Totes DIY For The Win!

Totes DIY For The Win!

Posted by Kim on 23rd Aug 2018

I have loved my fabric shopping bags for some time now. I have many different ones to choose from, but, and I am embarrassed to admit - I more than often forget them in my car when I go shopping! When this happens I don’t opt for nasty plastic bags…instead I push as much as I can into whatever bag I have with me that day & carry the rest in my arms (and often kids arms too!) Anything to not buy more plastic...

My idea to stencil pretty designs onto tote bags is not a new one. Now that I have found the perfect plain bags to stencil onto (they were actually given to me by my friend) my idea has finally come to fruition.

The materials you need are as follows:

  1. Fabric paint in a colour of your choice
  2. Stencil brush
  3. Stencil
  4. Plain Tote Bag
  5. Masking Tape


This is how to do it:

Start by masking your stencil down onto the tote bag. This is to keep it in place and to prevent paint going where it shouldn’t.

Dip your stencil brush into your paint jar & dab off excess paint onto newspaper. You only want to take a little bit of paint onto your material, or else you could have ‘bleeds’ or smudges of paint under the stencil.


Continue to dab the paint across the entire stencil area. This is me, happy as can be, sitting on the floor painting!


Let the paint dry a few minutes before you remove the stencil – just to make sure you don’t smudge any paint when you lift it off.

For the Hessian bag I followed the same steps, because my stencil was small, I had to repeat the process four times to cover the whole surface.


This is a simple process, just allow the paint to dry for a few minutes before removing & sticking the stencil down again. Make sure to line up your stencil with the pattern you have just painted and repeat this process until you have covered the whole area.



Cost of materials:

Stencil R45 - R145 (depending what stencil you choose)

Paint R20

Brushes R45 for a set of 3

Masking Tape R35

Tote Bag – around R30 (bought in bulk)

I'm thinking these will make great gifts for Christmas...these will be on the web as a ready made before Christmas season!