Tote-Ally Awesome Teacher Gift! A Tutorial and a Printable!

I think Teacher Appreciation Week might be this week…. I’ve been seeing a lot about it in the blogosphere, but our school doesn’t celebrate for a couple more weeks!


So since most people seem to be doing it earlier than we do, I thought I’d post my tote bag project. We made a bunch for preschool teachers last year. Actually, my plan is to give these as end of year thank you’s, but I know some of you out there do more for Teacher Appreciation week.


I think my favorite part is the tote bag pocket! I made these and debated on how to print them. Iron-on? Directly on to the fabric? Or Spoonflower? Spoonflower won! It’s sized to print quite a few pockets at once! And in different colors. You are welcome to go and buy it on the Spoonflower site for your own projects!

We are still fans of superheros, and in my book, teachers are pretty  much superheros! I know I could not do what they do! Even though my kiddo just says he plays all day, I am amazed at what his teachers do! And how they have him tricked to thinking he’s playing all day when he’s actually reading! That is some super powers at work!


The kiddo helped me pick out the fabric for each of the bags. I used pretty much all fabrics from my stash! Oh, yeah! Loving using the stash! He even went so far as to pick each fabric for each teacher!


And since the fabrics were all from the stash, the sizes of the bags vary a little here and there!



And we made the tags, too! And we’re sharing the love with ya! You can download the PDF for the tote-ally awesome tags here.


Would you like to make your own tote? You can make it for yourself too, if you’d like!


For materials, it doesn’t take too much. I used a home decorating weight fabric for the totes. More cotton from the stash was used for the lining. The spoonflower fabric for the pockets. And webbing for the straps.


Of course, the first thing is to cut all the pieces! For the top of the bag my pieces were approximately 12×16 inches. The bottom piece is approximately 7×16 inches. You’ll need 2 of each of these. The lining is approximately 18×16 inches and you’ll need 2 pieces. The pocket is 5.5×11 inches. The webbing is 45 inches on each side.


Fold the pocket in half and center it on the front of the bag. Pin it in place. Pin the webbing over the sides of the pockets. Align both the pocket and the webbing with the bottom of the front piece.


Sew on the webbing, stopping an inch from the top of the bag. Do this on the front and back.



Sew the bottom of the bag and the top together, right sides together. And topstitch. Do this for both the front and back.


Now sew the front and back together along both sides and the bottom. Do this for the lining, too. Leave a 3 to 4 inch hole in the lining stitching.



Sew the bottom corners of both the outside and the lining together. Align the seams to create a triangle at the corners. I sewed a 3.5 inch corner. Then cut the corners.


Put the lining inside the bag, right sides together, and sew along the top edge.



Pull the bag out through the hole in the lining. And sew together the hole.


Then topstitch!


And you’ve got a tote! Pretty easy!


And if you make a lot at once, you might just get a little silly!





I might just have to make more!!! Do you think you’d make some?



A Super Simple (reusable) Sandwich Sack Tutorial

Or you could just call it a Lunch bag, or a snack sack, a baggie… Gotta come up with something catchy for a title you know!


At our house we try to use as little throw away stuff as possible. Our recycling bin fills up much faster than the trash can. A while back the city was talking about stopping trash every week and only coming every other week like they currently do with our recycling. Which would be fine with me, if the recycling would be picked up every week!  So if anyone out there can make that happen at my house, I owe ya! Anyway…


For my son’s lunch I don’t think I’ve ever used disposable packaging in his lunch. My husband has been using those plastic baggies that I hate. He does recycle them a few times before they get thrown away. And he’s starting to move over to my boxes… I use a bunch of plastic boxes. Which sometimes make getting the kiddos lunch into his lunch box a big puzzle. So bags are my answer!


First you need to gather your materials. I’ve been wanting to make these for ages, but have been hesitant because I couldn’t find the right material to use. You can search for articles about food safe materials all over the place, but I finally decided to go with the Eco-PUL from Diaper Sewing Supplies. The reason is that is solvent-free, environmentally friendly, releases no volatile organics, machine washable and is food safe! Cool.


So here’s how I made my sacks, or bags, or pouches! First, obviously, you need to cut them down to size. For the sandwich size, I cut a piece 8 inches by 16 inches. I ordered the Diaper Cut Pack to get more colors. So I cut two sandwich sized bags, then divided the rest into smaller snack sized bags. I got about 6 bags per piece of Eco-PUL.


Secondly, I used a plate to round off the top. Trim.


With the pieces right sides together, sew around the edge. I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance. And don’t forget to leave a hole! Trim the corners.


Turn the bag right side out. And then I ironed the seams, but use a low heat and iron on the fabric side, not the PUL side!



