A bag for the teacher who loves to read!  We used a printmaking technique to make book “spines”.  

This bag would also be perfect for kids to use to go to the library in the summer.  Many public libraries have Summer Reading programs and classes for families to take advantage of.


Supplies Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

  • “Blank” canvas bag (you can purchase this at craft stores)
  • Fabric paint
  • Elastics (we used thick ones)
  • Small rectangle of cardboard,  scrap of wood or box
  • Large piece of cardboard to go inside of your bag
  • Cotton swabs or paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Craft tray
  • Shallow tray
  • Smock
  • Fabric pen
  • Printout of: “A Book Bag for You!” gift tag BookBag


  • Don a smock (especially as you don’t want to get fabric paint on your clothes!)
  • Cut a large piece of cardboard to go into your bag (so the paint won’t seep through to the other side) and insert it.

Cardboard in Bag make-it-your-own.com

  • Wrap your elastics around your wood or cardboard block.  We re-used a mini tool box.

Elastics on Box make-it-your-own.com

  • Pour your fabric paint into a shallow tray & dip your elastic block into the paint and apply it to your bag.
  • OR if you want your “book spines” to be different colours, paint the colours onto your elastics with a brush (we just squeezed it on from the tube and used cotton swabs and found them quite helpful for distributing the paint and removing the paint in between the elastics) before applying them.

Apply Paint on Elastics re: Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

Wipe off Extra Paint Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

Applying Print to Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

Making Prints Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • Do the same with the other side the following day, should you like.
  • In the inside hem of the bag, write your name and the date.
  • Fill the bag with books or tuck in a gift certificate to a book store.

Finished Book Bag make-it-your-own.com

  • Attach the provided gift tag.


  • Thinking of others, exploring printmaking techniques.

Safety Notes

  • Be sure to wear a smock when you use fabric paint.
  • It is always a good idea when using elastics to clarify what the purpose of them is (so as to avoid actions such as shooting them!)
  • Use scissors with supervision and be careful when cutting cardboard as it can be tricky and may require some help!
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