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DIY Blank Canvas Bags to Design Your Own
The opportunities are endless with a blank canvas.
Let your creative juices flow
Put on some music that you like. If you are creating a special type theme, try music that is related to your theme. For example, if you or your kids are creating Halloween designs, then play some fun Halloween music in the background.
If the theme is birds for instance, find a nature selection that has birds chirping and singing.
The creative materials that you use to enhance the mood, can also inspire the creativity of you and/or your children.
Gather your materials
Gather a variety of creative materials, whether it be fabric paints; glue, ribbon, and beads, puffy fabric paint, etc.
Watercolor pencils also come in handy for any drawing. The different colors can be used for different parts of the picture.
After your items are drawn in with watercolor pencils, on the blank canvas bags, the drawing lines will blend in with the paint. Or they can be wiped off later with a damp paper towel or cloth. (Once the paint is dry of course.)
I got started creating things when I was a kid.
My mother used to buy liquid embroidery items, and us kids got to select different items and paint them in. I was so enthused to be painting something that others or myself could also use.
I now call these items functional art. It is art with a purpose.
I still have a tablecloth that I painted as a kid.
What is your level of experience?
Have you or your child painted on fabric before?
Prep the painting and creating area.
If you or your child is going to be painting, be sure to place a sheet of smooth flat cardboard below the layer of fabric that is going to be painted.
It will help to protect the underneath surface and any lower fabric from any bleed through.
Outlining can be enough.
Tips for outlining
Outlining can help make your design pop.
If you want an outline to color or paint in, draw it first with watercolor pencils. Then paint or color in the design.
Once the painting is dry, go back with darker shades and paint in the outlines and any details.
Or you can just outline the image with paint, and let that be enough.
Puffy and dimensional paint will give a raised affect. Puffy and dimensional paint take longer to dry, so do allow extra drying time if you're using these, perhaps six hours or longer.
Various fabric paints can be used.
To paint with something that is going to be long term, you'll want to use an acrylic paint. Some are made for fabric painting, and you can also purchase a medium to make acrylic paint to be more fabric friendly.
If you add a medium to the paint, the color may be a bit diluted, but probably not by too much.
If you are using acrylic paint, the paint in the bottles will be a better choice, as that is thinner than the paint that comes in tubes.
If you are using paint from the bottles, you will want to have a variety of brushes on hand, water for rinsing, and paper towels for getting excess water off the brushes.
Designs can be painted in using regular brushstrokes.
The dry brush technique works best for painting on the stencils.
The dry brush technique for using with stencils.
Stencils can be used to trace the outline, and they can also be used as a painting tool.
To paint using the stencil as a painting tool, tape the stencil in place using fabric safe tape. I usually use a low tack painters tape.
Then, using a stencil brush, apply the paint on the brush, dab off the excess, and dry it somewhat on the paper towels. You want enough paint on the brush to get color on the fabric, but not enough that it bleeds under the stencil.
The video to the right will help demonstrate this technique.
Stencils are an easy way to add designs.
These stencils are made of flexible plastic, so they should be pretty easy to do the dry brush technique that is shown in the video above. The design can also be traced onto the canvas using watercolor pencils, if you want to paint the design in using regular brushstrokes.
Can I use permanent markers instead of acrylic paint markers?
In my experience, the acrylic paint markers worked best.
Although the permanent markers were marked as permanent, there was bleed through that occurred after the design was dry for some time, when it was laundered.
Do I need to heat set my design?
My guess is yes. At least with the acrylic paints that I have worked with, the manufacturer's did recommend it.
Sometimes it was just heat setting it in a dryer. Others wanted you to place a piece of plain fabric over the dry design, and have you iron the plain piece of fabric.
You will need to check the manufacturer's instructions for the particular type of paint that you purchase.
I have found that there is less mess with acrylic paint markers.
The acrylic paint is in the tubes. All one needs to do is shake the tube (with the lid on), to mix the paint up. Practice making some strokes on a spare sheet of fabric or paper, to test the amount of pressure you'll need, and also to test the flow of the paint.
Canvas bags from Zazzle come in a variety of sizes, and some come in different colors.
Blank canvas bags can be ordered from a variety of places.
Purchasing plain canvas bags at zazzle.com allows you to also do some designing online, before placing your order.
Other styles can be ordered from places like amazon.com. There you can find more style choices, include ones with zippers, like the one shown below.
Amazon also has various sizes of blank canvas bags to choose from.