Tag Archives: feline-themed merchandise

Colorful Handprinted Kitty Gift Bags and Totes for Spring

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

When I printed gift bags last year, most were experiments with different styles of bags and especially inks/paints and other media to print the image onto the bag. Some worked, some really did not, but some fell in between. I held them back because they didn’t meet my specifications for printing, but I’ve learned to show others the items I’ve made that weren’t what I envisioned. I’ve found that often others see something entirely different in what I see are flaws, and that’s what happened with these bags.

kitty printed gift bag

Lime and Blue Medium Gift Bag, Kelly's Morning Bath

You may recognize the “Tabbies” designs from my Valentine cards, and  I also print “Kelly’s Morning Bath” block prints in whimsical colors and in various combinations. Using colored bags opened up the possibilities, printing tone on tone with a darker pink on a lighter pink, a darker blue on a lighter blue and a rich purple on violet, or contrast or complementary colors.

Like many of my hand-printed items, these were a one-of-a-kind project using styles of bags I had found in wholesale and retail shops. They inspired the ink colors which I mixed on the spot from acrylic paints and printed in an effort to get away from oil-based ink, which smells like tar, in printing in surfaces like this.

Houndstooth trim with turquoise

Houndstooth trim with turquoise, Kelly's Morning Bath.

Unfortunately, the gloss surface resisted the ink, causing puddling in some areas and striations in the coverage where it’s supposed to be solid. That’s what I thought was a failure, but I still liked the overall look of the bag.

But others, not concerned with the printing, liked the overall look.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.

kitty printed gift bag

Shades of Violet, Large Gift Bag

That’s fine when printing on plain old flat paper, but when it comes to other surfaces, as I am fond of printing on, I always meet up with some challenges.

All these bags and more are available in various colors. You can find all of these bags in my Etsy shop under “Gift Bags”.

Tote Bags

I’ve been experimenting with various iron-ons to see how best to use favorite photographs and artwork featuring the Fantastic Four black cats and portraits of both cats and dogs on canvas bags.

The Natural Canvas Totes

For years I’ve been using several natural canvas bags with artwork printed on them, just picturing my own in its place, especially “After Dinner Nap” and “Peaches and Peonies”. I have two left of my last printing, including “After Dinner Nap”, below.

canvas tote bag with art

Canvas tote bag, "After Dinner Nap"

I decided to add some embellishments to these canvas bags, beginning with dimensional fabric paint and adding borders around the artwork, writing in the title below the piece and my signature, and adding a pattern to the edge of the bag opening. In the future I plan to add buttons and decorative trim, but only after I’ve tried them out to make sure they are washable, don’t catch on your clothing, or easily fall off!

canvas tote bag sophie keeps an eye on things

Canvas tote bag, "Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things"

Once I find a reliable source of canvas tote bags in a size and style I like, I’ll be printing more, including the black bags with black cats, but for now I still welcome spring with these two patterns. Soon enough I’ll include flowers as well!

You can find these printed canvas bags in my Etsy shop.

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Colorful Kitty Gift Bags

Turquoise and Black, Medium Gift Bags, "Kelly's Morning Bath"

Turquoise and Black, Medium Gift Bags, "Kelly's Morning Bath"

When I printed gift bags last year, most were experiments with different styles of bags and especially inks/paints and other media to print the image onto the bag. Some worked, some really did not, but some fell in between. I held them back because they didn’t meet my specifications for printing, but I’ve learned to show others the items I’ve made that weren’t what I envisioned. I’ve found that often others see something entirely different in what I see are flaws, and that’s what happened with these bags.

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

Summery Colors Medium Gift Bags, Tabbies

I typically print my “Tabbies” and “Kelly’s Morning Bath” block prints in black or earth-tones, “kitty-tones” as I call them, but I’d long wanted to see them in whimsical colors and in various combinations. Using colored bags opened up the possibilities, printing tone on tone with a darker pink on a lighter pink, a darker blue on a lighter blue and a rich purple on violet, or contrast or complementary colors.

kitty printed gift bag

Lime and Blue Medium Gift Bag, Kelly's Morning Bath

Like many of my hand-printed items, these were a one-of-a-kind project using styles of bags I had found in wholesale and retail shops. They inspired the ink colors which I mixed on the spot from acrylic paints and printed in an effort to get away from oil-based ink, which smells like tar, in printing in surfaces like this.

Unfortunately, the gloss surface resisted the ink, causing puddling in some areas and striations in the coverage where it’s supposed to be solid. That’s what I thought was a failure, but I still liked the overall look of the bag.

kitty gift bag

Blue on Blue with Stripes, Medium Gift Bag, Kelly's Morning Bath

But others, not concerned with the printing, liked the overall look.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.

That’s fine when printing on plain old flat paper, but when it comes to other surfaces, as I am fond of printing on, I always meet up with some challenges.

kitty printed gift bag

Shades of Violet, Large Gift Bag

But these bags are available. The six pictured above are uniques and I don’t think I could even find these any more! But I have six more in the style pictured at left, just a simple bag style in a solid color or white, printed with a “tone one tone” such as pink with red or blue with nave, or a color contrast, such as purple with black or white with purple.

You can find all of these bags in my Etsy shop under “Gift Bags”.


Colorful Little Tabbies Gift Bags

three lilac gift bags

Set of three violet and purple Tabbies gift bags.

I just have a few left of last year’s printing of small pastel gift bags!

close up of lilac bag

Violet with purple, "Sunshine and Flowers"

I typically print my “Tabbies” in earth-tones or “kitty-tones” as I call them, but I’d long wanted to see them in whimsical colors and in various combinations. This was the pastel set, printing tone on tone with a darker pink on a lighter pink, a darker blue on a lighter blue and a rich purple on violet.

small blue gift bags

Cobalt on turqoise set.

The bag is 5.25″ x 7.75″ x 3″. The design is printed on both faces of the bag.

Like many of my hand-printed items, these were a one-of-a-kind project using a style of bags I had found in these three colors and decided to experiment. They inspired the ink colors which I mixed on the spot from acrylic paints, printed with, and tossed the small remainder. There will never be more bags like these!

Get a set to keep on hand for yourself, or give them as a spring gift to a friend who loves kitties.

red on pink bag

Red on pink, "Let Me Clean You Up"

Only one pink/red bag is left and a few turquoise/cobalt and violet/purple left. They are reduced in price from $3.00 per bag to $2.00, and $7.50 per set to $5.50 per set.

In addition, I’ve reduced shipping to $1.00 per bag and $3.00 per set of three since I can ship these first class in an oversized envelope instead of Priority Mail.

The stripes made me do it! The designs are in a four-part series of tabby cat block prints I call “Tabbies”. The clarity of tabby cat stripes as they outline a cat’s features and define its shape was the inspiration for the four designs in this series.

Two of the designs in this series of four were inspired by my cats: “Fawnball” is how Fawn always kept an eye on me, and “Wrinkled Pajamas” is how Stanley looked when he slept, like a pile of laundry. The other two designs, “Let Me Clean You Up” and “Sunshine and Flowers” are from friends’ photos.

Block printing is a technique wherein the artist carves the surface of a piece of linoleum, leaving raised areas which will become the image. Ink is rolled onto these raised areas, then a piece of paper is pressed against the block and when it’s lifted away the ink remains, leaving the image on the paper.

You can find all of these bags in my Etsy shop under “Gift Bags”.


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