Sew on the Velcro. Yep, had to make a Star Wars bag!




Topstitch. First topstitch across the top. Next, fold over the bag, start at one corner and top stitch all the way around to the other corner!


And before you know it, you’ll have a bunch of bags!

My husband and son are already asking for more!

Have you made sandwich bags before??

Fabric Gift Bag Tutorial

Have you wrapped all your gifts yet? I’m about to get back to it! We just got back from a fabulous vacation to Palm Springs!! So I need to get back to wrapping.

aGiftBag-Main-ImFeelinCraftyI try to use as little paper as possible. About three years ago I posted a tutorial for fabric gift bags and each year I make a few more, but for the most part I just pull the bags out of the box and the presents are wrapped! My son and I were wrapping the other day and I looked over and he had his head in the box and bags were flying all over while he was looking for the right size bag! Too funny!


Since I love these so much, I thought I’d update my tutorial for ya!


Step 1: Gather your materials, Fabric, ribbon, a cutting device and the present.



Step 2: Measure for the right size bag.  For the length, I measure about half the width of the present on the bottom and about half the width of the present on the top plus about 3 inches on top. Then I wrap the fabric around the present for the right width. Honestly, I’m not real exact when it comes to measuring mostly because who knows what will be in the package next year!


Step 3: Cut!


Step 4: Sew the top, fabric right sides together. Iron flat the top seam.

aGiftBag-Step5-ImFeelinCrafty copy

Step 5: Fold the bag so that right sides are together. Right side of lining to right side of lining and right side of outside fabric to right side of outside fabric. Leave a hole in the lining seam.


Step 6: Rotate the fabric so that the seam is centered on one side of the bag. Sew the bottoms of both the inside and outside fabric. (bag is still inside out)



Step 7: This step isn’t required, but I like it. Sew the corners. Pinch the bottom corners to create triangles. The side fold and the bottom seam should be aligned. Sew across the corners and trim.


Step 8: Pull bag through the hole.


Step 9: Sew the hole closed.


Step 10: Turn the bag inside itself, iron the top edge and topstitch.


Step 11: Add the ribbon. I stitch the ribbon on for 2 reasons. 1. Next time I or whoever else uses the bag won’t have to look for ribbon. And 2. It makes it easier to keep the bow in place! Tack it down about 3 inches from the top at the seam on the back.


And there, a reusable gift bag!


Our tree is full of these little guys!


I hope you can make a few to put under your tree a well. Get rid of a little bit of paper each year!

FrankenZombie Treat Bag Tutorial

Is it Frankenstein? Is it a zombie? No, It’s both! It’s FrankenZombie!!!!

Frankenzombie-ImFeelinCrafty-Title1It’s the FrankenZombie Treat Bag! The kiddo has a treat bag that he loves and doesn’t want to replace. We use it every year. And then I remembered the zombie birthday party invitation that he brought home the other day! So why not make a zombie gift bag that can then be used as a treat bag??? Oh yeah! So that’s what we did! Check out the tutorial over at Go To Sew!


Giving Gifts…. A little late

Are you ready for a confession??? I have a problem. I love giving gifts. You’re right, that doesn’t sound like a problem, does it? Nope, that’s not the problem. The problem is that I have a problem giving the gifts on time…

Like for instance these graduation gifts. Yes, these girls graduated in May and it’s what… August? September???? oops! It took me a little while to figure out what to get them. Then I ordered the gifts and it took a little while to get here. Nope, I didn’t order it from Zappos. I LOVE Zappos and thier free next day shipping!Yes, I did just get a package from them today! Totally beside the point, but…. So then the gifts were here and I had the boxes to mail the gifts in sitting around the house and driving my husband insane!

I finally got them wrapped and in the mail this week! I used my gift bag tutorial and whipped up some gift wrapping. I just happened to have coordinating fabric for each girl’s school colors! Then I punched their school emblems and embellished with those. It really doesn’t take me much longer to make these than to wrap in paper, so I really have no excuse as to why they sat around the house for so long…

The not so bad part of my problem. I do get the gifts and I do give them. Sometimes it’s just a little late. So if you’re a someone who should be getting a gift from me… It will come, just maybe not on time. My apologies up front!


Shared with these Link Parties!

I’m Sew Ready to Play!

Welcome back to Sew Ready To Play!! Today it’s me and my project! A Mini Hullabaloo Messenger Bag!

(yes, that’s our dead grass in the backyard… Although it may appear to be a yard full of straw, it’s our grassy backyard… Please don’t judge on our lack of watering…)

Have you played Hullabaloo???  It’s a great game that teaches colors, shapes and words on little pads that the kids (and adults) move around to based on the where the ‘voice in the box’ tells you to go! It’s a Cranium game… We LOVE Cranium games, but this post is just about Hullabaloo.

