DIY Stencilled Library-Book Bag

Sep 3, 2014

Whether the arrival of September means back to school or just back into a more regular routine for you and your family, these canvas library book bags are sure to come in handy!  Not only are they fun and easy to make, but they make carrying books to and from your weekly library visit easier and prevent the books from being misplaced throughout the week.

To create your own library book bag you will need:

  • plain canvas bag (available at craft and dollar stores)
  • freezer paper (available at dollar and grocery stores)
  • an iron
  • fabric paint (though acrylic will work too)|
  • sponge or foam-tipped brush
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • ‘I ♥ books’ printable PDF (or your own version) 

1.  To get started, cut a piece of freezer paper the same size as the front of your canvas bag.  (If you’ve not worked with freezer paper yet, you’re going to love it!  Basically, its plastic-coated side can be temporarily adhered to fabric with an iron, which is perfect for creating your own custom stencils.)

2. Next, position your ‘I ♥ books’ printable on the bag as desired (we chose centred but slightly tilted) and place the freezer paper cutout on top, plastic side down. Using a pencil, carefully trace the circle and text onto the freezer paper.

3.  Being sure to leave the outside portion intact, cut out the circle, letters and heart. These freezer paper pieces will act as stencils in the upcoming steps.

4. Arrange the freezer paper stencils onto your bag. To make this job easier, we placed our ‘I ♥ books’ printout inside our bag and simply placed the letters right on top—yay for easy perfect spacing!

5. Making sure your steam setting is turned off, gently press your freezer paper stencils onto the canvas bag.

6. Before painting, place a plastic cutting board or foil-wrapped piece of cardboard inside the bag to prevent the paint from leaking through.

7. Then, using a sponge or foam brush and a dabbing motion, apply the fabric paint to the stencilled area until its completely covered.

8.  Give the paint about 5 minutes to begin drying, then carefully peel up the stencils using the blade of your scissors or a knife (waiting too long may make this process more difficult than necessary).

9. Allow the paint to dry completely while you admire how beautifully your letters turned out.

10.  Add a few fun details if you wish. My little one wanted her heart to be covered with purple polka dots, so that’s what we did.

That’s it! Once your bag is completely dry, it’s ready to be used. All that’s left to do is visit the library and fill it with good books. Enjoy!


Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.