Another episode in the painters tape saga, this time it's reusable shopping bags. The ones that I've had for maybe close to a decade have seen better days and been demoted to carrying less than glamorous stuff like dirty shoes and wet beach towels.
I'm really happy with these reusable bags I ordered off Amazon. They are just as sturdy as my old bags, and a tad bit larger. Black would have been my first color choice of course, but it wasn't available when I ordered. The dark blue is plenty dark enough to contrast with a nice white skull and depending on the lighting sometimes they even look black.
Bounce on over here for the original instructions.
I cut out two templates using them to paint 5 bags each. I probably could have squeezed out another bag or two if I were really careful, but they were starting to lose their stick quite a bit at the end and there was some bleeding under the edges in a few places.
Because of the darkness of the bag I found that using a base color of bright orange for the outer ring helped the metallics pop.
Learning from past projects, I drew hash lines across my templates to make it easier to line things up and remember which pieces go with which template. Every few uses the marks needed to be darkened as they were covered with paint, but it really helped.
The plastic bottom inserts came in handy to keep the paint from bleeding through to the other side of the bag.
Then it came time to see how they would hold up in the wash. I washed the first bag on the delicate cycle of my front loader with the bag turned inside out. To dry I turned it right side out, folded flat and let it air dry. A lot of the paint flaked off in the wash cycle.
For round 2, I ran an iron over the paint on a second bag before washing. The material is non-woven polypropylene, so I used the synthetic setting on the iron. Before ironing I removed the plastic bottom panel from the bag and placed a piece of cardboard underneath the design and a piece of parchment paper over the design. I ran the iron over it for 30 seconds or so. After it cooled I washed it using the same method and the results where much better. Still a little bit of degradation, but not bad. I was going for that distressed look all along, right?
I will have to touch them up with some homemade fabric paint and see for myself how it works.
The bags themselves washed up beautifully, no torn fabric, ripped seams or anything, although I've only washed the two so far.
Oh and I've had quite a few compliments. When's the last time you heard someone express delight over a grocery bag? So get some bags, grab some creepy clipart and have at it. No reason you can't be eco-friendly and spooky at the same time.