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I promised my kids a library tote. We have made a new resolution to go to the library – even though two years ago they lost a teensy tiny little book that cost me $19 and I break out into a cold sweat and stop breathing every time they pick out books and my head is calculating any hypothetical lost book charges. So we took a break for a few years. But now we’re back! And the kids love it.
My Makeful tote arrived magically in the mail as I was contemplating what to load up our books in. And I knew it would be perfect. Seriously, I thought someone in their offices was reading my mind – the timing was perfect. It was a simple and fun project, and the gesso works as a great eraser if you make any marks you don’t love in the painting process.
DIY Tote Bag Supplies
- Tote bag
- Acrylic Paints
- Tempera Brushes (mine are from Hobby Lobby in a pack)
- Water for rinsing your brush
- Spray Bottle
- Palette (mine is a Masterson’s Stay Wet Palette but a paper plate is great too)
- Paper Towels
Use a brush to layer some gesso onto the tote. Let it dry.
Mist the paper towel on the plate with the spray bottle; you don’t want it soaking wet, just nice and damp. Put paints out onto a damp paper towel.
Start laying out your design, I like to take each color and put a few flowers around for balance.
Use your spray bottle to mist your paints periodically to keep them wet.
Add in stems and leaves in open spaces. Use gesso to correct anything that isn’t in a place you like. Keeping the flowers painted in similar colors (pink with red, yellow with orange) makes painting easier, and when they are dry, you can add interest with colorful centers. Be sure to think about scale as you are painting – a variety of large, medium and small flowers and leaves looks best.
Let dry, and load up with books!