Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Freezer Paper Bags


I made these fun tote bags for everyone for Christmas time and just loved them. I shared this on my family blog in January, but since everyone needs a great tote bag to take to the beach/pool/zoo/variety of summertime activities, I thought I would share it here as well! I saw a great tutorial on V & Co a few months ago on making wheat pillows with freezer paper and spray paint, and I was hooked. Unfortunately I didn’t really have a place for this design of pillows in the house, so I decided to see if it would work on these tote bags, and it was perfect!!

I printed this wheat stencil from Vanessa’s site, traced it onto some freezer paper and cut out the leaves.


I arranged the leaves on the bag and ironed them down. Luckily, they peeled off easily and could be re-ironed on if I changed my mind about spacing or layout.


I taped off an inch at the top of the bag because I wanted to keep a beige rim, and then spray painted it with two light coats of paint.


When it was dry, I just peeled off the freezer paper and was done!


It turned out so great! The freezer paper bonded really well to the bags so the paint didn’t bleed at all, and the stencil lines looked really sharp.


Once I saw how well this turned out I had to make more! For this brown bag I followed the same steps as for the blue one, and just spray painted the whole bag, including the handles. It turned out great, but took forever to do the entire thing and used most of a can of spray paint. But I still really like it.


I thought that a quicker way to make a bag like the one above would be to just start with a brown bag and spray paint the stencil area white, but this didn’t work. The paint just soaked into the bag and didn’t show up at all. So I used a few leftover scraps of linen from my cheater pillow, taped off little squares, cut out leaf and tree stencils with the freezer paper and spray painted those.


I then went against my no-sew policy and hand stitched them onto the bag. I was reminded why I don’t like to hand sew-it took forever!! But the end result was perfect and I was really happy with it. The spray paint did bleed a little on the linen, but it wasn’t that noticeable and still looked good.


Everyone loved their bags and I got finally got to make one for myself. I used a perfect summer blue, and went for a big flower design instead. It turned out just how I had wanted (a rare thing around here), and I can't wait to take it to the beach!!


Once I made this one I had so many ideas for fun summer bags: cute stripes, circles, letters or any other fun shape that you are willing to cut out of freezer paper! I'm lucky that I only had one blank bag left or I would have made a half a dozen more summer versions.


I'm linking to these fun parties this week, including the CSI Project, so click on the link here and see what everyone else has been working on. See you next Monday!!




Tiffany June 9, 2010 at 6:59 AM  

Love all your bags! My favorite is your big flower summer bag! The color is awesome and I love how the flower is in the corner! Beautiful job! I need to make me one of these!

Loose Sparrow Arts N Crafts June 9, 2010 at 8:23 AM  

I love when you play with an idea and it evolves into just what you want and so much more. These bags will get a lot of attention, they are so cute!

Amber D June 9, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

Love the little patches what a great idea!

Kari June 9, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

These look great! Thanks so much for sharing - I can't wait to make some! :)

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking June 9, 2010 at 10:12 AM  

Looks great!!! I've had freezer paper craft on my list for ages... I NEED to do something this summer with my kiddos.

Ann @ makethebestofthings June 9, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Spray paint! Excellent idea! Your bags came out so stinkin' cute and now I have GOT to try this!

Erin @ Crafts and Sutch June 9, 2010 at 10:48 AM  

That is too cute! I love the colors you used, and my fav is your blue bag with the big flower! :)

Thanks for sharing!

Crafts & Sutch

Julie Kay June 9, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

Erin, these bags are awesome! I can't wait to try it out. I'm thinking gifts for the many kids in my family for next Christmas....primary colors with truck or tractor sillouetes, bright pinks and purples with flowers for little girls. Thanks for sharing!

Carol, The Answer Is Chocolate June 9, 2010 at 12:05 PM  

I love these and have been wanting to play with freezer paper forever so I really no longer have an excuse. I'm starting to think about Christmas presents and these would be perfect.

Larissa@Just Another Day in Paradise June 9, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

Those are great. I was just thinking about doing something like that for a teacher gift, but it would make great Christmas presents too. I love the big flower one.

Morgan//Nuts and Bows June 9, 2010 at 1:11 PM  

Too cute Erin! These are so awesome!


Meet Virginia!
Meet Virginia!!
Meet Virginia!!!

Jessica June 9, 2010 at 1:51 PM  

So cute Erin!

