Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Special: DIY Custom "Black Friday" Shopping Bag

Look fashionable while saving the environment.
This tutorial will show you how to recycle your old, unwanted bags into new, cute ones. This Black Friday you can reduce waste, save some money, and look good.

I apologize in advance for all the different lighting environments. I did this over the course of a couple days. :)
First get a bag you want to change up. 
The bag should be 100% cotton. I recommend using canvas.
So no offense to Grover or anything but I needed a blank bag.
Use acetone and a bag of cotton balls to clean away and peel off the image. As you can see there are some ink stains that have bled through. Be sure to put a plastic bag or waterproof surface in the bag to prevent any ink from bleeding through to the other side. If you are using a plastic bag and it has dyes or inks on it, flip it inside out so the logos/images face away from the side you are cleaning. Otherwise the acetone will lift those dyes off the plastic bag and they will bleed onto the canvas.
If you don't want to go through all the hassle of peeling or you want a perfectly white bag, I suggest buying a basic affordable one from a craft store (i.e. Michaels, Joann, etc.), but since I'm going to dye and cover the bag anyway, it doesn't matter that there are some stains.
If you want to dye your bag, this step is important. If not, just move onto the next step.
Get a large bucket and fabric dye. I used Rit's purple powder dye which I got from Utrecht for $3.
The package states it will dye up to 1Ib of fabric (3 yards). That is plenty for the bag.
If you are using the whole mix, you will need 3 gallons of warm (140
°F) water. I only used 2/3 of the package so I only needed 2 gallons.
Mix the powder in 2 cups of warm water in a separate container. Then add the mixture to the full bath. Wet your bag in warm water then place into the bucket. Continuously stir the dye for 5-30 minutes, depending on how dark you want your bag.
Start by rinsing the bag in a couple baths of warm water and gentle detergent (i.e. Woolite). Then gradually begin to wash the bag in a couple baths of cooler water. Wash until the water runs clear. You can then throw it into the dryer or air dry it.
I dyed my bag for only 5-10 minutes and it came out pretty purple. It still has the weird Grover shadow but it's okay since I'm going to decorate it.
Now onto decorating. I like to use irons since they're easy to use.
I remember iron-ons used to suck back in the day and no one wanted to use them but recently I've discovered that they work pretty well.
Print whatever images you want onto the iron-on sheet. Do not flip your images, print them as you want them to appear on your bag (I do not know if this is the same procedure for white fabric iron-ons). If you are using dark fabric be sure to buy iron-ons specifically made for dark fabric otherwise your image will turn out weird if you use a white fabric iron-on. Cut out your images exactly as you want them to appear on your bag. Peel away the paper back of the iron on and place the iron-on on the fabric with the image facing you. Take the tissue sheet provided in the iron-on packet and place over the image. Put a hard, heat resistant surface or board that you can iron on in the bag. Do not iron on a ironing board, you need a hard surface. Iron for 30-60 seconds. Remove the tissue after 1-2 minutes of cooling.
Other cool decorating trinkets may be pre-made flocked felt iron-ons, glitter glue, rhinestones, ribbons, felt appliques, etc. *~*~The possibilities are endless~*~*
For my bag, I used flocked felt iron-ons, felt appliques, and glitter.
I drew the image for the bag. The original picture can be found on my tumblr.

Have fun shopping this Black Friday and look fabulous!!!
Stay tuned for our shopping haul!

Writer: Potato
Photographer: Potato
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