We were first introduced to it at a friend’s birthday party. My son just hung back and watched, so I didn’t think he was interested AT ALL. That was until one day, not too long after the party, we were scanning the toy aisle at Goodwill. He eyed it and got really excited! I decided, for a whooping $2.50 we could give  it a try. It was well worth the $2.50! He loves that game and takes it with us to almost all of our playdates, camping and has even wanted to take it to school. But since it came from Goodwill, it didn’t have a box. I found a little bag for the pieces, but to fit, they had to be folded, which ended up not being a good thing. Then we’d throw that bag and the voice box into a grocery bag and hit the road, headed out to be the life of the party with our Hullabaloo game. Here’s a little before and after…

Well, I had a few ideas for the series, but nothing seemed just right… Then it hit me, a bag that our game would actually fit it and my son could carry it with him all over the place, wherever he wants to take it!

So, my project for the Sew Ready to Play series, A Hullabaloo Messenger Bag!

Step 1: Materials:


Fabrics, the outside fabric, the lining fabric and the pocket fabric.

An extra Hullabaloo set of game pieces (optional)

(Here’s the optional part… I was first going to scan the Hullabaloo pieces and print them on printable fabric. So that is one option. The second option would be any other fabric that you might have. And the third option, which is what I used, is using Hullabaloo pieces. Cut up a perfectly good game you ask?? Well, the day after I decided to make the bag I found myself back in the toy aisle at Goodwill and what do you know??? There just happened to be another Hullabaloo game sitting on the shelf. Only this time, it was only 99 cents! 99 cents!! That’s way cheaper than buying the printable fabric…)




Step 2: Cut the fabric

1. Flap Pieces: 2 pieces of fabric 9 3/4″ x 12 1/2″, 1 with the outside fabric and 1 with the lining.

2. Pocket Pieces: The pocket fabric is 9 1/2″ x 18″. The interfacing is 9 1/2″ x 9″. And for the pocket flap, I used a square Hullabaloo piece and cut it 4″ long

3. Lining Pieces: Cut two pieces of lining fabric, 13 1/4″ x 12″.

4. Strap Pieces: One piece of the outside fabric and one piece of the lining fabric. Each one is 3″ x 24″.

5. Front and Back of the Bag: 2 of the outside fabric and 2 of the interfacing. Each piece is 10″ x 10″.

6. Sides and Bottom of the Bag: For this piece I again used Hullabaloo pieces. I cut 5 pieces into 4″ strips. Then stitched these pieces together, so that it makes a 4″ x 31″. This will be too long, but I like for it to be a little long nad then trim it once it’s sewn together.

Step 3: Make the Flap.

1. Cut out an applique from a Hullaballoo piece..

2. Sew the applique on to the outside of flap fabric.

3. Put the lining and outside fabric right sides together and cut rounded edges at the two lower corners.

4. Clip corners at the rounded edges. Stitch together the sides and bottom of the flap.

5. Turn right side out, iron flat and topstitch.

Step 4: Pocket

1. Fold pocket fabric over, right sides together. Place the interfacing on top.

2. Sew side and clip top corners

3. Iron seams flat. Turn right side out.

4. Iron flat and iron the bottom edge over.

5. Pin the pocket onto one side of the lining. Center the pocket and locate it about 1 1/2″ from the top of the lining piece.

6. Sew on pocket flap.

7. Center the pocket flap on the pocket and stitch about 3/4″ above the top of the pocket.

Step 5: Sew lining together.

1. Stack the lining pieces right side together and cut 1″ squares from the bottom two corners.

2. Sew together the three sides. Leave a hole on one side.

3. Sew the bottom corners together. Fold the bottom against the side and align the seams and stitch the corners together.

Step 6: Make the strap.

1. Place the pieces right sides together and stitch together the long sides.

2. Pull it through so the right sides are out.

3. Iron flat and topstitch. (forgot the picture for this one, but I have faith in you that you can do it without a picture!)

Step 7: Sew together the body of the bag.

1. Cut another applique for the back, if you so desire! Then sew it on.

2. Sew the Hullabaloo pieces together. I also topstitched the seam allowance down at each piece.

3.Stack the pieces, interfacing to wrong side of outside fabric and outside fabric to the side and bottom strip, this time with right side facing . Pin and sew.

4. Sew on the back side the same way as you did the front.

5. Turn right side out.

Step 8: Sew it all together.

