Add some frill power to a run-of-the-mill canvas tote with a pretty personalized stencil. Stock your finished bag with apples, gourmet crackers and cheese for a useful holiday gift.
• Canvas tote (we used an 18" x 13" Me & My B.A.G, $6.99; Michaels stores)
• Paper doily (we used Wilton's Round 12" Grease-Proof White Doily, $1.99 for 6; Wilton.com)
• Spray adhesive (we used Krylon Paper Finishes Spray Adhesive, $4.65; Michaels stores)
• Fabric paint (we used Tulip Slick Dimensional Fabric Paint in Black, $3.49; HobbyLobby.com)
• Small paintbrush
• Freezer paper (try Reynolds 18" Freezer Paper, $6.25; at grocery stores or at Reynolds.Alice.com)
• Piece of cardboard
• X-Acto knife
1. For design: Coat rough underside of doily with adhesive (to keep it in place) and press onto the bottom right-hand corner of the tote, leaving one-quarter of the doily hanging off the edge of the bag. Use paintbrush to brush fabric paint over the outer edge of the doily (don't paint outside doily's edges).
2. While paint is still wet, peel off doily, starting from the bag's bottom edge. If the doily tears, peel off the remaining pieces. Let dry completely.
3. For monogram: Type the letter you want to use in a word-processing document on your computer, choosing a font size that will leave 1"-2" of space above and below the letter and the design (for this bag, we used Times Roman font, 550-point size), and print out on copy paper. Layer an 8 1 /2" x 11" piece of freezer paper, matte side up, over the printout and trace letter onto freezer paper. Discard printout. Lay freezer paper over cardboard and use X-Acto knife to cut the letter out of the freezer paper. Discard letter so you're left with a stencil. Place stencil matte side up on bag, centered in doily design, and press down with an iron on the highest setting; don't move iron back and forth. (The heat will slightly melt the freezer paper's plastic coating so it adheres to the bag for easier painting.) Fill in letter with paint. Let dry, then remove freezer paper.
4. With iron on high, press down on doily design and letter for 20 to 30 seconds. This sets the paint so it doesn't come off when you wash the bag.
Project courtesy of Ashley Campbell, a photographer, crafter and writer of the blog Under the Sycamore
Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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