DIY Stenciled Tote Bags

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Most creative workshops come with a lot of stuff, and our Lean Jean Studios calligraphy workshop was no different. Between the calligraphy pens and pencils, and the notepads and ink, our attendees were greeted by a seat’s worth of exciting goodies to cart home after learning the art of dotting their “i”s and crossing their “t”s with a flourish. So Kathleen and I devised a fun stenciled tote project to help corral their things and to give them something to really write home about.

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To begin, Kathleen passed along one of her beautiful hand-lettered designs for the quote “Comparison is the thief of joy,” which I then uploaded straight to my digital Cricut workspace. After making sure to choose the “cut” setting on the digital end, I gently pressed a sheet of thick cardstock onto a standard Cricut Cutting Mat and then loaded that into my Cricut Explore machine. After turning the dial on the machine over to “Cardstock,” I clicked “Go” and watched the blade do all of the hard work for me.

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Next, I used my Circut Weeder and Spatula to carefully peel back the paper from the mat to reveal our stencil. To be on the safe side, I created three stencils and then passed them along to Kathleen. While at home in her own studio, Kathleen laid all 15 canvas tote bags down, placed the stencil on top one at a time and then used metallic silver spray paint to coat over the stencil. After allowing all to dry overnight, they were ready to fill with goodies.

In addition to serving as to-go bags, our stenciled totes were the perfect way to spoil our students just a little more by tossing in a print care of Sweet Sycamore and a few Leen Jean samples, too, in order to help carry workshop attendees on through the upcoming holiday season.

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Again, a big thanks to our sponsors, our host TOOLRY and Kathleen for making this event one to remember! In case you missed anything, see the full recap (filled with incredible photos by Foster & Asher) and my tutorial for the DIY leather key chains that each student also received.

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