If you stalk the same corners of pinterest that I do, then you’ve surely seen the adorable doily canvas bag. Originally posted on this website way back in 2009, it holds its fashionable senses and looks just easy enough to do that I think attempting it isn’t a horrible idea.
I had intended to go to good old Hobby Lobby, but just wasn’t feeling up to the drive, so I stopped in at my local Walmart to see what I could scrounge up. I intend to use the bag myself, but if it turns out well, I may make one for my mom as a birthday gift, so I was looking for a multi-pack of canvas bags. I’d made a bag with hand prints and foot prints on it for my mother in law for mother’s day, but that canvas bag was pretty big and also $10. I was looking to lower the financial footprint, so I figured smaller would be better. I found a delightful three pack of white canvas bags for a whopping $7.97 (they were actually marked at $6.97, but alas). I looked for some plain old fabric paint, but could only find the puffy paint and decided to just go for it. It’s a multi pack and it was $8.47 (and was actually marked at $10 something, so it all came out okay in the end). I headed over to the party/cake decorating section to look for doilies and found a two sized foil six pack for $2.50. I’m hoping that I can maybe reuse the doily if I treat it proper, but we shall see. So with a total project price of $18.94 I was all set. The total price seems a touch high, but keep in mind that you’ll now have fabric paint for future use, and you also get three bags. It divides out to approx $6 a bag, not including how much more fun I can have with the fabric paint!
Once the Did went down for a nap, I got started. Because I’m a little bit of a perfectionist (but not much of one) I decided that the little holes around the doily weren’t open enough. I went through with a toothpick and re-poked them all. It seems like a useless step, but you can see the difference. This was absurdly helpful when I started painting.
I figured out how much of the doily I wanted on the bag, and then ripped off a little section of what I wouldn’t be using to try and test on a piece of paper. Three things I learned. 1) Fabric paint works much better on fabric (uh duh) and 2) taping the doily down is a fantastic idea. So, I taped it down to my work surface (coffee table) and then taped the doily on top of it, making sure no tape covered where I’d need to paint. I started out with a slightly bigger brush, but ended up using the small detailing brush almost exclusively.
While I was painting the bag I thought it was going to turn out just horribly. I’d watched my mom stencil when I was younger, so I know not to push the brush under the design, but it was still pretty questionable. I was pretty sure that the bag would be a bust, and was already planning out other crafts for the other two bags. By the time I finished I had no clue what to expect, though I was certain it would be complete and utter disaster. It was not.
Now came the question of how to put my letter on there. I’m not good at this part, and this was no exception. I’d read about freezer paper letters, but I A) didn’t want to mess up my printer B) wanted this bag for my upcoming beach trip, so it needed to be waterproof and C) didn’t have freezer paper. Normally I try some sort of tracing before I get fed up and free hand. This time I had the brilliant idea of just printing out my letter and pressing down on the paper with a sharpie to create an outline.
It worked beautifully, except that I used a black sharpie forgetting that I wanted the letter to be green. This caused some serious issues, as covering up the black with green was …. Difficult. I think I applied about five different coats of the green paint, letting it get mostly dry in between coats. On top of being a pain, it also mussed up my outline a bit, and made the letter look less sharp and a little bit sloppier. If you have card stock and a craft knife, I recommend cutting out your letter and stenciling it in. Much easier than my disaster. Or maybe use the colored sharpies, which I frustratingly had right next that that ubiquitous black one but didn’t use. Sigh.
If you zoom in you can still sort of see the black dots, but as it’s a bag for me for the beach, I’m not going to worry about it so much. It’s a cute little carry along, which was the whole point! And it’s relatively easy, especially if you don’t muss up the letter tracing. You can also see the little dots on the bag, thanks to the toothpick hole punching earlier. Overall I would say this is a pretty easy craft, that doesn’t take too much know-how to make. Except for the letter. But you have my disaster to avoid at least! And from far away (or even up close, so long as they’re not inspecting it) most people won’t notice. As I said before, I used puffy paint, and it seemed to dry quickly (since it was a slim coat of paint) and it didn’t get tacky or cause any issues. It looks just fine dried, and I will use it again for my next bag. This kind of bag would be perfect for a new bride, or if you include a name (and get a bigger bag) it’d be cute for a new mom. All sorts of possibilities!