A week or so ago, I need a kid’s birthday present – fast. It was a somewhat last minute soiree, and I don’t like to show up empty handed. So…the morning of the party, I took a quick look through my fabric/craft stash and texted the little girl’s mom to find out the birthday girl’s favorite color scheme. In an hour, I had this cute, personalized tote ready for gifting!
As you might imagine, the birthday girl’s name starts with “N” and her favorite colors were purple and green. What luck that I had a scrap of this purple and green floral fabric leftover from a project long ago! It’s a fun and simple little tote for dance class or library books or art supplies!
One of the tricks to keeping this project a quick one was using a store-bought canvas tote. I buy these in three-packs from Michaels (I think for around $10). They are a great size and pretty sturdy, and oh-so-perfect for I-need-it-right-now projects like this one!
A monogram and a simple design were my plan of attack in making this plain tote gift-wrothy. I could have painted a design on it, but I didn’t really have the time to let the paint dry – and who wants to open a present with wet paint?!? So fabric appliqué it was! I knew that using my e-cutter (I use a Cricut) would speed my appliqué project along quite a bit. Problem was, I’d never used my Cricut to cut fabric before. You’d think my timeline would have discouraged me from experimenting, but I had seen it done countless times on the web, and I figured I’d give it a shot.
Here’s a quick run down of my success:
- I ironed on some fusible heat-n-bond to the WRONG side of my fabric.
- I then attached my fabric, RIGHT side down (so that the paper backing was facing up) to a VERY sticky mat.
- I then used a slow cutting speed and a deep blade depth to cut out my shapes.
- Last but not least, I didn’t leave my machine’s side while it was cutting so I could grab any paper or solve any issues as they happened!
And with near perfect success, I had a monogram and a bunch of fabric octagons ready for my tote!
After removing the paper backing, I then ironed my shapes to the tote. I used ultra-strong heat-n-bond, so I could have left the bag here; but I decided to go back over and stitch around all the shapes with my sewing machine. This was definitely the most time consuming part. This isn’t the easiest thing to do with a fully constructed tote, but if you go slow (and continually make sure the other side of your bag isn’t getting caught in the machine), then it really is possible. The stitching gives it a more finished look and a more durable result!
Phew! All done just in time to wrap up and carry off to the birthday party!
Often times I get quietly embarrassed by the amount of “stuff” in my craft room. It’s not a hoard necessarily, but I’ve accumulated a good-sized share of craft supplies. But when I am able to pull off gifts like this one (and the Airplane Hooded Towel and the Burp Cloths) using materials out of my stash, it is such a gratifying experience! I love being able to walk into my craft room, pull stuff off the shelves and out of bins and create something personalized, special, and unique for a friend, all without the hassle of leaving the house and shopping with a toddler!
I just finished up decorating my mantel and porch for Fall, which included a really fun and unexpected furniture makeover!!! Next week, I’ll have all the photos for you! Until then, have a great weekend!Posted In 2 - Sewing & Craft, Babies & Kids, North Carolina, Sewing & Crafts