Crafts with grandchildren: painted tote bag
Canvas tote bags are one of those versatile items that come in handy time and time again; they’re useful for carrying the shopping, loading up books for the library or packing a few essentials up for a long car journey.
Painting a tote bag together can be the perfect creative project for an enjoyable afternoon with your grandchildren and is something children of any age can enjoy.
If you’d like to give this craft a go, here’s what you need to know.
What you need
To start with you’ll need a plain tote bag. Canvas works best because it’s durable and easy to paint on, but you can use other fabrics or even experiment with patterns by making your own. You can find them cheaply on Amazon in multipacks or individually from Hobbycraft.
Next, you’ll need some fabric paint. Regular fabric paint works well if you’re painting on canvas or cotton but be sure to check it’s waterproof so once your tote is painted it will survive a cycle through the wash. If you’re doing this craft with young children or want to try a more intricate design, fabric markers can also be very useful. Shops like John Lewis and Hobbycraft should have everything you need.
Other supplies you’ll need:
- Paintbrushes, sponge ones work well for this craft
- A pencil and eraser
- Sharpies or other thick marker pens
- Firm paper or white cardboard
- Masking tape or sellotape
- A smock or old shirt
- A print out of any special character your grandkids might want to draw, or a computer or tablet to look pictures up on the day
What to do
Image via eHow
Once you have all your materials ready to go you can get started. The great thing about this craft is it all comes down to imagination – you can make designs as simple or as intricate as you like and be as creative as you choose. Here are some tips to help you through the process:
- Start by laying some newspaper down over the table to create a workstation. Put a thick piece of card inside the tote to keep paint from bleeding through and then lay the bag flat on the table and smooth out any creases. Dress in smocks or old clothing so you don’t have to worry about ruining your clothing with the fabric paint.
- Use a pencil to lightly draw any shapes or designs onto the canvas to guide you as you go. Using cardboard to create a stencil is an easy way to make sure everything looks uniform and your ideas turn out just as you want them to – you can even print off a few shapes or letters beforehand to help you get going.
- Homemade stamps are another great option if you are doing this craft with young children – you can create your own from a sponge, piece or cardboard, or even with a potato.
Before you sit down to paint your tote bags it’s worthwhile brainstorming a few ideas so everyone enjoys the process. Older grandchildren might want to keep their bags simple with a monogram or pattern, while littler ones might want to paint a scene or draw one of their favourite characters. Here are a few other suggestions to get you started:
- Flowers and trees
- Birds and butterflies
- Cars and trucks
- Pirates or princesses
- Cats, dogs, rabbits or ducks
- A rainbow, clouds, or the sun
- Fruit or vegetables
- Fish and sea life
- Spots, stars, or geometric shapes
- Their favourite characters from books or television
Will you give this craft a go?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!