By Shea + Raan Parton
Photos by Anastasia Ross
If we told you we found a way your baby can customize his or her own bag, you might initially think we're bluffing. But stay with us here. In the past, we've shared how you can customize our market bags with homemade calligraphy, but now we're stoked to share a fun way you can personalize your bag with your baby's handprints or footprints!
You'll start with either a market or lunch bag (available here) — whether a completely blank one, or one you've already added your own customized phrase to. Then, follow the below steps to personalize your bag at home. At the end, you won't just have a long-lasting everyday carryall, you'll have a beautiful keepsake that is as personalized as you can get!
1. Get the Right Supplies
- Non-toxic matte fabric paint: We used the brand Tulip, but please be sure to read labels carefully, as not everything from this brand is non-toxic
- Chalk: Use white chalk for tracing your child's hand/foot in order to get a sense of the best placement
- Fabric marker: We recommend Marvy's White Puffy Velvet Fabric Paint Marker — this is used for writing on the bags and is not suitable for skin
- Paintbrush and palette: We used a wood and nylon paintbrush, and a piece of wood for the palette
- Dropcloth: When you combine painting and a child, things can get messy, so we definitely recommend covering the surface you're painting on with a dropcloth, tarp, or old tablecloth
- Piece of cardboard: You can place this inside the bag while you're making the prints to prevent bleeding and give a firmer surface for each print
2. Test Hand/Foot Placement
First, decide where on the bag you want to make the print and how you'd like to position it. We recommend you center your child's hands or feet on the bag and then trace a general outline around them in chalk.
3. Apply the Paint
Place a piece of cardboard inside the bags to prevent bleeding and give a firmer surface for the print. It's easiest to paint one hand or foot at a time, so using the paint brush, apply a thick layer of paint to the first foot/hand and place it on top your traced area. Then wash that hand/foot off quick and do the same with the second.
4. Write the Inscription
Keeping the cardboard in the bag, write the caption with chalk (as a guideline) and then write with the fabric marker over that. It will take a good 3 coats to get the marker as solid as the prints.
5. Clean Up
We recommend allowing at least 4 hours for the marker and paint to dry. Once it's dry, use a damp cloth to wipe away any residual chalk tracing marks.
Not only does this result in a truly one-of-a-kind carryall for your everyday life, it also makes a fantastic personalized gift. Whether you’re surprising a mom with a bag featuring an original drawing from her child, or giving a friend a bag which you’ve decorated with a phrase you both appreciate, this is a thoughtful gift that also helps provide fair wages and job benefits to the moms in Bangladesh who craft each bag.
We’re seriously stoked to see what creative designs people come up with, so we’d love it if you’d tag @apolis on Instagram and share your unique customization!
Customize Your Bag at Home