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Buy Nothing Day coincides with Black Friday as a means to protest against the massive consumerism that always happens the day after Thanksgiving. Since the shopping done during this time of the year is geared towards buying presents for Christmas (or yourself… don’t lie!), consider ditching the crowds at the mall by celebrating by going D.I.Y instead! How so? Just take a look at all the things you own around your home – there’s bound to be something you can repurpose as a homemade present for a friend or family member. Besides, doesn’t the idea of battling a complete stranger at an overly crowded store to buy a TV, sweater, or whatever sound less appealing when you compare it to sleeping in and having a crafty afternoon while catching up on all those shows you’ve been dying to marathon on Netflix?

Since I’ve somehow accumulated a ton of tote bags this year, and I’m sure you might have some lying around too, I whipped up a super simple quote tote D.I.Y. tutorial for you all to try out!

Materials Needed:

  • Tote Bag
  • Paint
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Round Paint Sponges (optional)
  • Chalk
  • Paper bag or cardboard

Step 1:

Take your tote and decide what quote you’d like to put on it. Since I, along with the rest of the geek community, have Star Wars on the brain, I decided to pick a quote by Han Solo. If you’re not a perfectionist, take your chalk and sketch out your quote and the placement of any designs you’d like to put on it. However, if you insist on making everything even, you can always take out a handy ruler.

At first I had planned on using the small round paint sponges to create a polka-dot pattern, but midway through I changed my mind and decided to make it look hyperspace-ish instead. Improvisation is bound to happen! And BTW – if you want to do polka-dots, but don’t have these little sponges handy, an unused round pencil eraser will do the trick too.

Step 2: Stick a piece of cardboard or paper bag inside the tote to avoid having paint seep through to the other side.

Step 3:

Start painting! Take your paintbrush and go over the chalk outline. Since my tote is a dark color, I outlined with two coats of white paint first and then went over it with blue paint.

Step 4: Go over your tote again for touchups.

Lastly, wait for the paint to dry, and voila! You now have a brand new tote to either use for yourself or to give to someone else.

photo of author by Carmel Hernandez

tutorial photos by Nina Penalosa

Nina Penalosa is a self-proclaimed geek that has a penchant for fancy things. She loves taking inspiration from characters she adores from different walks of pop-culture and blending them into her everyday wardrobe, which she hopes will inspire Wear Your Voice readers to seek fashion inspiration beyond the pages of a magazine. She lived in the Bay Area for a brief period of time as she earned her B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. When she's not working her day job or writing, you can either find her running marathons of the Netflix variety, hanging out with her dog, working on a craft project, window shopping, or being nose deep in a book. Nina also runs her own personal fashion/lifestyle blog called Le Fancy Geek where she writes about all things geeky and fancy (of course). You can also find Nina on: Instagram: @lefancygeek Twitter: @lefancygeek

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