After reading this, and this book I have been absolutely itching to get my hands on some printing projects. It really didn’t matter what I printed. Walls, cards, clothes, bags….I just wanted to print something!!! I have several printing projects lined up and decided to start with some simple freezer paper stencil printing…except I used contact paper! Contact paper was something I had on hand…it removes a step (ironing)…and had the same effect as freezer paper.
I plan on doing several holiday projects using a few different printing methods with the kiddos (or at least one of the kiddos…the other will help by taking a nap…how do you print with a 1 year old that seems to have 5 hands and ridiculous speed?!) but this project came out of the studio made just by Mama. All-purpose totes became a wonderful canvas for a very fun and satisfying introduction to printing. Whether these are used (by whoever is getting them for Christmas!) for groceries, bits of nature, or inside storage they are just lovely. Oh, I do love to make pretty things!!!
So here you have it:
How to Make All-Purpose Printed Totes
1. From 45” wide fabric cut 2 2” strips and one large piece ~20” wide. All pieces are cut against the grain.
2. Sew the 2” strips into a long tube to make the handles by folding them in half width wise…stitching using a 1/4” seam allowance…turn…press.
Now the raw edges of the side seams are completely encased leaving very polished seams. Turn. Press.
5. Press the bottom of the bag open so the bottom corner makes a triangle. Make sure to line up the side seam and the middle of the bottom carefully. Measure ~2 1/2” from the corner and stitch perpendicular to the side seam to make a triangle.
*Note* In the image I measured 3 1/2” but decided that wasn’t the right proportion for the bag so started again with 2 1/2”. You’ll have to decide what measurement will give you the bag dimensions you’d like. Repeat on the other side. This will make a bottom for the bag. Press.
6. Stitch the triangle to the bottom of the bag.
7. Determine how long you would like the handles and trim off the excess. Place them on the bag where desired and pin. Stitch them in place securely.
8. Voila!!! You now have a simple and very practical bag…and better yet…a canvas for printing.
9. Draw or transfer the design that you would like to print onto the contact paper. Remember that the sticky part is on the front…so pay attention to how you orient your design to assure it is going to face the right direction.
10. Cut out your design carefully with an exact-o knife or scissors. Peel off the back and place it where desired on the bag. Press it down carefully, especially at the edges to ensure no paint will find its way under the contact paper.
11. Place several layers of newspaper inside the bag underneath the area that you will be printing.
12. With your chosen acrylic paint or fabric paint, and with a stencil brush, begin to paint your design. When applying paint make sure to use the dry brush technique and to apply many successive thin coats rather than one or two heavy coats of paint.
*Dry brush technique: Put a small amount of paint on your stencil brush. Dab much of the paint off on a rag so brush seems “dry” and paint is applied very lightly.
* If paint is applied to thickly than it will saturate the fabric, soaking through to the back and make a bit of a mess, and not look very polished.
13. When your print is saturated with color carefully peel off the contact paper. Stand back and admire…it looks great!!!
14. Recognizing that you have been bitten by the printing bug start planning more projects that use this and many other printing techniques. Pish-posh N1H1…this is much more contagious and much more fun!!!
Happy printing friends!