Sunday, September 30, 2012

Crafty Chica Dia de Los Muertes Tote Bag Tutorial

Since I'm a blogger, I read a ton of blogs. One of the very first blogs I ever found that I truly loved was Diary of a Crafty Chica. I'd actually heard of the writer Kathy Murillo before just around the crafting world. Then I found her blog and realized she was amazingly talented and hilarious to boot. (She also has the cutest hubby and most gorgeous daughter ever!) Kathy is amazing, she writes a blog, she teaches how to create your own blogs, she designs crafts for Michael's, she writes books, and she even has a yearly crafts cruise. She has become both my crafting and blogging guru. So imagine my surprise when recently, Kathy chose ME to use one of her new Michael's craft products to write a tutorial and review for!

Kathy sent me some of her new flocked and embossed iron-on embellishments. As soon as I received it and saw that it was a Dia de los Muertes image, I knew what I wanted to make. I saw a tote bag somewhere on pinterest forever ago that was bright and colorful with a Dia de los Muertes picture in the center. It was something like $50 and I just couldn't bring myself to buy it. I'm so glad I didn't. So here's how I made my own Dia de Los Muertes (I just love saying that.) tote bag and you can too!

Step 1 - Gather supplies. For this project, you'll need either an old or a blank tote (available at Michael's and other crafts stores), fabric paint, masking tape, paintbrushes, and your embellishment. Adorable painting assistant optional.

I put the tape right on top of each other just to keep the lines
Step 2. Apply masking tape to make stripes. I was meticulous about this. I would put the tape down right after each other to ensure that it was always straight. See image to see what I mean.

Step 3. Paint with fabric paint. Most totes are sort of porous so they are going to absorb that paint right up. Make sure you have enough paint before you start. I just barely made it with enough of the yellow paint. Let the paint dry overnight.

Keep the fabric between as iron if you can. Be careful!

Step 4. Apply Crafty Chica embossed iron-on embellishment. The directions say to wash and dry your fabric first. Uhmm... I may have skipped that part. Moving on... I applied the iron-on plastic side up. Then I placed a small linen napkin on top and ironed away. I had a really hard time with the tiny little details not wanting to stick to the fabric (maybe because I didn't wash it first?) so I actually ironed directly on the plastic, applying a lot of pressure. Obviously, if you do this, be VERY VERY CAREFUL. PLASTIC MELTS. True story. Once the iron-on was stuck to the fabric and cool to the touch, I peeled away the plastic and voila.

Step 5. Add stars and other designs you wish to make. I thought mine looked a little lonely with just the stripes and the lady with her dog. (Did you see the dog in her hands? Adorable.) I added the stars with some bright orange fabric paint. I think a lovely turquoise would've been perfect too, but you gotta work with what you have.

Step 6 - Rock your awesome new tote!

What do you think? Does it need more stars? I thought that might be too much if I added more. Should I get some fabric pens and color in the lady? One of the other bloggers did that and it looks awesome, but I kind of like the black. Hmmm....

To do this and many other projects, check out the Crafty Chica supplies at your local Michael's. To see some other projects that bloggers have made with the new products, check out the Crafty Chica Pinterest Board. Pin It


  1. How fun. I will go check out all her crafts now! Thanks for sharing!
    Erinn from

  2. That looks like fun to make. My children love doing crafts. Definitely will check it out. Thanks for sharing!


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