Wednesday, January 11, 2012

DIY: Trendy Chalkboard Tote Tutorial

I think it's about time we had another tutorial! I created this Trendy Chalkboard tote using plain canvas fabric decorated with DecoArt's chalkboard paints and So Soft Fabric paints (which I adore!) I used a few Crafter's Workshop stencils too.

 I love the size of this bag because it fits all my overdue library books as well as a few diapers and toys. Plus, the chalkboard on the front pocket keeps me on task. Here are a few close-ups so you can see all the details.

You'll see that I kept all my edges raw. I love the rough, funky look!

This project is an easy sew. As long as you are familiar with your sewing machine and how to cut fabric, you should be just fine.

I created an awesome powerpoint presentation that I converted into a video that apparently isn't compatible with YouTube. After a few hours of research, massive a bit of frustration, and a lot of talking to myself repetitively, I've decided to go another route. Alas...

So you'll get the tutorial here instead.

I also have a downloadable PDF available so you can have the directions at your fingertips as you create this project. Please note that this is my very first time creating a downloadable pdf so I have all my fingers crossed that this works. If it doesn't, please be very patient and leave me a nice comment so I can try to figure it all out. I'm a bit fragile about the whole-getting-technology-to-do-what-I-want thing.

**Please note that this project is for your personal use only. Please do not use the PDF or this tutorial to teach classes or to create totes to sell. Thank you for your honesty.** 

Now, on with the tutorial!


DecoArt chalkboard paint (black)
DecoArt Americana paint mixed with Fabric Medium (Calypso Blue, Cherry Red)
DecoArt So Soft fabric paint (Fine Glitter Lemon Drop, Sizzling Red, Celebration Pink)
Sewing machine
Stencils (optional) I used The Crafter’s Workshop templates.
Canvas (unstretched)
             (2) pieces 14x15 inches (the front and back panels)
             (1) piece 42x10 inches (the side panels and bottom)
             (1) piece 50x3 inches (the handles)
             (1) piece 10x11 inches (the chalkboard pocket)

Step 1: Apply colorful paint to your fabric pieces in a loose mosaic pattern. Use stencils, if desired. Place a piece of cardboard under your fabric to catch any excess paint from ruining your surface. 
TIP: Keep in mind how each piece will fit on the bag so while painting you can avoid any upside-down images once you sew the bag together.

Step 2: If desired, following the directions on the back of the Americana fabric medium, create a mixture with the fabric medium and the chalkboard paint. Paint the 10x11 in. piece of canvas with this mixture. You will need two coats. For the first coat, your brushstrokes should be vertical. The second coat should have horizontal brush strokes.

Product Notes: Mixing the chalkboard paint with fabric medium creates a final product that can be washed safely.
Step 3: Once the paint has dried, use your sewing machine and a contrasting thread color to add doodles, circles or outlines to random painted areas.

TIP: If you do not have free motion capabilities, don’t panic, you can do this without it! (I did!) Just go slow. 

Step 4: Sew the chalkboard piece onto the front panel on three sides. Leave the top open in order to create a pocket. Do not turn the edges. Leave them exposed for a raw, interesting look.

Step 5: Placing wrong sides together, sew the 42x10 in. side and bottom piece to the back panel (14x15 in. piece.) Start at the top, proceed downward, to the bottom and back up again. Use a ½ in. seam allowance. Use a small stitch for strength. Repeat to attach the front panel. (See figure below.)

TIP: Don’t stress about the corners, just do your best and move on. They won’t be perfect, but most likely, no one will ever look at them.
Step 6: To create the handles,  fold both raw edges on the longest sides in ¼ inch. Iron if necessary. Fold in half hotdog bun style. Sew closed. Sew along the opposite side, if desired. The strip should now measure 50 x 1 ½ in. (See figure below.)

Step 7: Cut the handle piece in half to create two separate pieces. Each handle should measure 25 x 1 ½ in. If desired, fold raw edges in ¼ in. to make a finished edge along the top and bottom of each handle.

Step 8: Place the bag on the floor, front side up. Take 1 handle strip and pin to the front panel 1 inch from the right edge and 1 inch from the top edge. Make sure the strip isn’t twisted and pin the second edge (of the same handle strip) on the to the front 1 inch from the left edge and 1 inch from the top edge. Repeat for the back of the bag. (See figure below.)

Step 9: Sew the handles onto the bag. Make the seams strong by sewing a square. Next sew an X in the middle of the square. (See figure below.)

 And finally, another picture of the final project.

Enjoy your tote! When you create this project, be sure to post pics on your blog and link me so I can see it!

Happy Creating!



Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Love love love love this Bethany!!! You are amazing! :):):):):):):):):):):)

angie backen said...

this is super cute & such a great idea. thanks for sharing! i'm slowly getting back into the crafting and i may have to add this to my list of projects this year. also, HI! :)

Daniele Valois said...

This is so darling! It looks like a lot of work though. I don't think I have this in me to tackle right now!

Do you know I keep thinking about that article about style. I can't get it out of my mind. Curious.

maho said...

Hi this is just amazing! Thanx!
a question: have you washed it? Did the wash damaged the chalkboard ? And How did you wash it, by hand in cold water?
I am Sory for all the questions...I just really want to try this on my old bit dirty tote bag I have....