Friday, June 22, 2012

Stenciled Bird Bag {Lovely Gift Inspiration}

Last week was my mother-in-law's birthday. She is such an awesome MIL, and I knew I wanted to make her something special. As you know, I have been working on the birdcage project (still pondering it); so I've had birdcages/birds on the brain. Well, it just so happens that my MIL loves all things birds. She loves to go birding, she loves collecting little bird figurines, and so on. 

I decided to try to find a birdcage stencil and paint it onto a canvas bag. I have never done anything like that before, so I was a little nervous that I wouldn't find what I wanted or that it would be a difficult project. I am happy to say that it was so easy and the project turned out beautifully!!

I didn't actually find a birdcage stencil, but I did find a lovely stencil pack that had two stencils of birds perching on pretty branches. I found everything I needed in the stencil section at Hobby Lobby for right at $10 (I did use a 40% off coupon on the paint). 

So here's what you need:

- Canvas tote bag in the size you want (mine was 13.5" W x 13.5" H x 4" D)
- Decorative stencil (I held the stencil up to the front of the bag to make sure the width fit)
-  Stencil paint (I used a stencil paint cream in the color cottage blue)
- Small paint brush

You really should pre-wash the bag, but I was in a hurry so I skipped that step. I have no idea how the stencil paint will hold up to being washed, but I think I will make myself a bag and try it. I'll report back here when I find out.

Next, I ironed the bag since it was pretty wrinkled. Then I laid out the stencils to see where on the bag I wanted to put them and taped the first stencil down with um...duct tape. Yep, that's all I had. There is such a thing as stencil adhesive spray. It helps your stencil stick to your fabric until you're done and ready to pull it off. I didn't want to spend the money on it though, so I went with duct tape and crossed my fingers. :)

Can I just say that the secret to the success of this project was the stencil paint? Because it was a cream, it was SO easy to work with. It didn't bleed everywhere and get underneath the stencil. I'm not sure I will ever use anything else! And because a little goes a long way, I can probably get 10-15 more projects out of that one little container of paint.

I did have to hold down certain areas with my fingers while I painted (where the duct tape couldn't get); but again, it was so easy with the creamy paint.

When I had filled in the stencil with paint completely, I immediately took the taped stencil off. I was just careful not to smear the paint.

Then I went on to tape down the second stencil. I didn't have to wait for the first stencil to dry because the two didn't overlap.

When I was done with both stencils, I carefully went back over and darkened/shaded one side of the stencils. I just liked the look. Less flatness, more dimension.

And here is the final product!! I LOVED how it turned out. This project took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, having never done it before. I did let it dry overnight, although it seemed pretty fast drying.

My MIL was so impressed! And she loved it. I showed it to my mom first, and she immediately told me I had to make her one too. :) And I think I'll make myself one. And all my friends. And....whoever wants one!

All in all, I give this stenciled bird bag project a 10!! 
$10, 10 minutes, 10 for easiness, 10 for how it turned out!

I really hope you'll try this idea out some time. It really is a great gift idea. Be sure to tell me if you try it out!

Linking up here!
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Thirty Handmade Days
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  1. That is so adorable!!! I want one!!

  2. These are so lovely Chelsea- love it. Think I might try this for bottles gifts or gift bags . Thanks for sharing!!