Have you ever thought to yourself, "I could really do with a Bible bag featuring a cheesy Christian pick-up line." so you can gift it to a friend on Valentine's Day? No? Just us? Well this is awkward.
Continuing our series of Biblical Compliment-inspired Valentine's Day DIYs, we present to you the Christian Chat-Up Line Tote Bag. Because who doesn't need a little bit of cheese in their lives?
This DIY tutorial is for anyone who was a teenager when these little gems were making the rounds on Bebo or MySpace or whatever social network was cool back then:
You're totally welcome for the majorly nostalgic throwback, BTW.
Anyway, on with the show while I sit and ponder how my adult working life has come to this mega lolz series of niche blog posts - what a joy!
- A blank cotton tote bag
- Letter stencils to create your phrase of choice*
- Black fabric paint
- Washi tape
- A mix of yarn and cotton thread
- Pompom makers (you can use card, but these make pompoms really quick)
*We went with "Want to highlight Bible verses together?" because the intention is to use it as a Bible bag for notebooks/pens and my giant study Bible, but it would work with more or less any cheesy Christian chat-up line. If you're making these as Galentine's Day gifts, you can make your friends feel really loved by choosing an individually cheesy line for each of them. Much care! So friendship!
Here are some other particular favourites to inspire you:
- My name's Will. God's Will.
- Your hair is like a flock of goats.
- Bathsheba had nothing on you.
- You run through my head like Asahel through an open field.
- Are you a fisher of men? Coz you just reeled me in.
- You clearly sprouted from the good soil.
- Is your name Grace? Coz you're amazing.
Before you start painting your tote bag, you'll need to put a couple of A4 pieces of card inside the bag to act as a barrier. This will stop the fabric paint seeping through to the back and sticking the bag's two sides together. (Because then it would be the most useless bag ever.)
Stencilling your compliment
To create the stencils, you'll need a printer, some card, a craft knife, a ruler, and a craft mat. Simply print out your compliment in your chosen typeface, and then cut out the letters using your craft knife, ruler, and mat to create your stencils.
If you've got a Silhouette machine (or a friend with a Silhouette machine), you can achieve the same result as above, but much more quickly.
You could also down the old-fashioned route and use one of these bad boys.
Attaching it to your bag for painting
If you've decided to go down the card route, you'll need to attach the template to your bag as securely as possible to make sure your paint doesn't seep outside your stencil's boundaries.
If you're using a plastic alphabet stencil, you need to make sure the back of it is clean before you move on to the next letter. You can use lengths of washi tape as guides to keep your lines straight, and just remove it once you've finished your line of text.
Painting your letters
Using a medium-sized paintbrush, apply fabric paint to the bag using dabbing motions so you completely cover the area. If you use a typical brushing motion, you may end up with patchy letters!
Once you've finished painting the bag, take off any stencils and washi tape, remove the cardboard from the middle of the bag, and then leave it to dry. Ideally, pop it on a door or hook using one handle so that the bag hangs open, and allow it to dry for 4 hours.
You can add some fun colour to your bag by creating a bag charm using embroidery thread and yarn -- anything you've got hanging around your craft cupboard will do!
One of my favourite ways to make tassels is using skeins of embroidery thread -- it only takes a couple of minutes and is really easy even if you're new to crafting.
- Take off the paper wraps and carefully separate the threads so you have an O shaped loop of threads. Cut off a short length for the next step -- you can use a contrasting colour if you'd like an extra pop of fun.
- Starting at one side of your O-loop, tie what will be the top of your tassel snugly with a knot. Then you'll need to wrap thread around your tassel a few times before knotting it and hiding the knot inside the tassel. Repeat at the other side of your O-loop.
- Once you're happy that you've secured your tassels, take a pair of scissors and cut your embroidery skein to create your two tassels -- you can choose to make one longer and one shorter, or create two that are equal lengths.
- Boom. Two tassels.
There's no prescription for making a bag charm -- you can mix it up with one pompom and a few tassels, or you could make a few differently-sized pompoms and a single tassel.
For ours, we've created a pompom using a mix of white, yellow, and pink yarn. We plaited a length to create an easy tie for the top of the charm, and then threaded our tassels to it using some yellow yarn. It was a really easy craft -- it took a total of about 7 minutes!
Ways to make it jazzy
You could also add in some wooden beads or some felt pompoms if you wanted to add some different textures, and if you'd like a less "DIY" finish, you could use a metal keyring fitting to attach it to your tote bag. This is a really fun way to add colour to plain bags, so pick 3-5 of your favourite colours and have a little fun with different shapes and materials!
Finish it up
Once your bag is dry, attach your colourful bag charm to one of your tote handles, and your Bible bag is ready!
This DIY is really cheap and easy to make, and there are loads of ways you could make it more advanced -- e.g. if you're a dab hand at brush lettering, you could paint your chat-up line onto the bag freehand.
It's a great tongue-in-cheek gift for your significant other, or to gift to a friend for Palentine's Day -- just a simple way to spread a little bit of joy!
What Biblical compliment or Christian chat-up line would you put on your tote bag?