Wedding Wednesday (Screen Print Welcome Bags)

It's been a little since I've shared any of our wedding details, I'm getting a little antsy, so today I thought I'd share another DIY, our screen printed welcome bags.

After the invitations, one of the next things your guests see when they arrive to your wedding destination is a welcome bag.  I really wanted the bags our guests received to feel special and unique, but I also wanted them to contain some good things, so I didn't want to spend all the money on the outside of the bag.  I purchased some inexpensive bags and called in the DIY guns.  I couldn't be happier with the way my spin on a classic Michigan tourism ad turned out.

I must have gotten a little overzealous, because I actually have 17 bags that went unused.  Maybe you are having a Michigan wedding and want to take them off my hands.  Click here to buy.

Read the full instructions below.

What you need:
1. Print your graphic the size you want it to be on your bag.

2. Stretch fabric tightly over the embroidery hoop and trim away the edges, leaving about 1/2" extra the entire way around.

3. Trace your graphic.
*Note: because I used two colors on my design I had to repeat the process for the second color of the graphic.

4. You'll want to put wax paper or a protective surface down, because this will stick to your workspace.  Paint all the areas with Mod Podge in the embroidery hoop where you DO NOT want color.

* don't be afraid to be very generous and fill in all the pours.

*be sure to lift off the workspace once you've finished or it will stick and not be very useful.

5. Once the Mod Podge is dry, generously squirt paint on the areas to be colored on the design.

6. Use the scraper to saturate the paint of the design, using moderate pressure and going over several times in each direction.

7. Lift the embroidery hoop straight up.
*Note: when using screen over and over again as I did to make all the guest bags, some paint will get on the opposite side, so be sure to put the screen straight down in the position you want it on the bag and lift it straight up when you are finished applying the paint each time.  Also, I found that the screen starts to get a little messy after applying to about 10 bags, so I rinsed it thoroughly and let it dry before doing the next batch.

As you can see below this process is not perfect.  Sometimes little dots of paint get through the screen or you get a smudge.  I loved the results and the imperfections let my guests know that the bags were handmade with love.

(Top photo by Lizzie Photo, all others by me)