Introduction: Incredibly Easy & Fast DIY Screen Printing on Tote-Bags, Step by Step How-To

About: fun crafts and screen printing

This project is so fast and easy, it took less than an hour to finish. I used EZScreenPrint silk screen stencils and Darvy fabric markers to make a unique and beautiful personalized tote-bag.

Step 1: Make Your Stencil

Make your stencil according to EZScreenPrint's instructions with your own design. Screen printing supplies can be purchased at

This tutorial will be using the larger elephant design made on a 8.5"x11" size stencil. EZScreen's come ready to use so no fussing with liquid emulsion, yay!!

Step 2: Supplies

Here is what you need for this project:

1 - completed EZScreen stencil

2 - white tote-bag that has been ironed (no wrinkles)

3 - fabric markers, I used Darvy fabric markers

4 - black Speedball screen printing ink

5 - plastic knife or Popsicle stick

6 - squeegee

7 - thin piece of cardboard

8 - a plastic canvas

Step 3: Cardboard

Start off by inserting the thin piece of cardboard inside the tote-bag. This will prevent any ink or fabric marker from seeping through to the other side

Step 4: Stencil

Place the stencil on top of the tote-bag and position it in the desired spot. Blue painters tape can be used to hold the stencil in place, or use a plastic frame

I am not using either in this tutorial, instead I just firmly held the stencil in place with my other hand

Step 5: Ink

Start loading the ink onto the squeegee using the plastic knife or popsicle stick

Step 6: Screening

From the top, move the squeegee down the stencil, passing over the image a few times to make sure the ink goes through the stencil. Only light pressure should be needed

Step 7: Check the Corners

Lift up each corner of the stencil to see if the ink has passed through. If there are any voids, lay the corner back down and go over that area again with ink.

Step 8: Wash the Screen

Once you have made sure all the ink has passed through, lift the entire stencil off carefully. Place the stencil on a plastic canvas and rinse off with water.

Step 9: Drying

Speedball ink has an air dry time of about 1 hour. To speed up drying time, use a blow dryer for several minutes. Make sure to iron the image once it has fully dried. Ironing will heat set the ink and prevent it from washing off in the washing machine.

Step 10: Coloring

Once the tote-bag has been ironed, start filling in with color using the Darvy fabric markers.

Step 11: Wallah!

The tote-bag is finished. Continue to the next step to see other projects using the same stencil

Step 12: Other Projects

I used the same elephant screen print stencil to make a beautiful wooden plaque. The speedball ink and fabric markers can work on wood! I have Instructables for the wood and box project, be sure to check them out!

Step 13: Screen Print on Tote-bag How-To Video

Here is the video for this project. Enjoy!