When I was in college, one of my favorite classes was printmaking. Once I carved my first linoleum block, I was hooked. And to this day, it’s still one of my favorite printmaking processes because it’s easy and fun. Although mono printing is pretty awesome too. Have you ever tired that?
So, when I was designing a new DIY kit for Darby Smart recently, I thought a linoleum block DIY stamped tote bag would be perfect. Remember the kit I designed last year for DS for modern plaster votives?
I love working with them and I’m excited to announce that I recently signed on to be a reoccurring designer with Darby Smart, which means I’ll be creating a new DIY kit each and every month. So be sure to check in on my Darby Smart page each month to follow along. I’ll be sharing the kits and tutorials here on the blog as well.
Alright, so let’s jump into today’s DIY…
This Darby Smart Kit that I designed. That’s seriously all you need – all the supplies you’ll need come in the kit, including a Baggu tote bag, with an interior pocket and shoulder strap.
Instructions will come in the kit as part of the package, but I thought I would also outline the process here, just in case.
1. Start by creating a design and drawing it onto a rubber block. I actually posted a sneak peek of this step on Instagram a while back and someone asked how I created a perfect circle and straight lines. The answer: I traced a small bowl that was the size of the circle I wanted and used the paper tag from my tote bag as a straight edge to create the lines.
2. Next, carve inside the lines with the carving tool provided in the kit. If you’re not familiar with lino blocks or carving, don’t worry, it’s really easy. Just remember to carve out the area that you don’t want included in the stamp. So, the areas left raised up, at the surface will be what is stamped onto your bag.
*Also, as a quick safety tip, always cut away from your body and keep fingers out of the way of the blade.
3. Once the stamp is carved, I like to cut away the access rubber (optional). Then, it’s time to ink it up. Squeeze out some of your ink onto the flat acrylic plate provided in the kit and use your roller (which is also known as a brayer) to pull that ink down and spread it onto the roller evenly. Then, run the roller over your stamp for a few passes, until the raised areas of the stamp are covered with ink.
4. Next, turn your stamp over and press it onto your tote bag. Repeat this process of inking and stamping until you’ve reached the desired effect / pattern. Then allow the ink to dry completely (24 hours to be safe) before flipping it over and stamping the other side in the same way. Wait for the ink to dry on the second side for another 24 hours (or until it’s dry to the touch) before using. Done!
Below are some photos of the finished totes I created…
In addition to the lined circles, I also created an eye stamped tote and a curved line tote. But there are so many designs you can dream up for these bags.
They’re super durable (made of a heavier weight fabric than a standard tote) and can handle heavy items. So I’ve been keeping two in my car (the red and navy ones) for groceries and things and have been using the black one as a purse.
Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
Check out my Darby Smart kit here, along with the other DIY project kits I’ve created for them in the past.