Dye techniques such as tie-dye and batik can produce gorgeous patterns on simple cotton bags that can then be further embellished with embroidery and beads. The product used for this bag is called Easy Batik it has a similar effect to hot wax but is much easier to use. You can draw out any motif on the bag – use giant punches such as this swirl for inspiration.
Pale pink and deep pink cold-water dyes
Two sachets of cold dye fix
220 g (8 oz) household salt
Giant spiral punch and sheet of paper
Dylon Easy Batik
0.5-mm (No. 5) gutta nib and bottle
Stranded embroidery cotton in deep red, fuchsia, orange, and pale orange
Approximately 25 ceramic washer beads
You can begin with a white bag, but for a subtle effect, dye the bag pale pink. When the bag is dry, insert a piece of card inside the bag to separate the layers. Punch or cut out your choice of motif several times and arrange on the bag. Draw around the motifs lightly with a pencil.
You can paint the Easy Batik or transfer to a gutta bottle for greater control. Shake the bottle well before use and make sure the Easy Batik penetrates the fabric. Go along the lines and then fill in.
Leave to dry for several hours then cover with a cloth and iron each area for 2 minutes.
Now make a deep pink dye bath in a large container. Wearing rubber gloves, lower the bag into the dye and move about gently from time to time for up to 30 minutes. Lift the bag out and rinse in cold water until the dye runs clear. Wash in hot water with detergent to remove the Easy Batik.
Use simple embroidery to embellish the motifs. Two strands of cotton and a running stitch along the pencil lines are very effective. You can vary the colours from motif to motif for a more colourful look. To complete the bag, attach beads in between the motifs with a few stitches.