Amy June 9, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

Great idea! I love how you can make your own designs...perfect for everyone! I love the stitching!!

Chelsea June 9, 2010 at 7:31 PM  

Love this idea, I can't wait to try it!!!

The Autocrat: Haley June 9, 2010 at 11:37 PM  

Your bags look fabulous!! I have totally been wanting to try the freezer paper idea! Glad to know yours turned out so well!

Unknown June 10, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

Very Cute! love summer totes

One Cheap B*tch June 10, 2010 at 9:49 AM  

That last tote is to die for! Love it, want it! I definitely have to try this technique. You make it look so easy!


Beverly {Flamingo Toes} June 10, 2010 at 9:28 PM  

I love this! What a good idea. :) I wouldn't have thought of it but now my brain's buzzing . . . thanks for the tutorial!

Cecily June 10, 2010 at 10:21 PM  

Thanks for sharing! These are all awesome and lead into a whole bunch of great ideas...

Katie June 10, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

Gerat job on all the bags. The blue summer one is my fave! So light and fresh and totally looks like you could have bought it in a store.

Maggie Muggins June 11, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

I have a tote I was just trying to figure out how to decorate - I am for sure doing it like your last one with the flower. It's adorable!

Cindy June 11, 2010 at 8:04 AM  

Your totes all look professionally done! What a great gift idea. Hugs, Cindy S

Helena June 11, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

So pretty! I love each one of these.

Thank you for participating the Creative Therapy session at Life in the Pitts!

Leah's Little Bowtique June 11, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

Very cute! Thanks for sharing.

glor June 11, 2010 at 10:57 AM  

Love these bags, especially the summer one, my favorite color(s)! Thanks for tutorial.

Al June 11, 2010 at 3:20 PM  

Fantastic! I have to put this on my to-do list

Laura June 11, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

These are so adorable! What great gift ideas.

Laura @ alomg for the ride

Becca Ross June 13, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

This is a brilliant idea! Thanks for linking up to Home and Family Friday.


Unknown June 13, 2010 at 10:14 PM  

I will have to try this! So Cute! Make sure to link up to Sister Sister Sunday if you can,


Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming June 14, 2010 at 12:09 AM  

These look fabulous! What an adorable gift. I love how quick and easy this project is with beautiful results. Great tutorial! Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase Party. I greatly appreciate it! Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming June 14, 2010 at 1:55 AM  

Hi Erin! I'll be featuring your totes tomorrow. Stop by and grab a featured button if you like! Thanks again for linking up to The Sunday Showcase! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Decor To Adore June 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

This is a truly wonderful transformation. So creative and clever!

Marti @ The Next Fifty Years June 14, 2010 at 1:25 PM  

Those are so neat! I'll have to try it.

Mad in Crafts June 14, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

I have to try one of these freezer paper stencils!!! What kind of fabric are the bags made of?

Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

L Simonson June 14, 2010 at 3:38 PM  


Lori @live,laugh,love,create :)

Rory from Tools Are For Women Too! June 14, 2010 at 6:25 PM  

This freezer paper technique it great! Nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing your talents on Modern Craftswoman Monday! Rory

Robin {keephomesimple} June 15, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

I LOVE these!!! My kids need their own totes for the library this summer and something like this would be perfect! Fantastic job!

My Magic Mom June 15, 2010 at 8:03 PM  

The blue one at the end is my favorite! Cute gift idea. Thanks for sharing!

Steph Jacobson August 17, 2010 at 8:48 AM  


Karie August 17, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

I love this idea. Thank you for sharing. I must try this.

Annieofbluegables August 17, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

You are so very clever!!! I love it!!!

asnipofgoodness August 17, 2010 at 2:12 PM  

I simply adore this idea, and can see a gazillion applications for it. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Simply Created by Cole August 17, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

I love this idea! I have three, huge tote bags just beggin' for some lovin' right now!

Nicole visiting from The CSI Project!

Love your blog!

Dave Flanders August 19, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

Visiting from CSI! I love, love, love this! What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! :)

Stephanie from "Furniture Fun" August 19, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Also visiting from CSI. The bags are so cute!!!! I was wondering something though (and maybe you have already answered it, but there are so many comments I confess I didn't read them all, but...)does the spray paint make the material harder and do you have to worry about it flaking off?

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