Dot Painting Totes

While originally did this craft because I myself am just a huge fan of tote bags and think that everyone should have at least one tote for their library books, things now are a little different. If, like me, you live in NY state, then you may be aware that a law just passed making single use plastic bags illegal. This means we have to bring our own bags when we go to stores. Even if you don’t live in NY or someplace where this law (or a similar one) exists, you may want to consider this craft for your teens. After all, who doesn’t love an adorable tote?

Back in 2017 I attended an adult craft night where we dot painted totes. While participating, I not only had fun but thought it was a great way to go about painting something other than the traditional manner. I also thought it would be something that the teens would enjoy as well and decided to modify just a little to do with them. What’s great about this program is that it’s fairly simply and does allow for creativity within the steps itself.

What you need:

  • Canvas Tote Bags (whichever size you like)
  • Stencils (store bought and/or homemade)
  • Cardstock and a way of cutting them out if you want to make your own stencils
  • Fabric and/or Arylic Paint
  • A cotton swab or paintbrush (using the handle side)

Prior to the program I used my library’s cricut machine to cut out various stencils. I found silhouettes of things I thought the teens would be interested in.

These included:

  • A dog
  • A cat
  • A snowflake (I did this in Winter)
  • A dolphin
  • An elephant
  • The Avengers symbol
  • The Superman symbol

I chose to buy fabric paint in squeeze bottles for the teens to help decrease the mess. When I participated in this program as an adult we used acrylic paint and either or cotton swab or the point of the paintbrush handle to make our dots.

When doing dot painting you can choose to either fill in the shape or make dots around the shape with the shape itself empty.

On the day of the program teens choose their stencil and either traced it on or taped it to there totes. They then selected colors and made small dots to outline the selection.They also chose if they were going to dot the inside or around the shape.

Whenever I do a program I often find the teens taking creativity into their own hands. Therefore some teens decide to use the paint to decorate their totes their own way. Some chose to do a solid border for their shape and then dot the inside. Some dot painted their selected shape and added other decorations.Regardless they were all happy with their tote and that is the most important part.

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