DIY Ombré Flower Stencil Tote

DIY Ombré Stencil ToteI’ve been all over wearable DIY projects this month, and now I’m expanding into wearable DIY accessories. I desperately needed a new market tote. We go to the winter farmer’s markets in our area pretty regularly and I always bring a large reusable bag for all of our fruit, veggie and baked goods market bounty. But lately, my tote bags have been going missing. I honestly have no clue where they’ve all gone, but I’m down to one or two cheap tote bags I got as freebies from vendors at trade shows. You know the kind, emblazoned boldly with a thousand logos proclaiming some slogan. As much as I recognize the value of marketing, I wanted something a little prettier and brand neutral for my market tote.

I found a great canvas tote for $4.99 — crazy deal, right? It’s the perfect size, nice heavy canvas, and totally clean and free of logos. Next, I started playing around with some cool geometric patterns and was all ready to pull out a nice navy blue or black. Then I watched the weather report yesterday. Snow. Again. On the first day of spring. After that, I scratched all of the dark colors I’d had in mind and pulled out my spring-iest paint colors. I remembered I had a great stencil hanging out in my bin that would look like a flower blossom, so out that came. Then I played around with five shades of each color palette and created an ombré effect for each.

Spring has sprung, if only on my market tote. Send me warm weather and colorful thoughts, y’all. It’s hard to be a southern girl in New England this time of year…DIY Ombré Stencil Tote


Step 1

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteFirst up, I washed my canvas tote and let it hang to dry. Then it was time to iron out all of the creases and wrinkles. It would appear that I hold an iron with a death grip. Safety first, apparently.

Step 2

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteNext, I cut out a few circles of paper in corresponding colors to play around with placement. I thought about doing rows, but went with a less time-intensive scattered approach.

Step 3

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteThen I mixed up my paints — in this case, I went from a reddish orange to a very light yellow, in five steps.

Step 4

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteAll that was left was to start stenciling. I’m not going to lie — this turned out to be WAY more time intensive than I’d anticipated. I might try to create a stamp next time or try block printing, but I was already elbow deep in stenciling when I realized that this wasn’t going to happen lickity split.

Step 5

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteHere’s a close-up of how I mixed my paints for the pink toned ombré effect. For the darkest color, I added a tiny bit of purple to the red, then just the red, then red with a tiny pink, then just pink, then pink with some white.

Step 6

 Open GalleryDIY Ombré Stencil ToteI added a couple pops of green and the tote was ready to go! I love that the pattern is simple, the colors are bright, and that the whole tote project was a super low investment with a huge return that can be used time and time again.



  • Paintbrush(es)
About Ellen Foord 


A tight budget has never stopped Ellen Foord from creating a beautiful, modern, creative home and treating every day as one of life's smaller celebrations. A freelance writer and ...

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4 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    Nice flowers pattern. It does look intense to realise. Thanks for the tutorial.
    I shared this article on DIY best posts.

  2. This post is genuinely a fastidious one it assists new the web people, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  3. Becky F. says:

    Where did you get the stencil ? I love the pattern .

  4. Hannah B. says:

    That laying out the circles beforehand thing? Genius. Love this project, Ellen!

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