Easy Painted Canvas Tote

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This summer I found some straw bags for the girls to embellish that I thought could double as a craft project and really cute beach bags for them (turns out the bags never actually made it to the beach, but that's another story). If I've got a project for the girls, I generally need something for Theo to do as well, so while they went about creating their bags, I did this painted canvas tote with him.

I bought him a simple white canvas tote from JoAnn Fabric, but I couldn't find it on their website, so you can click here for a similar one from Amazon (in a multi-pack, sorry!). He's really into dinosaurs right now, so I got online, found a silhouette of a stegosaurus that he liked, and printed it out on 8.5x11 inch paper. I made sure that it was big enough to fill most of the side of the bag (meaning it also filled most of the paper). I slid the paper into the bag and used a black Sharpie to trace the outline. I didn't get a picture of this part, but if you scroll down, you'll get the idea!

I could have given him fabric paint, but I don't keep much on hand, and I didn't want to buy a bunch of new paints. Watered-down acrylics work just as well, so I let Theo choose a few colors from my stash, then added a small about of water to each (you want them to be runny, like liquid paint, but not too watery). Don't forget to use a smock, because acrylics don't wash out one they are dry!

Before letting he got started, I slid a piece of parchment paper inside the bag so the paint would bleed through and make the sides stick together. Then I let him paint to his heart's content.

When he was satisfied with his work, I let his bag dry for a few hours (acrylics dry pretty quickly), then I took the parchment paper out and now he has a fun bag to take to the pool (or to the library, the store, or any where else he goes).