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Dress up a made or bought cotton tote bag

Make your own cotton tote bag or dress up a plain tote bag with a handmade stencil and some colourful acrylic craft paints

 

Making your own cotton tote bag is simple enough but if you already have one, this project shows you how easy it is to add some pizzazz to a plain bag using a basic handmade stencil and some colourful acrylic craft paints.

1. Before you start, wash and dry your cotton bag and then iron to remove any wrinkles.

2. Cut out coloured circles and place these on the bag to determine how you want your finished design to look, or take your colour cues from the bag shown here. 

3. Use a stencil - you can easily make your own using card and a craft knife - and an artist's paintbrush. It's handy to have a paint palette that allows you to mix ombre colours - or shades of the same colour - to make interesting circle patterns. 

4. Once you have finished paint, iron the back of the fabric on medium heat to fix the paint into the fabric.