I had the idea to do canvas bags with my nieces, with mermaid tails and fish, as I set out to look for inexpensive canvas bags I was met with high ticket prices, even with my trusty old Micheal’s coupon.
However the universe was on our side, during a 50% off sale at one of my favourite thrift stores I picked up a large piece of cotton canvas that yielded 5 bags ( and some extra scraps you know I didn’t throw out) for under $3.
If you missed it, here is my tutorial on how to sew your own fabric shopping
These canvas bags I lined with cotton/poly blend with a strip of canvas cotton sewn at the top so it gives the illusion of canvas lined but doesn’t make the bags so thick.
You can just line them with all cotton or cotton/poly as well.
For this project you want to leave the liner opening not sewn shut until after the painting is done, as you will need to use something like a cut up plastic table cloth pushed up into it so when you are painting it does not bleed through. I love using puppy pads, you can get a pack of them at most dollar stores.
For the stencils I printed out our shapes and then traced them onto cereal box cardboard and cut it out, using a craft knife.
I taped them down onto the bags ( should of taped all the way around to help keep paint from hitting outside of the stencil onto the bags)
We used Martha Stewart’s fabric medium mixed with acrylic paints, and cut up sponges to apply it. I wanted to keep it simple and thrifty, to teach the next generation how to DIY on a dime, and of course now they have their very own personalized reusable bag that helps save the planet from plastic.
They are not perfect, some of the paint bled slightly even though myself and the kids did our best to push down on the stencil as we applied the paint. Nothing too major and for the cost I think they turned out amazing, the girls love theirs and my “goldfish” bag is one of my favourite summer bags now. His eye is a sewn on button.
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