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Welcome to Week 1 of our three Easter projects. This is our first craft project and I am so excited to be sharing with you the ‘how to’ of these fun bunny totes.

Bunny Tote finish2

So lets get started!

1. Equipment

You will need the folowing things:

  • 1 X felt bag (I have used 2, one each for my munchkins)
  • Screen for printing
  • Screen paint
  • Squeegee
  • Masking tape
  • Contact
  • Cutting mat
  • Pen knife cutter
  • Sticky tape
  • Pencil
  • Paper/newspaper
  • Pins (optional)

Bunny Tote 12. Design + cut

Draw your design on the back of some contact (I use contact when I am doing a one off design, it is easy to use, saves on costs and time of preparing a screen with emulsion, sticks perfectly and comes off easily with water). For this design we will need two bits of contact, one for the circle and one for the bunny. I have drawn my bunny and circle. Stick down each corner of the contact with sticky tape before beginning to cut. With the bunny I use the pen knife to cut. With the circle I use scissors as I need the outline of the circle not the circle and scissors are quicker. The circle size I used has a diameter of 15cm. (Remember when screen printing the ink will pass through the part of the screen not covered. So think about what part of your design you want the color to show on). Cut out your shapes.

Bunny tote 2Bunny Tote 4Bunny Tote 10Bunny Tote 113. Prepare your screen + tote

You can see below I already have a screen that has been prepared with a circle (so I haven’t actually used the contact for the circle), however you would place your contact with the circle cut out on the screen first, then place your bunny in the centre. The contact should be placed on the back of the screen so you can pass the ink through the front. Tape any exposed areas with masking tape so ink doesn’t accidently pass through anywhere else.

Put paper/newspaper in the middle of your tote bag so ink doesn’t pass through all sides. Note: this is very important, otherwise your tote will stick together and ink will be on all sides.

Bunny Tote 54. Position your screen

Position your screen over your tote where you would like it to print. Once you are happy with the positioning you can just place the screen on top of your tote, just make sure you do not move the screen during the printing process or your image will smudge (I use a padded board so I can pin the fabric into place). You can also see below my board has clamps for my screen, this is something my hubby put together for me. You can use small weights on the corners or use one hand to hold the bottom/side of the screen but I do find you often need both hands to print so something to weigh the screen down may be easier.

Bunny Tote 65. Print

Place the colour paint you want to use across the top of the screen, make sure there is a good amount of ink and that it covers the length of the circle. Pull the squeegee down the length of the screen from top to bottom applying pressure. Repeat this two to three times to allow enough ink to pass through the screen. I go top to bottom each time but you can go top to bottom and then bottom to top. Make sure you flood your screen by dragging the squeegee again from top to bottom or bottom to top, this time applying little pressure.

Bunny Tote 76. Dry + clean up

Gentle lift up your screen and voila! Place your bag somwhere safe to dry. Once dry, you may want to iron the tote to set the ink. To do this, place baking paper onto the dry image and iron on top (do not iron directly onto the image). Also, do not leave the iron in one place too long, depending on the heat of your iron, iron for approx 5 minutes (the back of the ink will have recommended heating times).

When cleaning up remove any ink on the screen and squeegee. If you want to save the ink make sure you place it in an airtight container. Clean your screen and squeegee in a large sink or bathtub (ie. laundry sink), using dishwashing liquid (I use a spray like pine o clean) and a soft brush, make sure the ink in the mesh is washed out. Allow to airdry completely before using again.

Bunny Tote 8Bunny Tote 9Bunny Tote finishSo, what do you think? Please leave me a comment if you like. I think they turned out really good (if I do say so myself), the boys already want to use them! If you don’t have a screen, these could also be made with stencils (the design would have to be adapted a little). In next weeks project I will show you how to use stencils. Which leads nicely into next weeks project;

Week 2, Thursday 21 –  Bunny Table Runner

Thanks for joing me today and remember to check back next Thursday for Week 2.

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Credit Image – CC by seekdarelove

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