Sunday, July 10, 2011

Customizing a boring canvas tote

There have been some requests for more quick projects like the masking tape bird print. So here is quick project using the same technique on a canvas tote bag.  This is a great way to make a personalized gift bag or even a beach bag for the summer.

Step 1: 
You can pick up one of these canvas totes at any craft store, they come in all sizes and styles and are pretty inexpensive. Iron out the wrinkles.  I don't have an iron, so I used a hair straightener (will I ever grow up?). Fill the bag with some big books or a box so that you have a flat surface to work on.

Step 2:
Make your design using bits of masking tape.  Make sure you press down hard because the canvas texture will resist some.  I've created the most basic sun and seagulls design that you probably drew in every picture you made of the ocean as a child.

A ruler was used to tape off straight edges

Step 3:
I dug this fabric paint out of the discount bin at AC Moore for $.49 each, but you could use silkscreen ink instead.  Spread the ink using a paintbrush or a sponge, it will allow you to get in the grooves of the canvas.  Make your strokes away from the tape, not towards it, so that you don't get ink under any loose edges.

Step 4:
When the ink is dry to the touch, you can peel the tape off.  Use a blade to lift up the edges if they are painted down.  Let the ink dry completely according to the directions, leaving the books inside so that the ink doesn't smear.  Put stuff in your new bag!

It's got the feel of a bag you get free with a donation to PBS.

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