Stencilled tote bags
As green bags (and all the colours of the rainbow for that matter) take over grocery stores and sometimes, general shopping it'd be nice to see something a little more stylish on the shoulders of supermarket shoppers every now and then. Enter the classic calico tote, a little freezer paper, paint and a simple idea. These flashcard-style bags are sweet, personalized gifts for just about everyone kids as library bags, the store-owner as a bank bag, your mum as a shopping bag. And of course, it's not limited to a letter and matching motif spell out the recipient's name, design your own pattern or just use a cool graphic alone. Or stencil a T-shirt, tea towel, cushion...Easy peasy!
- A tote bag. These were made by hand, but Lincraft have plain calico bags for around $1.50.
- Paint. Acrylic is fine to use, but if you use on a T-shirt or something that will be washed regularly, fabric paint would be better.
- Cutting mat: a chopping board does the same thing if you don't have one
- Printout stencil template: use Word for letters and Google images for silhouette shapes of your choice. Simple shapes are best...less cutting required
- Freezer paper. It needs to be freezer paper for the paper to stick. Spotlight sell Reynold's Freezer Paper by the metre (approx. $1.50 per metre) or by the roll (approx $18).
- An iron and ironing board
Tape a piece of freezer paper waxy-side down over the top of the stencil and cut it out with a scalpel. You could also trace the letter or image onto the freezer paper first and then cut the pencil outline. Keep all smaller, interal cut-outs such as the circle in a b or o.
With the iron set on hot, put your main freezer-paper stencil into place waxy-side down - on the bag and iron over it. The wax will gently melt onto the bag to create a seamless stencil. Now iron any insert cut-outs or smaller stencils into place. Slip another piece of freezer paper into the bag with the waxy side on the back-side of the area you're stenciling and iron. This will create a seal that will avoid the paint bleeding.
Paint the exposed area in the colour of your choice and leave overnight to dry or in the sun for several hours. Check fabric paint for specific instructions.
Gently peel away the stencil...it will remove easily.