Thursday, April 11, 2013

Chalkboard Vinyl Scribble Tote Bag

Tote with chalkboard vinyl panels

Blackboard paint has been the rage for a while now, applied to walls, featured in frames, painted on globes, and embellishing furniture. It's fun but has to be "cured" before it functions effectively and has varying degrees of quality depending on how it was done.

Chalkboard vinyl turns out to be even more fun. No curing required - use regular old chalk to scribble whatever you want and then wipe off with a damp cloth (or a napkin and a bit of spit). Best of all, you can sew chalkboard vinyl, opening up a realm of possibilities. Here we have the Scribble Tote Bag, assembled from a spacious $4.99 canvas tote from Hobby Lobby that features two outer pockets, combined with a couple of panels of chalkboard vinyl. Google "chalkboard vinyl cloth" to find a source of supply. This is a fabric, not an adhesive backed vinyl. I purchased a half-yard of 47"-wide vinyl for $6.25 at Stone Mountain fabric store in Berkeley, which I've used for three different experiments that will be featured on this blog.

A simple addition to any canvas tote - chalkboard vinyl panels

After measuring the two front pockets of the tote I cut out two vinyl panels and hand-stitched them in place. My original vision for this piece was a shopping/errand bag with the chalkboard containing the grocery and to-do list.

Errand bag with grocery list and to-dos chalked in

Close-up of chalkboard panel showing hand stitching

A recent stint helping to wrangle a toddler and a three-year-old made me think this could also be a handy all-around-tote with a built-in distraction activity for the kids. When they start to fret just hand them pieces of chalk (which of course you keep in one of the outer pockets) and let them scribble away. One sweep of a damp cloth and they've got a clean slate and can keep on going.

Fun scribble tote

Stay tuned - at least two more experiments in chalkboard vinyl will be appearing shortly.

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