Screenprinted Appliqué Totes, AKA “Let’s try these again”

Spread out with my materials on a bunch of newspapers like a bird waiting to take a turd in its cage, a few years ago I experimented with screenprinting in my apartment kitchen. With a crappy light exposure setup and not as much equipment as I should have had, it just didn’t turn out the way I would have liked, the main issues being some detail getting lost and the ink laying either too thick or too thin, but not Goldilocks “just right”. I wish I had spent more money and research on creating a more proper setup, but there just wasn’t the room in the apartment. When the basement is straightened up (ha), I’d like to get a more professional arrangement going. Ah, pipe dreams and overachieving.

I’ve had the product, specifically these tote bags, stashed away for years, not sure what to do with them but certainly not wanting to abandon them either. I ran across the box-o-goods the other day and, since I have been sewing alot lately, had the idea to add some appliquéd fabric to the designs. It was just the extra spice they needed! The additional material and more involved prints brought the totes from flat to funky, perfect for a small shopping trip, quick beach jaunt, or anywhere you want to carry something in style.

Making appliqué fabric is completely simple; all you need is Heat’n Bold Ultrahold Iron-on Adhesive and a small patch of fabric. Cotton/quilting weight fabric works best, so luckily that’s the kind of fabric that has all the best prints. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than you will need to fit your design just to give a buffer, and iron it onto the adhesive. Tape/pin a printout of your chosen design right-side up on the fabric side of the sandwich – or freehand draw it on if you’re that good – and cut out the design. Peel off the waxy paper backing, and iron the appliqué onto whatever you want that will hold it (flatter material is better; I have a feeling corduroy wouldn’t do so well). Pillowcases, baby onesies, t-shirts, tote bags – go nuts! You can even sew a decorative stitch around the edge of the appliqué if you want to add an extra decorative touch.

The bags are now up in my Etsy shop, click here to browse and order.



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