Believe it or not, I made this bag with a sweet potato and some fabric paint.
I was inspired by a fabric I found on Spoonflower called Beyond the Sea Ikat by threeyellowplums. In fact, the whole Beyond the Sea collection is swoon worthy.
I used a canvas bag from our local art's store for $5. Inspired by my ikat print, I knew I had to create a grid, to make sure the stamps lined up correctly. Top right - I used a 2 inch wide ruler and made grid lines (every 2 inches) with fabric chalk along the diagonal of the bag from corner to corner. Then, repeated the lines in the the other direction. Bottom left - these grid lines created intersecting points. Bottom right - I sketched out an image for my stamp and made paper templates from construction paper to test it out.
Please note - I used white fabric chalk to create my grid lines. I think I would recommend disappearing fabric ink. Firstly, it would have illustrated my lines more clearly for demonstration purposes but also the paint stamped on top could possibly paint in your chalk lines.
Each paper image was placed on the intersection of grid lines. As I added the paper templates, I could see that my pattern was going to work and create a pattern of light and dark.
I gave the sweet potato a flat, smooth cut through the centre and used my paper template to trace a shape for carving - kindergarten-style. I could have used something else to stamp but I wanted the colour to look washed out and imperfect. What I loved about my inspiration fabric was the handmade quality of it.
1 - I made the first stamp on an intersection of grid lines. I also placed a barrier inside the bag, between the two layers, so the paint couldn't bleed to the other side.
2 - As I continued to stamp I could see the pattern and colour was working.
3 - I took my little potato stamp and rubbed it along a paper plate of paint, making sure there was never too much paint that could create a blob.
4 - I put newspaper under the edges when I needed just a partial part of the stamp over the grid line.
It seemed kind of plain on it's own, so I made some tassels with twine that I braided and tied onto the handle.
Here's my bag, ready for the beach, the library or my knitting.
Now bring on the sun!