Friday, August 3, 2012

Celebrate 2012 London Olympics: DIY Notes and Tote

Finished Notes and Totes Set copy

Still reveling in the Olympic Spirit?

Take it with you everywhere you go with this handy "Notes and Tote" set.  It is so easy to make, you might even want to create several for gifts.  Now you can write about your favorite Olympic memories and share them with your friends and family!


Gather These Supplies:

Acrylic Craft Paint in Red, Blue and Black

Disposable Paper Plate

Three Craft Paint Brushes

Paper Towels and Wet Wipes for Cleanup

Foam Letter and Number Stamps for Text
(I Stamped "London 2012")

Blank Sets of White Note Cards and Envelopes

Small Letter and Number Rubber Stamp Set

Black Ink Pad

Coordinating Ribbon

Cardboard Insert for the Tote
(I used a flat Priority Mail Box)

Permanent Marker and Scissors

Step One:  Stamp Cards and Envelopes

Note Stamp 1

Load up your Flag Stamp with Red and Blue paint in the proper places.  Since we are stamping on paper here, a light coat is sufficient.  Determine the placement you would like it to be on your note card, flip the stamp over and press firmly all across the stamp.

Note Stamp 2

Lift the stamp directly up and off the note card to reveal your printed design.  You may have to peel the paper off the stamp if it is a bit stuck.  Don't worry, the stamped image will still look fine!

Note Stamp 3

Experiment with different positions of the stamp.  It looks nice to let the Flag run off the edges of the card.  Place a paper towel under your note card to absorb the extra paint.

Note Stamp 4

Be sure to add a stamped element to your envelopes, too.  I placed two envelopes side by side on a paper towel, and then stamped the Flag centered over the place they joined up.  This gave two envelopes a little graphic element with only one stamp!

Note Envelope 1

Note Envelope 2

Stamp all of your note cards and envelopes with your Union Jack Flag Stamp and allow them to dry to the touch before adding additional stamps.

Finished Notes 1

Once your note cards have dried, decide what sentiment you would like to add to your note card.  I chose "London 2012".  Using the small rubber stamp letter and number set, stamp your text on each card.

Stamping Text on Notes

Don't forget to add your personal signature to the back of each note card.

Signature on Notes

Cut a length of ribbon long enough to wrap each set and tie a bow.  Aren't these note cards cute?  Pen Pals near or far will love them!

Finished Note Sets

Step Two: Design and Stamp the Tote

Tote-Stamp 1

There are unlimited ways you can arrange your printed stamp on your tote bag.  You are welcome to follow my design or create one that suits you!  If you had multiple people make stamps, like we did in our Handmade Union Jack Flag Stamp Tutorial, you may have several sizes or variations of stamps to work with.  I used two different sizes of Flag Stamp in this design.

I chose a blank tote bag that had two pockets on one side.  I started printing this side of the tote first, with the smaller size of Flag stamp.  Place a piece of cardboard inside your tote for stability, and to prevent excess paint from bleeding through.

Determine the position of your first stamp and load it up with red and blue paint.  Be generous with the paint (like we demonstrated in the Hand Printed Olympic Tee Tutorial), as the canvas will absorb the paint.

Tote-Stamp 2

Flip stamp over onto the canvas, and press very firmly all over the stamp.  Leave it in place just a bit longer than you might normally leave a stamp, just to allow time for the paint to soak in.  Lift the stamp directly up and off of the canvas to reveal your printed image.

Tote-Stamp 3

Continue stamping all across the top border.  Repeat the process for the bottom border on the same side of the tote.

Tote-Stamp 4

Tote-Stamp 5

Gather the foam letter and number stamps.  Using black paint, load up the "2" stamp and print it on the far right of the tote, just above the lower flag border.  Working to the left, spell out "London 2012."

Tote-Stamp Text 1

Tote-Stamp Text 2

Allow this side of the tote to dry to the touch before flipping it over to print the reverse side.  Once it is ready,  use the larger size Flag stamp to print the Union Jack in rows for an all-over pattern.

Load up the stamp with paint as before and position the first stamp in the top center, just below the upper stitch line on the tote.  Then repeat stamping the Flag to the left and right of the first stamp.  This will create the first row of the pattern.  Repeat for four rows.

Tote-Stamp Back 1

Tote-Stamp Back 2

Tote-Stamp Back 3

Allow it to dry completely, and then fill it with all the essentials you need to go out and about!  If you are giving this as a gift, stuff it with white tissue paper and tuck the note cards in one of the pockets.

Finished Notes and Totes Set copy

What a fun way to showcase your Olympic Spirit in style!

Have you seen the other projects in this
Celebrate London Olympics Series?  Be sure to check them out, and let us know what you think- we love comments!

We have one more project in store: a way to preserve and display your Handmade Union Jack Stamps!  If you have been crafting along with us, be sure to save some of the pages from your local newspaper that have Olympic images on them.  We'll show you how you can use them!

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