Make: Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) and a giveaway!

 
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful

I hope you're having a lovely week. I will admit to enjoying the fresher air and I was very excited to get my cardi back out of the wardrobe (I truly am very British, I do not cope well in the heat). I've been meaning to post this for a while, because really it would have been much more useful at the beginning of summer. But hopefully there will still be some summer left for you to make and use one of these totes. And to be quite honest if you chose a different colour you could easily adapt the designs for Autumn or winter.

Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful

I didn't photograph a step by step for this because I made similar totes at Christmas, obviously with different designs, so you can see the step by step right here. These take a bit of patience but they are so satisfying. The stripe bag is by far the simplest, and you wouldn't even need a craft knife for that one, you could also use scissors for the chevron too if you needed to.

If you fancy making your own tote you will need:

Plain tote - I got mine here Freezer paper - from here A craft knife (for the letters and &) and a cutting mat Fabric paint - I used Dylon A stencil brush or short bristled paint brush An iron A stencil - just click these links to down load them &, How do you do

Method:

Use your craft knife to cut out your letters from the freezer paper. I tape the freezer paper to the board (shiny side down) and then tape the stencil on top. Always cut the centre of letters such as a, d, p, q, and symbols such as & first, because otherwise your letter will move around and cutting out the 'hole' becomes really difficult. Once I've cut my holes I tape them to the board so they don't get lost, you'll need them later to make your letters. For the stripes and chevrons just cut out the shapes from your freezer paper.

Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful

Iron your bag and then arrange your freezer paper stencil/individual letters (if you're making something like the pale blue &)/shapes onto the bag, shiny side down. Very carefully press them down with the hot iron to stick them to your fabric, take extra care around the edges they all need to be stuck down.

Put a piece of card into the bag to stop the fabric paint seeping through. Then using a stiff brush carefully paint over your stencil using the paint sparingly.

Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful

Leave to dry completely, don't be tempted the peel off the stencil before the paint is dry. Then peel off the freezer paper, and following the directions on your paint pot iron over the paint to set it and make it permanent.

Remember, these are handmade so don't beat yourself up if some of the paint bleeds sightly.

Use to carry your shopping. pack up a picnic, or stuff full of gym kit.

Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful
Hand painted tote bags (with free printable stencils) | Really Pretty Useful

And if you can't be bothered to make a tote bag of your own you could win one of mine. Three lucky winners will each receive one of my hand painted tote bags. To enter all you have to do is follow me on either facebook, twitter or instagram and leave me a comment here on the blog telling me which one of the tote bags you like best. The winners will be picked at random next Monday 18th August 2014. Good luck!