Felt Twitter Bags

7/365 Craftiness

I’m back from New York and somehow I didn’t make it to a single craft store.  I know, shame on me!  I stayed busy and had a great time, so I won’t feel too badly about it.

A few days before my trip I realized I wanted to make a little gift for my roomies and a few other friends.  These little Twitter bags are quick, easy to make and didn’t take up much space in my suitcase — all vitally important when you’re pressed for time.  I used the same stencil I’d made for the personalized Twitter tote bags to trace the birds and branches on leftover pieces of felt.  The bags themselves are just a full sheet of felt cut in half, and the little leaves were just to add a spot of color.  I meant for all of the bags to close with Velcro, but halfway through assembly my sticky side Velcro wandered off.  (I suspect it hitched a ride on a friend’s jacket.  Velcro’s sneaky like that.)  The remaining bags ended up with a button closure.  Note to self: add snaps to craft stash.

Nearly everyone who got a bag asked me what it was for – and I had no idea.  I hope they’ll tell me how they end up using their bags!

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My Twitter Luggage

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My Twitter Luggage

I get weird ideas sometimes.  I had an urge to buy an old piece of luggage and paint something on it.  I’ve learned to just go with it and see how it turns out.  I found this bag on Etsy for about $25.  (From Mail Order Vintage‘s shop specifically, if you want to search for some good stuff to alter.)  It looks like it’s never been used, so I’m not sure if I should think of it as new or vintage.

Here’s what it looked like when it arrived.  My daughters thought it was hideous, but I kind of like it’s offbeat salmon color.

Vintage Carry On

I originally wanted to paint a quote on it, “Half the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.”  But I got tired even thinking about cutting out a stencil like that, and the textured vinyl bag was going to give me fits trying to keep paint from oozing underneath a stencil.  Lots of curvy letters could be a nightmare!  I decided to keep things simple and cut a Twitter bird body and main section of branch from a piece of Contact paper.  I pressed it down as best I could against the grain of the vinyl.

Can you see it?

Contact Paper Stencil

This just gave me the starting point, which I filled in with brown fabric paint, chosen because it’s flexible when dry.  The rest was freehanded after I carefully peeled off the Contact paper.  Sealed with a little matte varnish, I hope it will be durable.  In the next few months I’ll be traveling to Tennessee, North Carolina and New York, so we’ll see.

My Carry On

I’m happy to give something old a second chance, and happy to have a one-of-a-kind bag that suits me so well!

Personalized Twitter Tote Bags

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Twitter Bag Gifts

In a variation of my Christmas gift bags, I realized that by layering stencils I could use multiple colors.  (I don’t know why this wasn’t obvious to me from the start, but it wasn’t.)  I was meeting up with a group of good friends I know from Twitter and had such an urge to make them something, but it had to be fairly inexpensive yet worth giving.  For each of these I used one canvas bag, two colors of fabric paint (turquoise and brown) and three pieces of cardstock.

I used three cardstock stencils on each of the bags.  I snagged the Twitter logo and printed it twice on card stock.  (It should be noted that selling someone’s logo without permission is a no-no, but making a small batch of gifts is OK.)  On one copy of the Twitter cardstock use an exacto knife to cut out the main part of the branch.  On the other, cut out the bird.  Careful with those tiny feet and legs!  You could stop there if you like and have a very cute bag, but I also printed out each person’s Twitter name and cut it out, too.  There’s just nothing like knowing a gift was made just for you!

194. Making a Stencil for a Future Craft Project

Warning: it is a huge timesuck to cut out stacks of names.  You’d better love these people if you start a project like this with lots of detailed, individual stencils!  (Thankfully, I do.)

Next, the painting.

211. Aside from Work, This is What I'm Doing

It’s best to paint the bird first, allow him to dry, then layer the branch stencil over the top of his little feet so that he’s properly on the branch.  It’s easier to do a quick outline of the branch before removing the stencil and filling in.  Freehand the smaller branches as they’re  just too tiny to bother with a stencil. I kept the cut out section of bird and used him as a stencil for the eye, but if you’re good with a brush you could freehand that as well.  Then line up your friend’s name stencil and carefully fill it in.  If your fabric paint calls for ironing to set the paint, please do.

And you’re done!  Enjoy the smiles as you pass out your gifts.  :)