Monday, 9 June 2014

Rainbow Bags

I'm trying to decide what we might do for a party for Maria's birthday in a couple of weeks. We'd really like to have an outdoor party in the garden - we've been thinking of maybe a 'Rainbow Painting Party'. Which sounds lovely, but can we risk the weather? I do not want a Rainbow Painting Party, with possibly a dozen 4/5 year olds, in the house. It's plenty messy enough around here as it is. I'm still dithering, but since it was a lovely sunny day today, Maria and I decided we'd experiment a bit with a possible idea for if I do feel brave enough to go for it. 

I thought it would be good to get everyone to decorate their own party bag - rainbow style. I dug out some white/cream fabric I had kicking around. I've no idea where it came from, it's not cotton and I can't imagine I ever bought it, but it was perfect for this because it was reasonably thick and sturdy and it didn't seem to fray much, so I didn't have to worry about finishing off my seams beautifully. I turned a piece of it into a quick drawstring bag. 

Ironing over an edge for the 'drawstring' and then sewing it down...

Then folding it over, right sides together, and sewing the 2 sides to make the bag. Really quick and easy, perfect if I do end up making 12 of them...

Here it is inside out with the seams showing.
 Then I put some very watered down acrylic paints into pots for Maria, in all the colours of the rainbow, and she set to work.

The paint was very runny to help it to 'spread' and merge together a bit. This also helps to stop your fabric becoming too 'stiff' with the paint. Maria did one side, then we let it dry before turning over and doing the other. My fabric was pretty thick so the paint didn't go all the way through, but if you had thinner fabric - maybe if you cut up an old sheet for instance - you could put a piece of cardboard into the bag to stop the paint bleeding through, or you could just embrace the bleeding through effect.

It was lots of fun, and although Maria just stuck to stripes across, you could do it in so many ways. Maybe zigzags, or circles of colour rippling outwards. We let it dry flat on the ground for a while before hanging it up, so the colours didn't run downwards too much, but that could be another effect to embrace. Here it is on the line...

When it was dry, I ironed it on hot to 'set' the colours. Although I think it would be safe to wash it separately at least the first time! And then I added some garden twine for the drawstring.

Maria is really happy with it, and very excited at the thought of making another one with lots of her friends.

And there are so many other possible 'Rainbow Painting' projects we could do. But I still don't know whether to risk this hugely unpredictable, English weather we're having!

I'm linking up with Sew Can Do's Craftastic Monday today, a huge variety of different projects over there to browse through.



  1. Such a great idea :-) going to have to try it once our sun comes back. Also love that I'm not the only mama who has a naked painting kid!

  2. A fabulous idea, think I might steal this one :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love this! Maybe the kids could
    use fabric crayons on their bags inside if the weather is foul. It would be less of a mess.

  4. I have to mention Maria's gorgeous, pink dress. She looks like a princess. This is an amazing idea. You could make smaller bags so if you end up inside, they don't take up as much room. Crayons and markers might also work well indoors. I hope you go for it and chance the weather. Either way, I know you'll give her an incredible and colourful birthday.


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