Create Your Own Rorschach Inkblot Tote Bag
This DIY project was inspired by the 10 Golden Rules, specifically, Rule #1. Take your camera everywhere you go and Rule #8: You do not have to know beforehand what you captured on film.
DIY blogger, Kate Livesey has been a Lomographer since 2004. This project of hers is inspired by this hobby of hers. She wanted a cool, graphic bag to stash her camera and film, so she decided to make a tote based on super abstract Rorschach inkblot tests. Like some of the most amazing Lomographs, the beauty of inkblot tests is that you can’t always control or predict the results.
- A blank tote bag
- A piece of poster board, or corrugated cardboard, roughly the size of your tote
- A box cutter
- A ruler
- A pen or highlighter
- Double-sided tape or poster tape
- Black fabric paint
- A squeeze bottle with applicator tip
Measure and Mark
Using the ruler, measure halfway across your board, width-wise. Mark the halfway point with your pen. Using the ruler and the pen, draw a line, using your marking as the guide, all the way up and down the length of the board.
Score the Board
Using the box cutter and your ruler, very gently cut along the line. Do this repeatedly, until the board has been cut half-way through, so that you might bend the board in half easily. Be sure not to cut the board all the way through!
Getting the Bag to Lay Flat
Take the double-sided tape and place 4 – 6 strips on the board. I like to do four on top and bottom, horizontally and two in the middle going vertically in opposite directions. Once that’s done, slide the board inside the bag. Take care to make sure the bag is centered. When the board reaches the bottom of the bag, pat the bag down, making sure that it lies flat and smooth on the board.
Take the fabric paint and pour it into the squeeze bottle. I like to add a couple of drops of water so that it pours out fluidly. Slop some paint on the shirt. A few splotches, dots and lines will do. Try not to intentionally make a design.
Fold the bag in half. Holding it firmly at the bottom with one hand, smooth your other hand over the length of the bag once or twice., gently. You want the paint to spread, but you don’t want to overdo it on the pressure, or else it might smudge. A few seconds will do.
Open and Let Dry
Open and let the shirt dry, flat. You don’t want to hang it, as the paint may run and ruin the design. 24 hours is recommended. After it is dry, run a hot iron over it for a few minuets, to make sure it has set. You’re done!
Kate Livesey is a native New Yorker: born, raised and currently living in Manhattan. She first picked up a camera at the age of 13. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she earned a degree in Photography and in Advertising and Communications. Being a bit of a nomad at heart, she traveled around Europe and eventually lived in London where she earned a Masters in Journalism at City University.
Her love of analogue film and an appreciation for everything gorgeous and soul-full inspired her to take up DIY. She now sells her own DIY works, as well as vintage, through her Etsy shop, Kings Cross and at the Dekalb Market in Brooklyn.