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We were so fortunate to stay with my husband’s old mission President, from when he served an LDS mission to Greece, when we visited San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. They were so gracious enough to let our family of five stay for the weekend. While there, we were able to enjoy a Greek Salad made from vegetables from her garden. Yum! I was at a little bit of a loss on what to get her as a thank you. Do you guys have a hard time thinking of meaningful hostess gifts?

Well, I finally came up with something and since my kids were grew very fond of “Grandpa” and “Grandma” I thought I would let them join in on the gift making.  I hope they like these stenciled tote bags and use it when they pick more delicious veggies from their garden.


Tote Bags (only 4.79 at Hobby Lobby for 3 but use the 40% off coupon!)
Fabric Medium (if you aren’t using fabric paint)
Foam Paint Brush
Freezer Paper
Exacto knife
Cutting Mat

What To Do:
Write the word you want to use in a text editing program. Make it almost as big as your paper. I wrote it diagonally across the page to get the largest size possible.

Tape freezer paper to your regular printer paper, shiny side down. Using the printer paper makes the printer grab onto the paper or else it would just slip.

The way my printer works, I put the paper freezer paper down that way it would print on the actual freezer paper.

Separate the freezer paper from printer paper.

Using an exacto knife and cutting mat, cut the word out to make the stencil.

Iron the tote bag. Trust me- DO NOT skip this step. Your stencil won’t stick and paint will get under it and make a globby mess.

stenciled tote bag

Now, depending on the style you want, put the stencil on the tote bag and iron on. I used two styles. With the “fruits” and “veggies” bags I used the actual word that I cut out, not the background. For the “goodies” bag I used the background.

Place the rags in the tote so the paint doesn’t bleed through.

Here comes the fun part- paint! I mixed 2 parts acrylic paint and 1 part fabric medium. I absolutely love using fabric medium. It makes any acrylic paint into fabric paint. Fabric paint is expensive and I have a bunch of acrylic paint from past projects so it really is amoney saver.

Remove the stencil and let dry.

painting-tote-bag painting-stenciled-tote

This was such a fun project to do with the kids.  It can get messy but they stayed within the lines and the stencils give a lot of room for error. I am so tempted to keep these because I love that my kids  made them and they are super cute! Do you guys have any go to gifts you give to your hostesses?

putting-veggies-in-tote-bag holding-tote-bag picking-peaches holding-stenciled-tote baby-kisses-picking-peaches stenciled-tote-bag-group-shot


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  1. super cute and thoughtful!

    1. Thank you, Erinn! It’s hard to know what someone will need and like so I hope it works for them.

    2. Thanks, Erin. I hope someday we can meet and be crafty together!

  2. These are really pretty! I’m pinning right now!

    Also, I wanted to stop by to tell you that I linked to your etsy shop on my blog today. I used a screen shot from your shop, and the image links to your shop. If for some reason you don’t like it, I’ll definitely take it down, but I figure publicity is a good thing! 🙂 Love your blog!

    1. Erica, you are so sweet! I read it and I think it’s wonderful. I love your blog- seriously. It is always so thought provoking and inspirational. Thank you xoxo

    2. Hi Erica, I replied before through WP but not Disqus and am worried my last reply never got to you! Thank you so much for including me- I loved your post and shared/pinned!

      1. Thanks, Brenda! I think I did get that! Did I see that you were just spotlighted at 6th Street Design School! I’ve been meaning to pop by to say congrats on that. That’s a fantastic blog – I hope it got you some good traffic!

        1. Good! Just making sure- it wasn’t showing up on the thread. It was awesome! I am still in shock. Thank you so much!

  3. Love it, the bags are so beautiful! Where do you get all your ideas?

    1. Hahah umm from being delirious from lack of sleep! Thanks, Danielly. They are so easy and I’m sure your kids would like them.

    2. Haha I don’t sleep 🙂

  4. These are absolutely awesome! Great idea! 😀
    Mostly Lisa

    1. Lisa- Thank you! The kids really loved painting them.

  5. Brenda they turned out really cute!!! I really like it, and such an inexpensive Great idea!!! and I can see your kids had so much fun!!

    1. Thank you, Dennissa! I just wanted to make something thoughtful- I am glad they were cute, too!

    2. Thank you so much! It is so easy and you can really do anything with these freezer paper stencils.

  6. […] Shannon used one on her KSL segment for dressing down a maxi skirt. I used the same method from a stenciled tote bag post I did recently. I just typed out “hello gorgeous” and used Martha Stewart’s […]

  7. what font did you use for this, brenda? you are so thoughtful and craft!

    1. Thank you, Nicole! I believe the font is Brannboll Fet.