Darby Smart DIY 80s Throwback Tote Bag Kit

September 2, 2013Allison Murray
Darby Smart DIY 80s Throwback Tote Bag Kit

This is a sponsored post by Darby Smart. I was given a free kit to review and compensated but all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Darby Smart DIY 80s Throwback Tote Bag Kit

Darby Smart is a kit company that specializes in fun craft projects. If you’ve seen it explode on Pinterest, there’s probably a kit made for it. What I like about Darby Smart is I get to choose the kit I want rather than a subscription where everyone gets the same thing (even if it isn’t something we’re into).

So, I was pretty excited when I got my Darby Smart 80s Throwback Tote Bag kit in the mail. I instantly popped that sucker open and totally Instagrammed the contents. And then I realized just what master packagers the people at Darby Smart are when I couldn’t get the contents back into the box to save my life (how the heck did they do it in the first place?).


So, rather than risk losing something I went full gusto on my tote bag and just got after it. My mission? To create one awesome bag with the supplies held within this cute little box. My supplies included Tulip brand fabric spray paint in metallic, glitzy colors, a Baggu brand tote bag (that is the most amazing quality tote I’ve ever owned, seriously), a sponge dauber and a 12 x 12 Ronda Palazzari Designs cassette tape stencil. The only thing I added to the mix was spray adhesive and tape because I’m a super messy crafter.

Darby Smart DIY 80s Throwback Tote Bag Kit

My layout for the project was pretty simple, I wanted to place the cassettes close together and have them go all of the way around the bag including the sides. I wanted the colors to be somehow related in each column so I would go from one color to another or one end of the spectrum to the other.  I’d ombre from light teal to dark or I’d go from blue to purple to pink. I kept it random and just grabbed whatever paint color came next and worked with it.

My Tulip fabric spray paint came in 7 colors and I worked them the best I could! I added silver to lighten out colors for my ombre and I’d mix purple and blue for a pretty blue violet.


I found it was easiest for me to have a clean look for each tape if I sprayed the back with a little spray adhesive (I used Aileene’s Tacky Spray) allowed it to get tacky and then placed it accordingly. In the very beginning, I measured the heck out of my bag and made little marks with a water soluble marker to be sure that I could actually bring the tapes all around the back. Wouldn’t that have stank if I just went for it and it didn’t work out!


I put tape on either side of the stencil and then got after it. Like I said, messy crafter.


A few of my cassettes came out kind of blurry, but this is a stencil on fabric and, at least in my experience, that is just a part of the charm of working with stencils.


In the end, I love this bag so, so much. It’s not just a tote bag, it’s a heavy duty carryall. It’s really large and the construction of it is so sturdy.


Which is why it will be my new library bag! I tested it out and I got ALL of my and Russell’s library books inside and that was about 12 books – woohoo!


So if you want to make a fun, 80s Throwback Cassette tote all you need to do is order a kit! And while you’re at it, check out all of the kits and fun stuff Darby Smart and iLovetoCreate have to offer!

This is a sponsored post by Darby Smart. I was given a free kit to review and compensated but all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.



Comments (6)

  • Morena

    September 2, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I need that stencil! So awesome!! Off to check out Darby Smart….

    1. Allison

      September 2, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      I know, that stencil is so great – definitely my new favorite!

  • Jennifer Read

    September 2, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I love this bag it would make a great gift.

    1. Allison

      September 2, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      Yes it would! Thanks!

  • scooty

    September 16, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    I loved the idea, but not to find the material necessary to do

    1. Allison

      September 17, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Well, that’s the neat bit – you can buy the kit with everything in one box from Darby Smart (see the link above).

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