Tuesday, June 8, 2010

feeling crafty

We start our summer reading program tomorrow at our local public library.

I decided to make some library totes for the boys to help them keep up with the books they plan to check out.

They turned out great and were VERY inexpensive.

Materials I used for this project:
canvas tote bags that I already had

1/3 yard of fabric {I spent 11.63 to make 3 bags}
The fabric wasn't on sale which was slightly upsetting.

The older boys got help choose their fabric {thus, the skulls}.

This project takes less than a 12" x 12" square for each of 3 fabrics per bag,
that you could EASILY use left over remnants from other projects!

woven wonder {I spent 1.99 for one yard to make all 3 bags}

sewing machine, thread & scissors - which I already had
printed letter templates from my computer
and a few measuring tools - one of the kids book & a mixing bowl from the kitchen

I must say - I way over spent on this project...
that's right...less than $14 for 3 bags and I over spent!
I have enough materials to make AT LEAST 3 more bags.

By may calculation...each tote would cost less than $4...easy!

How awesome is that?

I have the materials to create an adorable tote for the next birthday that comes up.
I can fill the personalized tote with some markers and an art tablet or
a few books and a little flashlight {depending on the kid}
and I'll have an inexpensive and meaningful gift!  {wink, wink}

As for timing...
I made all 3 bags for my boys in less than 2 hours.
I spent about 45 minutes working on them yesterday during naptime and
finished up the sewing part in about 45 minutes during naptime today.

That's right - less than 2 hours to make 3 bags!

10 easy steps for this project:
1.  First I ironed on the "wonder under" to the fabric I was going to use for the bottom square.  Then I did the same for the fabric I was going to use for the middle layer, the circle and then the top layer, the letter.

2.   For the bottom layer, I used on of the kids' square books {roughly 10" x 10"} and traced the outline of the square onto the fabric {wonder under side}.  

Then, on the fabric I was going to use for the middle layer, I used a round mixing bowl and traced the outline of a circle {tracing on the wonder under side}. 

3.  I used my computer {microsoft word} to create a cute letter for each of my boys initials.
I printed them and cut them out.

4.  Then, flipping the letters over, I traced them on the solid orange fabric for the top layer.  
Again, I traced on the 'wonder under' side.

5.  Next I cut out all of my shapes & letters.

6.  Then, I peeled off the 'wonder under' from the backs of the circles and letters
leaving the 'wonder under' on the back of the square. 
{I peeled it off LATER}

Seriously, this was the most difficult part of the whole project - peeling of the 'wonder under'. 
I couldn't get the edge of the 'wonder under' to come up.  
It was hard to grab onto.  
I know...I'm a wimp!

7.  Next, I ironed on the circle to the square 
& then the letter onto the circle.
{following the iron/heat instructions that came with the 'wonder under'}  
No sewing so far - just a little tracing, cutting & ironing!
Simple, right?

8. NOW I peeled off the 'wonder under' from the square!

8.  Time to sew - which took less than 5 minutes per bag.
I sewed the outline of the letter with a straight stitch, just inside the outside edge.  
{This was the second trickiest for me...I don't sew well on curves.}

9.  Then I sewed a zig-zag stitch just inside the outside edge of the circle.

**NOTE - with the stitches being just inside the edges of the cotton fabric...
I suspect, with some wear & tear, there will be some fraying.
{'wonder under' will keep that to a minimum}

A few frayed edges is okay with me.  
It's a kid's bag and I am totally into shabby chic, anyway!

Ummm, this is what the little guys were doing while I worked on this project! 
{wink, wink}
Isn't he cute?

So close to being done...

9.  I ironed on the square {other layers already sewn onto the square} to the tote bag.

10.  Lastly, I sewed a straight stitch just inside the outside edge of the square.  

I really thought this was going to be the hardest part - working with the bag that had the sides sewn together, but it wasn't hard at all.

Viola!  It's done.

All of the bags turned out so cute!

I just love them.

We are all set to head to the library tomorrow to fill the new {inexpensive} tote bags with books!

Head on over to Tatertots and Jello to find lots of amazing crafts!

Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap up  party!


Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Look at you being all crafty!! The tote bags are ADORABLE......

I am so very anxious to meet you Kim!! Your family is beautiful....I have enjoyed looking through all of your pictures!!

We will be talking very soon~


Kim Rahn said...

Thx for stopping by and getting to know me!

I can not wait for our girls weekend & meeting you as well!

Your workshop has become a huge "open door" for me! Thank you!

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