Tutorial: Negative Space Heart Bag

I love ogling over all the negative space embroidery letters like seen HERE.  It makes such an impact!  But, I don’t have a whole lot of patience for something like that.  I like instant gratification sometimes, so this alternative I came up with satisfies my need for a quick and dramatic project.

I’m imaging this would look super cute with all the common sprinkle colors, but this time I decided to make it a more Valentine-themed bag.  Ya know, since the big heart day is right around the corner 😉

I plan on using it for all little punk’s coloring books and what-nots for the endless baseball games we go to every weekend, but I imagine it would be a great teacher’s gift!

You could negative space any letter, number or shape!  How about making shirts for a little girl’s birthday party with each of the little guest’s initial as their party gift.  Fun!



  • Canvas tote bag
  • Fabric markers [ I used THESE]
  • Freezer paper
  • Scissors
  • Heart template
  • Iron


Start by tracing your heart onto the matte side of the freezer paper.  You can hand draw the heart, or you can do what I did and find a heart silhouette in Google and print it out.  Cut your heart out of the freezer paper.

Center the cut out heart on the bag and using your iron on high heat, press the heart to the bag with the glossy side down.  The heart should adhere to the fabric securely.  Make sure to get all the edges!  Place a magazine, book or piece of cardboard in the tote to prevent color transfer for the next step.
Start with one color and using a random, straight motion, start marking straight lines around the heart. Keep the lines concentrated around the edges and taper them to be more sparse as you get further away from the heart.  

Add in the next color and use the same technique.   If you feel like it needs more of one color or the other, don’t be afraid to go back in and make more lines where needed.  I also outlined the entire heart with the red marker. [not sure if that is necessary though!]

Peel the freezer paper away and voila….

A totally cute heart bag!


How about it?  Are you inspired to make one?  If you are, make sure to share it with all of us in the LWP Flickr Pool :)

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