This post is a bit of a departure from the regular steady diet of paper, but with the spring farmer's market season coming up, I thought I'd share this fun how-to for making some fun printed bags to tote your fresh fruits and veggies.
I chose these bags because they fold out to become flat on the bottom (great when your cashier is loading up bags of groceries) and because they have pockets along the inside walls for bottles (the perfect size for a wine bottle or our favorite Trader Joe's Lime Sparkling Water).
For my designs, I chose a summery palate of colors. These from Target come in a great variety of colors.
Next, you'll need a few small-ish potatoes. I chose these small yukons and chopped each in half or quarters.
The last supply you'll need is a set of carving tools. I used my linoleum carving set (like this one), but really any sharp, precise tool will do the trick. I imagine a paring knife, exacto blade, or small spoon would do just fine, too. Just be careful as you'll be making cuts on a small surface. Always be sure to push the blade away, rather than towards yourself.
Start carving your shapes, make sure to cut away a good bit of the potato around your design. When you dip into the paint, you'll want a clearly-defined area of print, so clean up your surface as best as you're able before testing out your stamps on a flat surface.
Use your first test print to determine if you need to carve away any remaining potato to ensure you get a clean-ish imprint on your final surface. It's not going to be perfect, but that's part of the fun!
I decided to do a trio of fruits for my three market bags: a peach to represent my home state, a strawberry, and a lemon. I love the way all three turned out, and can't wait to take them with me to opening day of the market in the coming weeks!