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Hey guys! I was in simple DIY heaven yesterday stenciling tote bags for all of my on-the-go essentials. I love tote bags because they are perfect catch-all bags that are large enough to carry a variety of things. The weather in Georgia has already reached 80º several times within the past few weeks so I need to make sure I am able to carry a bottle of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water to stay hydrated on all of my journeys.
To stencil a tote bag, all you need is a blank (or not) bag, acrylic or fabric paint, fabric medium (if using acrylic paint), spouncer brush, and freezer paper. I used my silhouette for this tutorial but if you don’t have one, you can easily draw your designs on the freezer paper and cut them out using an x-acto knife. This method also works for t-shirts and other fabrics.
How To Stencil A Tote Bag
First, I went into my software and designed the stencil to use on this bag. At first I made a design for “hello summer” but I quickly realized that we just entered spring and summer is still months away. I’m sure if I still lived in New Jersey the weather would remind me just how far from summer we are. LOL! I am going to provide the files for “hello spring” and “hello summer” at the bottom of this post.
Next, I cut the stencil out on a piece of freezer paper. This paper is thin and cuts best on a low tack cut mat. My cut mat has lost a lot of its tack so the freezer paper was pretty easy for me to remove from the mat once the cut was done. You can see my cut settings in the image below. I used a blade depth of 2. Many people like to cut freezer paper with the plastic up; however, I like to cut with it down to make it easier to remove from the mat. If you choose to cut with the plastic side up, you will need to mirror your design before you cut to insure your design appears properly on your bag.
I then weeded the design and centered it on the tote bag. I ironed the main part of the design on first and then retrieved the middles of the letters from the mat and proceeded to iron them in their place. Your iron should be set on a high setting with no steam.
Next I mixed the fabric medium with my acrylic paint and began to paint very thin layers onto the stencil being careful not to disturb the stencil by brushing too hard or using too much paint.
After the last coat of paint, I removed the freezer paper and let the design dry. Once the design was completely dry, I went over it with the iron to set the paint into the canvas.
This bag makes it so easy to keep my essentials handy when running errands. I always keep a healthy snack and a bottle of water on hand to make sure I am fueling myself when I am on-the-go. We love Nestlé Pure Life water because it is pure and great tasting. I am so grateful that 4/5 times when offered my girls prefer water over sugary juice drinks. Drinking water throughout the day has so many incredible health benefits.
I grabbed a 40 pack of Nestlé Pure Life water at Sam’s Club for the same price as the 35 pack! This pack is available in select Sam’s Club stores, ask your Club Manager about getting Nestlé Pure Life Water in your store if it’s unavailable.