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MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

  • 1 yard fabric (we used unbleached muslin)
  • 1 yard ribbon or twill tape
  • Vegetables (try corn, bell peppers, celery, and carrots, and anything else that strikes your fancy)
  • Knife
  • Fabric or screen-printing ink
  • Brayers and inking plates (you can also apply the paint with a brush or by directly pressing the veggie into the paint)
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or hand-sewing supplies

STEP ONE

Cut your veggies to create different shapes to print with. Some variations we found most interesting were: using corn as a rolling pattern, cutting off the end of the corn and using it to make a petaled dot shape, cutting celery stalks and using the base to make a rose-shaped pattern, and slicing bell peppers in half to create amoeba-like circles.

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STEP TWO

Mix up your colors. Use old yogurt containers or whatever you have on hand to create your desired palette.

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STEP THREE

Apply paint to your veggie with an inking plate and brayer, brushes, or by dipping. (Tip: Try experimenting with different colors on the same stamp for a variegated look.)

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STEP FOUR

Get printing! (Tip: Keep fabric scraps on hand to experiment with different pattern, color, and stamp combinations.)

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STEP FIVE

When finished, allow the paint to completely dry.

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STEP SIX

Heat-set your fabric by ironing it at a high setting for at least a minute on each side. We flipped our fabric print-side down, just to make sure no paint got on the iron.

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STEP SEVEN

Take a deep breath, now you’re ready to sew!

CONTINUE READING >

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STEP EIGHT

Hem the edges of your fabric by folding them in twice, an inch each time, and then ironing the fold down. Pin in place, then run your sewing machine along the pinned edges in a straight line.

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STEP NINE

Fold your bag inside out and iron the bottom fold. Pin a line down the sides, an inch on each side.

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STEP TEN

Now you can make the seams by sewing a zigzag stitch down your line of pins. (Remember to pull out the pins as you sew, so you don’t break your machine’s needle!) To make our bags seem a bit rounder than square, we stitched another zigzag stitch across the corners of the inside, about 3 inches from each seam to create a triangle.

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STEP ELEVEN

Now it’s time for the straps! We figured out a length of 30 inches by placing our ribbon over our shoulder and cutting a bit extra. Thenm we sewed them on with a little box with a slash through it for extra strength.

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STEP TWELVE

Now it’s time for the grand unveiling! Turn your bag inside out and voila!

+ Textile Arts Center