Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Smile Carry Tote

Hi every one, I am getting ready for a trip to Charleston, SC with a group of my friends next month. One of my good sketching buddies is going with me and we plan to take advantage of the scenery down there and do some plein air water coloring. Knowing I will be lugging my camera, purse and art supplies around with me ( and the odd thing I might buy ) I knew I would need to bring my big canvas bag...but it's ugly! So what's a girl to do?
Re-vamp it of course!!
Seriously, doesn't this Smile Carry Tote just look fun and happy now?

Here it is with it's not so interesting advertising on the front which I covered up with gesso. After the gesso dried I covered it with layers of DecoArts Multi-Surface Acrylic paints until I got the background that I wanted using an old hotel key card to scrape the paint on with.

Next, I sketched out my design on a piece of paper and then painted the design on with gesso. I originally intended the bird to be standing on his head, but I guess he got tired and decided to sit on the cow's head instead!

Then the fun stuff, like painting in the image and using tons of stencils to create the doodled borders of the tote. I also added some fun felt and buttons to the eyes of both the cow and the bird. The stamped sentiment is just the perfect touch and it just makes me...well...smile!

I think one of my favorite parts is the whimsical bird with his stenciled feathers.

But my most favorite part of this project is that I up-cycled an old canvas bag and used my art to create a big smile!
What can you create that makes you smile?

waving hi from the hills of North Carolina

stencils used:
Insta-Cute stamp set - ( smile )
Ranger Liquid Pearls


  1. Oh, Oh, Oh, I love this!! I have several tote bags you have just inspired me to play with! They are all paisley pink and white yuckiness.. lol Thank you for giving the step by process!! I love your cow.. he kinda reminds me of of blonde chick I know.. who always makes that smae face when she sees my writing!! lmaoooo Thanks again for the inspiration!!!

  2. Oh this is just TOO cute Sandee! Love the cow with its tongue stuck out and the little bird with the stencils feathers is perfect!!

  3. Sandee I love this! What a great idea for those yucky recyclable bags.

  4. Wow, what a great idea! You did such a great job on your sketch and painting! Love the little bird sitting on the cows head, and the boarder!

  5. That is so stinking cute!!! Thank you for providing the steps.... got my mind wondering.

  6. Love, love, love ....how stinkin' cute is that?

  7. This is just too CUTE! How can someone not smile when looking at it? :)

  8. Fabulous! I love how you made such a whimsical design and used such great colors.

  9. Such a great idea! I have so many ugly canvas totes I get for free on my many thrifting adventures. Always wanted to put my own designs on them...you've inspired my to get them back out! Great tutorial, Sandee! Thanks

  10. I am honestly humbled by this awesomeness! I absolutely love it! It's perfect! I Have a bunch of those promo bags laying around too! I'm inspired!

  11. I LOVE it and what a great idea. I have a lot of UGLY totes. LOL Beautiful job :)

  12. For me, creating things is all about making stuff that makes me smile!! :)

  13. Fabulous upcycling!! I love your images!!


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