Sunday Crafts – DIY Monogrammed Nautical Stripe Bag

One of my “blog resolutions” for 2011 was to start a weekly Arts & Crafts column here on Stripes & Sequins.  My first project will be these fun monogrammed striped tote bags.  This project is both extremely easy and satisfying… making this the perfect first project.

I opted to make three at once – which was a good idea because as parts of each bag dried, I could work on the other bags.  Below is the final result.

What you need:  Large canvas tote bag – I like these from JoAnn fabrics and they are only $2.99,  3-4 shades of fabric paint, masking tape, a large sponge-tip applicator, and a paint brush.

Start with the back.  (If you make a mistake, or paint outside the lines, you won’t be as sad.)  Start by taping the bags where you would like the stripes to be.  Then, carefully fill in the stripes with fabric paint (using the sponge tip applicator.)

As the paint dries, remove the tape and tape in new borders for the middle or second stripes (depending on how many stripes you are making.)

Be sure to allow enough time for drying in between taking the tape off.  Peeling the tape off and seeing that perfect stripe is incredibly satisfying!  I would be remisce if I didn’t say that I learned this easy striping technique from the fabulous P.S. I Made This.

For the front of the bag, the first thing you want to do is decide where the monogram is going to go.  I chose to do mine a few inches down, straight in the middle of the bag. Center the letters, tape your stencils down to the bag, and carefully fill in the stencils, using a paint brush.

Using the paint brush (as opposed to the larger sponge tip applicator,) allows you to get cleaner looking edges when you stencil.

Allow the stenciling to dry, and remove the stencils.  From there, start taping out where you want the front stripes to be (they should match the back.)

Continue to tape and fill in your stripes until you are almost done!

Before you know it, you’ll be done – and have made a great bag for yourself (and maybe a few friends, too!)  Fill in any holes or light spots using the paint brush.  Allow to dry overnight.  Once dry, flip them inside out and iron them – this is important as it sets the paint, making your results permanent.

Take your bag everywhere – the grocery store, work, school, or the beach – and revel in the compliments.

Get creative!  Experiment with different colors of paint, varying stripe sizes, and different font stencils – the options are infinite.

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