Thursday, June 3, 2010

my creative space .... experimenting with tote bags

I have been experimenting with printing onto tote bags. Mainly just for myself, as I use them every day and thought I should use one with my own design on it. In the latest attempt, I chose to do a single artichoke in an ink/navy blue colour.


I'm learning that it's all about bag choice. I love the bag in the photo above - it's hemp/organic cotton, gusseted for space, and has long straps - but it's a bit tricky to print on. I can definitely see why people use flat, cotton calico bags! Anyway, despite a couple of bloopers, I got some good results, but I think I'd like to experiment with some different styles of tote bag. Or, just get better at printing on to irregular surfaces!


I'd probably prefer to make my own, but it is very time consuming. What's your favourite style of tote bag?

For more creative spaces, check out Kirsty's place.

P.S. Tie Update - the little tie I made for Little Mister on Tuesday has become a "slithering snake" toy and not a tie after all ... aaaaah kids!

31 comments:

Catherine said...

The artichokes look perfect on a bag!

I like gussetty bags too, but tend to just use whatever bags I've collected (all giveaways / promotions so covered in far less attractive printing than yours!) - am planning to camouflage their labels with fabric soon!

Vic said...

"OOOoooh!"
"Aaaahhh!"

I likey! One can never have enough cute totes, in my humble opinion. My current fave is one I got from (glorious, glorious) Typo when I was up for S&C (By the way... how did that story on the wall end..?), it has a funky print & LONG HANDLES. Yep, that's what I like in a tote...!

Susan L (lily40au) said...

The artichoke looks great, and I love the colour. Is this going to be your new logo?

My Creative Space

Jill said...

I've just found you through Kirsty's creative spaces. your printed fabric is beautiful (just snooped at your etsy shop). And I love the artichoke tote bag! Like Vic, I'm a fan of long handles on my totes!!

Little Ted Canvas said...

They look fantastic! I have to say I like the long handles to throw over my shoulder, it's easier with littlies in tow...

Liesl said...

Your artichoke print looks fantastic on the bags - what a lovely idea. (I'm a bit of a fan of the gusseted bag too).

Tammy James said...

Gusseted totes sound great Nic, I love that Tie! I popped into shop handmade a few weeks ago and saw your lovely goods on display there too!

Amanda said...

your totes rock!! Love them

midge said...

the totes are ace and i love the snake too, it would probably make a really classy necktie

little grubs said...

These look awesome!! I actually made a bag for myself the other week, large tote with long handles from some op shopped fabric, and that at the moment is my favourite bag! x

Rosalind said...

wow they look great!

Michelle said...

Love the artichoke print. Gusseted bags are great - the more you can stuff in them the better!

Ky said...

Beautiful design, I love it. I did a stencil print workshop the other day and we printed onto the same type of bag using contact stencils using a stippling brush. It was quite tricky with the bag's texture and mine really needed ironing but the result wasn't to bad.

Tracey said...

They look fabulous, just eying off the lemon drizzle cupcakes - oh yum!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Ooooooohhh like like like it. You know I love the artichoke and its sculptural loveliness so of course I love this.

beck said...

Great design, very snazzy! You can never have too many tote bags, I'd love to see a circle design tote too xo

Wendy said...

Lovely, Nic. I adore the tote tutorial at supereggplant...I use it for most of my bags.

Penny said...

Ooh it looks great!!! If you print them with the handles hanging off the edge of the table (so it's not so lumpy) it's a bit easier.

Brenda said...

You could do a whole range of tote bags....all of your designs would fantastic on them!

june at noon said...

I'm still loving those artichokes! I like my tote bags to be a little "worn" if that makes sense, not too stiff or boxy, but with plenty of room. That's probably not help at all. :)

By the way, I think I might have been inspired by your fabric designs when I was working up my latest embroidery. Lots of circles!

Gina said...

I like the sound of the heavier canvas, and your printing looks to be coming up a treat on it. But I also get the calico thing. And I SO get not making your own... seriously, too labour-intensive if you were planning to sell (although printing would be heaps easier, or you could use your lovely YARDAGE!).

Pippi creates said...

Nice effort with the arti-tote. I too have always mean meaning to make myself a set of nice totes as they are soooo useful, but never got around to it.

74 Lime Lane said...

fabulous Nic! Shame they are so time consuming because I am sure they would be top sellers. You can never have enough nice totes!

Caroline said...

You are onto a good thing here, I know a lot of folks addicted to totes! Especially with a great print on them. I like large gussetted ones for lots of shopping and smaller magazine size ones for everyday things. :)

Steph said...

They are brilliant! I'm seeing your business heading down whole other wonderful path. Bravo!!!

Sherrin said...

Love the print! Have you considered putting something into the bag before you print? Even a lightly padded flat board?

Ooty said...

love love love it!!!!!

Cotton Kiwi said...

Fabulous looking totes. The artichoke design is gorgeous.

Kirsty said...

I like a gusset. You want the bags to be roomy. Maybe if you fashioned a little wooden "stage" so that you can print the bags open?

melissa said...

I was going to suggest the same as Kirsty and Sherrin. Something to fill the bag so you are making the top of it flat - would that help?

Bigprint Little said...

Hi Nic, do you print them like printing a t-shirt? You could dummy-up something using an old ironing board to slip inside the bag to get a nice flat surface to then print on. Thea has a great t-shirt printing post on her blog with a good picture of what I mean ...
http://theaandsami.blogspot.com/2009/02/t-shirt-printing-class.html
Or perhaps you mean the hemp is a little trickier to print on then calico because of the more textured nature of the weave. If this is the case just disregard my ramblings!