag was almost completely dry in a little over an hour.

Lastly, if you find you get paint on the bag (where you don't want it), I recommend using a little warm water and a rag to get it off. It happened twice on my bag and this technique worked super well. However, it's best to try and get it off as soon as possible!

And if you're wondering how much I spent, the tote bag was originally $9.99 but I used a 40% off coupon (from online). The 1oz. bottle of paint (also from Michael's but at other craft stores as well) was $1.69. The other supplies (paint brush, painter's tape, etc.) were free courtesy of my parents (we already had these supplies). So the total cost was $7.68. Not too bad in my book!

What have you DIY-ed (or even pinned to DIY) recently?

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