DIY Tote Bag

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Congratulations! You’ve discovered the easiest DIY idea around the block. So my dog Oliver travels a lot and didn’t have an appropriate bag for all of his accessories. After much debating about buying him a vintage Dooney and Bourke bag to fit in with all his hipster friends, it was decided that a handmade tote would do just the trick.

Materials Needed:

1 canvas tote bag (sold in packs of 3 at Michael’s for $10)

2 bottles of fabric paint ($2 each)

1 piece of cardboard or paper

1-2 paintbrushes

The Process:

1. Iron or smooth out any wrinkles in your tote bag. I threw mine in the dryer for a few minutes. After it’s smoothed out, slide your cardboard or paper inside to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

2. Draw your design on the bag. As with most things I make, a simpler design is usually easier and can lead to less disappointments later. I decided to go with Oliver’s signature look and freehanded his face and added a red bow tie below. If you’re not too keen on sketching a design, a simple geometric shape would look awesome. You can always look up outlines for things as well using the ol’ world wide web.

3. Once you have the outline drawn, jump in and get started painting. I made mistakes but fortunately the design prevented anyone but me from noticing it. It took two coats, with 10-15 minutes to dry in between.

4. Let your bag lay flat overnight and dry. After mine dried, I noticed some areas that needed to be filled in and also decided to outline Oliver’s bowtie in black.

5. Let the touchups dry.

6. Fill the bag with your heart’s desires and enjoy!

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