Rit Flower Garden Tote Bag

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by Dianne Giancola, Rit

Rit Flower Garden Tote Bag

Turn a plain tote bag into a colorful, patterned fashion accessory by using cardstock as a stencil. The secret is using a spray adhesive to hold the lace tightly to the fabric before applying the dyes. This stenciling technique can be applied to any fabric that can be used with Rit dye and often works well on wood too.

Project Details

  • Level:intermediate
  • Time:2 hours

Project Instructions

  • 1
    Project time does not include the time for washing or drying of the tote near the end of this project.
  • 2
    Cover work surface with a plastic table cover.
  • 3
    Cut cardboard or freezer paper to fit inside bag. This will prevent dye from bleeding through to the other side.
  • 4
    Insert cardboard or paper into bag.
  • 5
    Use cardstock as a stencil.
  • 6
    Lay this cardstock, underside up, on paper towels. Apply spray adhesive following manufacturer's directions. Discard sticky paper towels.
  • 7
    Place tote bag on fresh paper towels. Position cardstock on bag and press down firmly.
  • 8
    To keep handles of the bag White, cover bag handles with manilla file folder that is secured with tape.
  • 9
    Shake dye bottles before using. Mix 4 tablespoons (tbs) or 1/4 cup Emerald Green dye with hot water in a spray bottle. Test color by spraying on a paper towel. If too light, add more dye. Too dark, add more water.
  • 10
    Spray Emerald Green dye lightly over the lace cardstock and to the edges of the bag. Dab up excess dye on lace with paper towels.
  • 11
    Remove cap from Royal Blue dye bottle. Dip dauber that comes with the kit into the dye; then dab on paper towels to remove excess dye. Use dauber to apply Royal Blue dye to center of flowers and leaves.
  • 12
    To improve color retention and to help keep the White handles White, spray dye fixative liberally over cardstock design and bag. Do not remove cardstock during this time. Let set for 20 minutes.
  • 13
    Remove cardstock. Wrap bag in plastic wrap, sealing outer edges. Place wrapped bag in microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. If there is no scorching, heat again for 30 seconds. Carefully remove plastic (it will be hot). Let dry completely. Heat helps to intensify the dye colors.
  • 14
    Hold the bag from the handles and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear. Then launder in warm soapy water, rinse and dry flat on an old towel.

Project Details

  • Level:intermediate
  • Time:2 hours

Project Supplies

  • •Rit Liquid Dye in Emerald Green & Royal Blue
  • •Nicole™ Crafts Cotton Tote Bag in White
  • •Patterned Cardstock with Holes (to act as a Stencil), Cardboard or Freezer Paper, Manilla Envelope, Latex Gloves, Microwave, Paper Towels, Plastic Table Cover, Plastic Wrap, Clear Tape & Scissors
  • •Elmer's CraftBond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive