Altered Canvas Bag (Photo heavy!)

This weekend I have taken a break from the usual scrapbooking, and chosen to make this canvas bag for my little princess.

I found this plain canvas bag for just £1.75 in my local garden & craft centre. I just wish I had picked up more than one now!

Before I started, I needed to shorten the handles and the bag length itself, but this was simple with a sewing machine!

The decorating was a complex process, with lots of messy play, but here are the brief instructions…(making it sound easy now!)

Firstly I had to decide on some sort of fastening for the top. It needed to be a simple attachment that Izabelle (5 years old) could do up and undo.

I found this Prima Canvas tag in my stash, which went perfectly.

I chose to cut off the pretty embroidered design to use on another project, and stitched the blunt end on the inside of the bag, so it could fold over and secure on the outside of the front…see?!

I then needed something long and thin to go through the eyelet. I found the silver key, and dug out a safety pin to attach to the bag. I used clear thread to hold these in place where the eyelet would sit.

Next it was time to get messy! I spritzed the bag with Peacock coloured Glimmer Mist, from the bottom left and top right corners. I laid a swirly mask down first under where the bulk of the embellishments would be.

When this was dry, I stuck down a paper doily and with black t-shirt paint, I painted through some of the holes to leave a circle pattern on the bag.

I also stamped a few black swirls using Prima Build-a-Swirl Set. These were carefully placed for embellishments later!

Next I laid the foundations for my flower cluster and title to sit on. I spritzed some Prima Lace with Glimmer Mist to match it to my colour scheme, and layered this up with some other ribbons. The May Arts Net was folded as I stitched it on to give it a pleated effect.

So this is what I had so far!
For my title, I really would have liked some of the large Prima letters that I’ve seen used before, but have none. So instead, I took an assortment of rather large chipboard letters in any colours. I then peeled off their plastic covering which left the underneath white and slightly felt-like…perfect!

I painted the edges with a pale blue colour acrylic…

…and stamped a script pattern on top of the letters using a fairly dried out black ink pad for a subtle effect.

To seal and protect the letters I covered with a few layers of mod podge.

Then it was just a case of attaching flowers, crystal swirls, leaves, the title, and that gorgeous chipboard birdcage. I did ink it black to make it stand out. I found a small length of chain hiding in my stash which I used to hang the cage from (or at least look like it! 😉 ) Izabelle wanted the birdcage and butterfly to swing, so the chain is only stitched to the actual bag through the top few hoops.

To balance the black birdcage and title, I inked a Tim Holtz Grungeboard piece and attached it with jewelled brads to the opposite end of the ribbons.

To attach everything and hold them in place I used a mixture of clear thread, Fabric Glue, and a hot glue gun…sometimes two of these things to hold bits securely!

Izabelle is really pleased with her bag, and doesn’t she look gorgeous?! Now all that’s left to do is find a safe place to keep the bag away from her little brothers hands!

12 thoughts on “Altered Canvas Bag (Photo heavy!)

  1. This is absoloutley beautiful. have you thought of making them. Id buy one. I will be sure to share this post with friends. 🙂 I have a scrapbooking pack giveaway on my blog if your interested. 🙂

  2. Lou,
    This bag is truly gorgeous, you can se how much love has gone into making it.
    I dont know if it helps but I noticed that Hobbycraft are selling plain canvas bags at the mo. [Just incase you wnt to make another]
    Take Care Hun – Ju xx

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