Printing Shopping Bags

My 4 yo wanted to do “big girl crafts” when we were home alone. So she wrote the text and drew a princess, I cut the motive with a surgeon’s knife (do they gave a specific name in English? ), she picked the colours, and then we printed the cool shopping bags.



I like using coloured but transparent plastic folders that I cut up and cut the motive out on before attaching it to the frame with sticky tape: i find they make it easier to find the right spot when you use many colours than either paper (can’t see through) or clear transparent sheets (hard to see were the cut is). Obviously now we stuck to a simple two colour motive where none of this really mattered but I wanted to illustrate the idea to my daughter as well. So these are the tools we used (+canvas paint):


My 4 yo did well but she had to focus so hard and wait a fair while when I was looking for the equipment and cleaning the tools that at the end she didn’t want to do it anymore. Earlier we printed shopping bags with apple halves, and that was a lot easier and quicker, more suitable to younger children. For even younger ones, as long as one uses the canvas paints, let’s it dry and then irons the paint on, even hand printing should work (even though we’ve only done it on paper)


  1. […] be a fun thing for 3-4 yo children and their mum: Here we’ve used apples and here we printed with a screen. And now I have more tea towels to […]

  2. Simple and nice! For a 4 year old, she is already very good in it. Sometimes, we tend to forget 4 year olds are still really young kiddos πŸ™‚

    1. …and what they can do also depends very much on how tired they are…

  3. That’s a very cool shopping bag – I love it!

  4. Yep, scalpel – the mind is willing (for big girl crafts) but the flesh is bored πŸ˜‰

    1. Lol. I remember quite a few great t-shirt ideas for big girl crafts πŸ˜‰

      1. Might be a few more on the way πŸ˜‰ Can you make leopard print t-shirts!?

        1. Haha, that cutting would take awhile… πŸ˜€

          1. Best get started… πŸ˜‰

  5. See, I would have said that you were using an Xacto knife, which is a surgical knife for crafts! πŸ™‚ And I never would have attempted to do a screen print as a craft! As a youth, I helped the youth leader of our church make some screen print shirts for camp, and I made screen print shirts in art class, but you are brave! That was one craft I never even thought about attempting! I’m so impressed!

    1. Mum has done loads of screen printing, even on curtains, so I kind of grew up with it. But haven’t done any for a looooong time!

      Thanks for teaching me how you call it in English too!

  6. You are so creative, Vilma! What a fun mom you are.

    Are you using a surgical knife/scalpel or an Xacto Knife (typically found in a toolbox)?

    1. We all have are moments πŸ˜‰ but thank you. House my kids have happy memories too when they are grown up!

      We have a few scalpels around (sounds random but mum got a bunch from somebody), so I use those. Those tool knives should be quite as good for this stuff.a

  7. How fun! I don’t think z is quite there to be able to do it besides just painting the bag πŸ™‚ but it would still be beautiful!

    1. I was thinking of trying that one too, to let the younger one paint away and see if I can get the color to stick. But when we had some solo time, my boy wanted to bake instead. Next time.

  8. A surgical knife is called a “scalpel” πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, you can be trusted. And in German? Die Skalpelle ;)?

      1. Almost! Das Skalpell

        1. Cool, jetzt kann ich auch auf Deutsch basteln!

          1. “Basteln” is such a good word, there’s nothing exactly like it in English.

  9. Definitely one to try their patience – good on her for the ambition, though! She’ll be able to stretch herself to it later.

    1. I think so too. And she proudly presented the outcome anyway, so I think the overall impression was positive.

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