Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DIY Summer Tote

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DIY Summer Tote

Lilly Pulitzer is all about beautiful florals and vibrant colors. My kind of designer! So I was very excited to jump into the next edition of the Style Soiree! - Link Party Summer Series, featuring Lilly Pulitzer. Last month, when Kate Spade was showcased I featured my DIY gold polka dot shirt.

I still don't have the perfect summer tote, so I was inspired by Lilly Pulitzer to create one. I was drawn to Lilly's First Impression print for my tote.

Lilly Pulitzer's First Impression
Today I am linking up at Our Fifth House, Pinterest Told Me To, Rain on a Tin Roof, Southern State of Mind, and Effortless Style to showcase my very simple DIY Lilly Pulitzer inspired summer tote.

This project is what I feel every project should be. It was very much like summer, because it was fun, easy, and allowed me to be free with my approach. I didn't want the lines and colors to be perfect. I wanted to create a free-flowing, watercolor-look like much of Lilly's prints.

For this project, you will need: a canvas tote (I purchased mine at Michaels for $3.99), stencil, stencil brushes, paintbrush, acrylic craft paint, and cardboard to place inside the tote to prevent paint from seeping through (I used leftover packing foam).  

Tools for DIY Summer Tote

After you iron the canvas and free it of any wrinkles, place your cardboard or any flat surface inside the canvas so that paint doesn't seep through.

You can choose to have a design or you can roll with it. As I mentioned above, I was very free with my process. So I placed my first stencil down, and applied the paint with a flat stencil paintbrush. 

Flower Stencil forTote

DIY summer tote

Flower Stencil

I continued to apply stenciled flowers in open spaces on my bag. Once I was happy with the look and amount of flowers, I started to paint color in between the flowers. I wanted to leave some white in areas, so I wasn't very heavy with my paint approach.

DIY decorated tote

Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Tote

You can decide to stop here. However, I added some light pink inside the flowers to give them more texture. I also added leaves by using two shades of green and white paint. Once one side was complete and fully dry, I turned the bag over and repeated the process on the opposite side. 

DIY Summer Tote

DIY summer tote

Hope you enjoy creating your own bag, and I hope you are enjoying the summer months.  


  1. This is too precious! Thanks for sharing with the Lilly Pulitzer Style Soiree!

    1. Thank you Heather! Thank you for putting on such a great Soiree! I had so much fun creating a Lilly inspired piece.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Carrie. I would love to see how it turns out!

  3. I featured your super cute summer tote in a Lilly Pulitzer project round-up! You can see it here:
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof


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