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Out of Town Totes

I've written about our Out of Town bags before, and while I love them I couldn't stop myself from personalizing them somehow. The term "glutton for punishment" comes to mind, no? I wanted to print them somehow but I also didn't want to slap our names on there in huge bold letters and deter people from using them in the future. So I decided that using the same flourish that I incorporated into the invitation suite would make sense - provide a little consistency and still keep it rather plain. I priced a few options for having them professionally printed and most of those defeated the whole purpose of paying .99 cents for each of the bags. I kept thinking about how I could get the flourish into a stencil somehow, and after one attempt with foam board failed miserably I turned to google and found Custom Cut Stencil Co. They were so easy to work with - I emailed them my design, they added the necessary breaks, and one week and $30 later this was at my door:It's a mylar stencil which means that it's pretty durable, but in retrospect I should have made the lines a little thicker (you'll see why in a second). I went to JoAnn fabrics and bought a fabric paint pen for $3 and away I went! Important tip - put some cardboard in the middle of the bag before you start painting. Bleeding is a bad thing...
I should have made the lines on the flourish thicker because the paint pen doesn't quite fit into the stencil. So, basically I have to trace it once with a pen that will fit into the lines and then go over it with the paint pen. Not the biggest deal in the world, but a little added work. Here is how it looks after tracing the stencil with a pen:
And here is part of the process of going over the pen marks with the paint pen:
To get the line on either side of the flourish I just got out a ruler and tried to line things up as best as possible:
And there you have it! I used a warm iron on each of them to set the paint and make sure they weren't overly wrinkly.
All in all I would say that it takes about 10 minutes per bag for the design and just a few more minutes for ironing. There are 40 bags in total, so when you break down the cost of all the bags, the paint pens (it took two), and the stencil it cost around $2 per bag. Here's hoping our guests get some use out of them in the future as well!

9 comments:

Adrienne said...

Oooh I like them! And it sounds like it was fairly painless to make them!

Lara @ Southern Weddings said...

These are SOOO cute! Love them!

Lindsay said...

I love them!! :)

Melissa said...

Such a great idea!

Chung Nguyen said...

ZOMG - you are a glutton for punishment! But these turned out so beautifully, so they're all worth the effort. Plus, no one can buy 'em anywhere.... (; Gotta love handmade goods.

Amanda B. Young said...

Oh my goodness these are just lovely! I would say they are 100% worth all the effort and love you are putting into them. They are truly beautiful!

Lyndsy said...

I seriously love and appreciate all the little touches you have added to your wedding. Your guests are in for quite a treat!

Danielle said...

I love the idea! Where did you find the bags for 99 cents? I have been looking around for a reusable bag and haven't found anything that cheap.

Darci said...

Here is the link to the bags!

http://cheaptotes.com/canvas_tote_bag_8.html