Blank Canvas Tutorials: Neon Dots

Photography on the final images is by Liz Daly, a San Francisco based photographer

Excited to share with you another blank canvas tutorial, a new weekly tutorial series I started last week all about decorating and personalizing the plain canvas tote we’ve all come to love. Last week I made a fishy pool tote, and this week’s neon polka dot tote couldn’t be easier- and yet I think it might be one of my favorites. I’ve been carrying this one all around town since the day I made it.

Keep reading to see the full tutorial!

Start off with some really bright, neon fabric paint, a pencil with eraser, and plain canvas tote. You can buy plain canvas totes here for under $2 each.

I put a piece of scrap paper in the bag to protect the other side I’m not painting. Then I grabbed some more scrap paper to test out how I much paint I need on the eraser to get a good polka dot. Turns out if I dip it into the paint, and then blot one time on the paper, it’s ready to go to make one polka dot. I repeat with each one.

I tried to make them random. Which was much harder than it seemed! My brain really really wanted to create a pattern and line them up, but I fought against it. I thought it would look more organic if it wasn’t perfect.

That’s it! It’s really a 10 minute project. Let dry and take it out to the park!


I just bought 10 bags from for my son’s 7th Birthday Party this weekend. I’ll let the kids decorate them and then they can use them for their goodie bags.

Thanks for the inspiration!

love the bag! ive been wanting to style up some plain bags : ) also i love the simple wire basket on your bike mind sharing where you got it? did it come with your bike?

It turned out beautiful!!

p.s.: I painted and printed two totes in may. (You can check them out on my blog.:))

What a brilliant idea! I love simple but good looking totes. Thanks for such a beautiful idea. 🙂

Aww. so cute.. Loving the polka dot trend going around at the moment. I can’t wait to try it on some other little projects I’ve got cooking! Where did you buy the neon fabric paint? Can’t seem to find any in good ol’ Australia

so cute! but not as cute as your pants! where are your pants from??!

My kind of project- 10 minutes. I’m getting a bag now to make for my daughters new ballet class. Curious- what size is yours?

Hi! If you follow that link in the post you’ll see a bunch of different bags. I think mine were the 15 x 16 that cost $13.50 each.

Now, this is my kind of craft. Easy and fast, plus it would be great for kids to do as gifts for others.

And Liz, you look fantastic!!!

Not only am I loving neon, but I am loving oversized prints!!

Rebecca, isn't it? I'd love to see if if you end up making something similar! Please share

Ooooh that is fabulous! It definitely adds a bit of spice to a room.

Renee- how funny! i've love to live in Belgium! Heard amazing things about it

That's a lovely idea! xoOh, when I started to read your about me section I first thought you lived in my country because we also have a city names Hoboken. Funny!

At first I had an instinctual aversion to this neon trend. But I love seeing it done right. That whole room rocks!thanks for sharing!xo

Bri, yes I agree. A little odd! But so much possibility here

While the idea is neat, The image itself is an odd chice for what appears to be a little girl's room, no?

Ya, this is pretty awesome.- Sarah

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