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Craft Day: Stenciled Canvas Totes

stenciled canvas totes

As much as I like craft projects that take lots of steps and different supplies, I also like crafting with friends and that’s usually the time for a quick and easy project.  These stenciled canvas tote bags are about as close to crafting instant gratification as you can get.

Picture this: you invite some friends over, put out a spread of sparkly beverages and savory finger foods, and set up a paint station on a paper-covered table.  Everyone does a little painting, then you all sip and snack and chat, then when everyone is ready to leave the bags are dry and ready to take home (maybe with some yummy homemade goodies tucked inside).  Sounds good?

One note on the paint before we get started.  You could definitely use fabric-specific paint for this project, or even craft paint.  I prefer to use latex wall paint and here’s why:  it comes in any color imaginable and you get more in a paint sample jar than in a bottle of craft paint for about the same price.  Also, the smears and drips I’ve gotten on my paint clothes over the years don’t wash out, so it’s a pretty safe choice for using on fabric.

Get your hands on these supplies:

blank canvas tote bags (I got mine here, they’re cheap and have lots of color and size options)
paint samples or craft paint
foam brushes
painter’s tape

1.  Prep your surface.  Paint isn’t something you want getting smeared places.  Maybe keep some paper towels handy, too.

2.  If you’re using a pre-made stencil, hold or tape it in place on a bag, shake up your paint, and get to work.  Canvas is thick enough that the paint shouldn’t soak through to the inside of the bag.

Another stencil option is to make a design on the bag using painter’s tape.  Make sure the edges are smoothed down so there isn’t any bleeding before you start painting.

3.  Set the painted bags aside to dry.  Dry time depends on all sorts of factors, but the paint should be dry in an hour or so.

stenciled canvas totesstenciled canvas totes
stenciled canvas totes

Pretty easy, right?  This is also a great way to make goodie bags for kids’ parties instead of buying themed paper bags.  My oldest did this for his birthday and all his friends were excited to go home with a bag with their name painted on it.

Bye for now,



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