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Painted and Beaded Tote Bag

Janet Taylor Pickett shares her design for a painted and beaded tote bag.

Thanks to Janet Taylor Pickett, Montclair, N.J.

Materials and Tools:

hand art *
black cotton tote bag
beads and charms for embellishments
beading needle
colored felt
fabric-binding tape in a contrasting color
soft semi-gloss acrylic gel medium
paint brush

* Completed small painted hand (you can trace your own or create a template). Paint a few coats or acrylic soft semi-gloss gel medium on the paper hand. Be sure and use a sturdy watercolor paper, at least 90 lb., or any good all-purpose art-quality paper.


1. Place completed painted and sealed hand on to felt piece. Just judge it by eye it until you get a pleasing placement and stitch by machine onto the felt.

2. Stitch binding around the edges of the felt. Use any interesting stitch that's on your sewing machine.

3. Chose beads and charms, and stitch them around the felt edge--one or all sides.
4. Stitch with a decorative stitch around the top of the small tote bag to add visual interest. The contrast of the gold thread against the black bag adds another visual element to the small bag.

5. Carefully stitch the completed hand and felt design on to the tote bag. You may do so by machine or by hand. Janet does the top and bottom of the design on a machine and then does the sides by hand.

6. If you want, add more beads and charms on the black bag itself.

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