DIY Mardi Gras Bead Bag
with EasyWeed® Electric and Metal HTV

In the words of MKTO, “In a world gone plastic, baby, you’re so classic”- Polypropylene is the best of both! This classic plastic comes in many forms. From kitchen utensils to car batteries, it’s as versatile as it is cost-effective. Which makes it a common choice for athletic apparel, outdoor rugs, and bags. You may have come across polypropylene in your decorating days, and while experience is valuable, so is your stock! Don’t waste away your stack of blanks with scorch marks- turn to the Siser® Blog for temperature, time, and tricks for getting enough pressure on this heat sensitive material.

To make a Mardi Gras bag just like mine, you’re going to need…

DIY Mardi Gras Bead Bag Supplies

Step 1: Create and Cut Design

For polypropylene projects, I suggest keeping your design well within your blank space. For example, my tote bag has a 12″ x 11.5″ of available space before the side seams and straps begin, but I’m keeping my design about 3″-4″ within those dimensions in order to get even pressure despite the bulky straps and side seams.

The FREE Mardi Gras unicorn cut file in Silhouette Studio

To cut EasyWeed Electric and Metal heat transfer vinyl, place them on your cutter with the carrier side down. If you’re not sure what a carrier is, you can brush up on your Siser vocabulary in this blog post. Make sure to mirror all elements of your designs and then you’re ready to cut each color. Recommended cut settings for popular cutters are listed on every product page of our website as well as the Siser App. Just keep in mind you may have to make adjustments based on the age of your blade!

Place heat transfer vinyl with the carrier side down on the cutting mat

If you hold EasyWeed® Electric White Opal at the right angle you can the see the iridescent pink and green shine through.

Step 2: Weed Heat Transfer Vinyl

After cutting, get rid of the excess material by trimming and weeding until each element of the design is separated. Keep objects together when you can (like the ears and eyelashes) to give you a guide for alignment and cut back on the amount of presses necessary. However, if you want to make the most of your HTV, the ears and eyelashes could be cut without regards to placement in the design and cut closer together on the HTV sheet to save wasted space. You will just have to piece the puzzle back together on the polypropylene!

Weeding EasyWeed® Electric and Metal heat transfer vinylSeparate weeded transfers with scissors








Step 3: Heat Press Polypropylene

One unique feature of polypropylene that makes it such a versatile plastic is that when it gets heated, instead of burning the polypropylene melts. This makes it easily molded into many different products,  which is great…unless you’re trying to decorate it with heat transfer vinyl. We’re not looking to mold the material into a new shape, we just want to make it more stylish, so a low temperature setting is key. Set your heat press to 260-270°F. Next, isolate just the area that needs to be heat applied by either threading your tote bag onto a small enough lower platen that all the handles and seams hang off the edge or by placing a heat printing pad inside the bag. I’m going for the latter since my heat press isn’t small enough for threading. If you don’t have a silicone printing pad. You could also stack mouse pads or use a heat transfer pillow. Please note though that a pillow is sometimes not firm enough for this melty-moldy material and may result in some HTV that didn’t get fully applied.

Put a heat pressing pad inside the polypropylene tote bag

Once your polypropylene tote bag is on the heat press, center your first color: EasyWeed Electric White Opal. Place a heat transfer cover sheet on top to protect the polypropylene from direct contact with the hot upper platen. Then lower and lock the handle of the press for 1-5 seconds. We want to use the lowest and shortest amount of heat possible to avoid melting the polypropylene, but just enough that the plastic carrier can be peeled away without any HTV sticking to it. EasyWeed Electric’s carrier can be peeled hot or cold, but Metal’s carrier can only be peeled cold.

Peeling EasyWeed® Electric's carrier hot

EasyWeed® Electric is a hot peel.

Peeling Metal HTV's carrier cold

Metal heat transfer vinyl is a cold peel.









Continue the pressing process for each element of the design until all the pieces have been applied. Remember to cut your carriers close if you’re trying to press more than one color at a time. Any HTV that overlaps a carrier will adhere to the plastic instead of the polypropylene!

Step 4: Bag Some Beads

DIY Mardi Gras Bead Bag with mardi gras unicorn

Mardi Gras, Carnival, Fat Tuesday- whatever you call it, you’re ready for it with your newly personalized polypropylene tote bag! So grab some beads, masks, and King Cake because it’s a day to celebrate and enjoy “the greatest free show on earth!”

Along with the FREE Unicorn Cut File, the image below is also free to pin to your Pinterest boards!

Learn how to avoid scorch marks on polypropylene and heat press your own bead bag with the FREE Mardi Gras unicorn cut file from the Siser Blog!