DIY & Crafts

Easy craft: Learn how to stencil a tote bag

Author: Canadian Living

DIY & Crafts

Easy craft: Learn how to stencil a tote bag

This story was originally titled "In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb" in the March 2009 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

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In like a lion tote bag
Take a look at a larger image of the finished tote

Freezer paper – once a kitchen staple – makes stencilling easy! All you need are a few supplies from an art store. This craft is suitable for adults or older teens; younger children should be carefully supervised when they're using sharp knives or hot irons.

You need:
Lion template
Canvas tote bag*
Heat-set fabric paint* (we used Pebeo Setacolor Opaque in 19 Black Laque and 47 Shimmer Light Copper)
Stencil brushes*
X-acto knife, cutting mat, iron
Freezer paper, masking tape, card stock
Paper plates or plastic lids
*Available at craft- and art-supply stores

To make:
1. Download and print lion template, or enlarge image at right to desired size.

2. Using masking tape, affix template to matte side of freezer paper, with image faceup.

3. On cutting mat, use X-acto knife to cut out image, cutting through both layers of paper and leaving bridges intact. Discard printed template.

4. Iron tote bag; steam if necessary to remove wrinkles. Line with card stock.

5. Place stencil shiny side down on bag, smoothing to ensure edges don't curl or fold. Place medium-heat (no-steam) iron on stencil and slide slowly all over stencil until stencil adheres to bag, ensuring all air bubbles are removed.

6. Place bag on work surface. With X-acto knife, carefully trim off bridges.

7. Pour small amount of black paint onto paper plate. Dip brush straight down into paint until bristles are coated; blot on paper towel to remove excess.

8.
Holding brush perpendicular to bag and masking with scraps of paper if necessary, paint inner ears, eyes and nose black by dabbing brush onto surface until coated. (If necessary, reload brush with paint as in step 7.) Let dry.

9. Repeat step 7 with copper paint and clean paint brush, masking black areas with scraps of paper if desired and painting remaining areas of face and mane copper. Let dry completely.

10. Carefully peel off freezer paper stencil and discard. Heat-set paint with iron according to manufacturer's directions.

Designer's notes: Any line drawing can be converted to a stencil. Print or photocopy several copies of the image; colour in the pictures with pencil crayons to determine which areas you'll cut out.


Page 1 of 2 – Learn how to make the "Out Like a Lamb" tote on page 2!
Out like a lamb tote bag
Take a look at a larger picture of the lamb tote bag

Everyone thinks of potato printing as a kid's craft, but with a little creativity, even the most sophisticated adult tastes can be satisfied by potato-printed designs. Carefully supervise children when they're using sharp knives.

You need:
Canvas tote bag*
Heat-set fabric paint* (we used Pebeo Setacolor Opaque in 10 Titanium White, 19 Black Laque and 24 Spring Green)
2 or 3 large potatoes
Sharp knife (or cookie cutters in desired shapes)
Card stock, paper towel, paper plates or plastic lids, wooden stir sticks, pencil
*Available at craft- and art-supply stores

To make:
1. Iron tote bag; line with card stock. Place on work surface.

2. Halve potatoes lengthwise; blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Trace shapes for lamb body, head, feet and grass (see large photo, above) on cut sides of potatoes; using paring knife, cut out. (Or, if using cookie cutter to make shapes, place potato flat side down on work surface and press cookie cutter through potato, discarding cutaway flesh.)

3. Pour small amount of white paint onto paper plate; using stir stick, spread thin layer of paint over plate. Dip lamb body stamp in paint to evenly coat. Wipe excess paint from edges of stamp.

4. Press stamp onto fabric, pressing firmly for 5 seconds; lift straight up. Repeat until desired number of lamb bodies have been printed, reloading stamp with paint as necessary. Let dry completely.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with black paint and stamps for lambs' heads and feet, and with green paint for tufts of grass. Let dry completely.

6. Heat-set paint with iron according to manufacturer's directions.


Page 2 of 2 – On page 1, find a free downloadable stencil and
instructions to make your own "In Like a Lion" tote bag.
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DIY & Crafts

Easy craft: Learn how to stencil a tote bag

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