A Dash Of Doily

“Doily” is my favorite word – is that weird?  Say it a few times and I think you’ll become a fan, too – doily, doily, doily, doily . . . or maybe it’s just me?

Anyhoo, when I first ran across this project I just knew I had to try it – anything that cute that involves a doily is right up my alley.

A Dash of Doily

A few weeks before Christmas I assembled all the goodies I needed:

~ canvas totes (they range from $3 – $9 at Michaels, depending on how fancy you want to get – I went for the middle-of-the-road $6 ones)

~ fabric paint in the color(s) of your choice (use fabric paint instead of craft paint because it’s washable)

~ spray adhesive

~ doilies in the sizes and shapes of your choice (I found them in the cake decorating aisle at Michaels)

~ foam brush

~ exacto knife

~ self-healing mat or cutting board

~ typing paper & printer

My plan was to make 4 totes, one for each member of our fun family foursome – because of that, I grabbed 4 different colors of fabric paint, 4 totes and an array of doilies so that each chickie could have a slightly different tote.  Once all the goodies were gathered, I got to work!

1.  Wash & iron the totes. Some bags come pre-washed and shrunk, but I didn’t want to run the risk of my fabric paint peeling off because of some random residue on the totes.  The ironing was necessary because those babies get seriously wrinkled!

2.  Pick your poison. This is the part where you play with the doilies and arrange them on the totes in a variety of designs until you find the design that you like the best.  I ultimately used a 10″ doily on mine with an “L” in the center, a 10″ and 8″ doily with an “M” for my aunt, and 16″ rectangle doilies for my mom and sister (all in different arrangements).

3.  Spray and paint. You may be tempted to skip the spray adhesive, but let me warn you . . . don’t.  The detail in the doilies is so fine that the paint will definitely seep under the doily and ruin all your beautiful work if you don’t secure those puppies with a liberal dose of spray adhesive.  And the foam brush can also cause the paint to get a little, well, foamy, so keep an eye on how things are going.

A Dash of Doily

4.  Peel and admire. Isn’t it crazy how a doily can wind up looking so cool?  And don’t fret if a little bit of the doily gets stuck to the tote – just grab a pair of tweezers and go to town.

A Dash of Doily

5.  Be exacting. Now that your doily has been perfectly transferred onto the tote, it’s time to paint on the initial, name, monogram, or whatever you’ve chosen.  I just printed out the names in different fonts on regular typing paper, then followed the lines of the letters with an exacto knife.

A Dash of Doily

Be sure to hold onto any closed letters (like the a, o and e above) so that you can use them as a guide to fill in the gaps.

A Dash of Doily

6.  Behold your awesome creation. These totes are really just too cute, don’t you think?  I gave the totes to my mom, aunt and sister for Christmas and the plan is for us to use them on our future jaunts.  I can’t wait!

A Dash of Doily

In the meantime, my tote is great for holding my library books and for trips to the grocery store.

A Dash of Doily

So what do you think of these totes?  Too cute for words, or maybe you’re allergic to all things doily-related?

This project was inspired by and adapted from here.

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  1. Averill says:

    Not really a doily gal myself but I love how it looks on these bags! I also like how the pattern isn’t too perfect, and the off-centered placement is brilliant!

  2. christy says:

    I don’t use doilys in my own home, but I admit, it’s fun to say the word outloud multiple times! I love your design and I also am so impressed that you’re a public library user. I will be again one day!

  3. I think these are fabulous, and a great way to make personalized gifts! I have a few really nice doilies that my grandma crocheted for me, so I definitely wouldn’t use those as stencils. :)

  4. Jen L. says:

    These are so cute! Great idea.

  5. Wow, that is cool! I don’t have any doilys (doilies?), but you’re right. It is fun to say. Doily doily doily.

  6. Michele says:

    Just came across your blog..love it and I am always excited to see fellow texans. I live in Dallas also…can you believe a white christmas eve!!! Love the doily idea!!

  7. nikkisnacs says:

    I think these are adorable!

  8. Brandi says:

    I love this idea! I might try this one out on a plain t-shirt or a skirt. Thanks for the great idea!

  9. Joan says:

    Fabulous, FABULOUS!!!

  10. lifeologia says:

    This is great. I originally saw this on Ashley Ann’s blog (from the link you have at the beginning.) I bookmarked this that I wanted to make it – I still want to and I already have all the supplies. … What am I waiting for?

  11. Katie says:

    SO perfect for women gifts! Do you spray the adhesive on the tote or on the doliy?