1. Pin the flap to the bag, with outside fabric to outside fabric.

2. Pin on the strap. Again, with outside fabric to outside fabric.

3. Put the bag, flap and strap inside the lining and pin.

4. Sew together along the top edge.

5. Pull it all through that hole in the lining.

6. Sew the hole in the lining closed.

7. Push the lining inside the bag.

8. And topstitch the bag along the top edge.

Step 9:

Load ‘er up! You’re done! Now you just have to find a party to take the game to!!

Enjoy! What’s your favorite game? Which one would you carry in your Mini Messenger Bag?

shared with:

Sew Ready to Play with The Southern Institute

Introducing once again, the fabulous Jenny from The Southern Institute! If you’ve been following this blog for a little while now, you know that  Jenny and I have become pretty good pals and have enjoyed sharing on each other’s blogs. We met over comments about washing detergents and the rest is history! She shared her Indoor Herb Garden here and I’ve shared my Magnetic Bookmark tutorial there.

And I’m honored to have her here again! Welcome Jenny!

Red Rover Tote Bag
from The Southern Institute

Hi everyone, Jenny here from The Southern Institute!  I was so excited when Louise asked me to be a part of this series.  What a fun idea!  I had a hard time choosing a game to go with.  It came down to Heads Up 7Up or Red Rover for me.  I loved both of those games as a kid, but when I mentioned Heads Up 7Up to friends, there were a few who looked at me with blank stares.  Everyone seems to be familiar with Red Rover, however, and so was born the idea for the Red Rover Tote Bag!  Here’s a little tutorial for you.

Supplies needed:

  • tote bag (you can buy one or make one using this tutorial)
  • freezer paper
  • exacto knife
  • cutting mat
  • fabric paint
  • fabric paint brush
  • brown paper shopping bag
  • a large scrap of fabric, about 14″ x 7″
  • Pellon Wonder-Under (found with the interfacing at Joann’s and other fabric stores), cut to the same size as the fabric.
  • iron
  • scissors
First a little freezer paper stenciling.Using the freezer paper stenciling technique, paint “RED ROVER” onto the top half of the front of the tote bag. (Detailed Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial found here).

Print out your stencil onto the dull side of the freezer paper (you can download it here).
Cut it out with the exacto knife.
Iron it on to the tote bag, shiny side down…
Apply two coats of paint, allowing about 10 minutes between coats, and peel the stencil away when it’s dry.

Now for the applique.

Press your fabric nice and smooth.  
In retrospect, madras was not the ideal fabric choice, but I love the way it looks.
Following the directions (they come with the Wonder-Under), attach the fabric to the Wonder-Under.
I cut out a paper people chain by drawing a little man (find him here) and drawing him over and over.  
Trace around the template onto the back side of the fabric.  
It doesn’t have to be perfect, as you can see.  
Cut the little guys out!
Attach the Madras Men to the front of the tote bag, according to the Wonder-Under directions.
This is going to be a book bag for our library trips.  It would also make a great gift!
Thanks so much for having me at I’m Feelin’ Crafty!  
It was “SEW” much fun!
See you all at The Southern Institute!

Ahhhh… Caught up. Well, kinda.

Well, mostly, still a purse and 2 quilts to do… ok, and a huge list of other things to do. But there have been 3 projects sitting on my ironing board waiting to get finished and ….. They did! This weekend I got three projects off the table!

Project #1- Revise the almost complete sleep sack I found on a shelf!


I started this for my son about a year and half ago.  I guess, when I made this, I didn’t quite get the reversible clothing thing yet. So there were all these stringy seams after I washed it. Instead of figuring it out and making it right, I stashed it. Then the other day I found this is cool fabric sitting on the shelf, pulled it down and realized it was a 95% complete project just sitting on the shelf!

definitely not the most shining example of my handiwork. But can we at least call it a bit creative with the quick fix to make it wearable for someone???

I kinda felt like I was finding the Corduroy bear. The bear that had wanted a friend for so long, but was just stuck on the shelf with the other toys….. All he needed was a button. All my sleep sack needed was some trim. So I added some bias tape around the neck and armholes and it looks pretty cute.

Unfortunately, my son has way outgrown sleep sacks… But he has a pal, Baby O that is going to give it a test run. Finding this made me appreciate how much I’ve learned about sewing ‘clothes’ in just the last year or so!

Project #2- An overdue baby present…

The second project was a repeat, but I love it. Another baby gift package. One of my ‘ghosties’ and a hooded blankie from the Amy Butler book Little Stitches for Little Ones. I love the big floral fabric! From Joann’s… But the white fleecy, minky type stuff. Not such a fan. It got everywhere!

And with that is the handmade gift bag… Had to throw a picture of that in as well. There were a lot of posts in the blogosphere around Christmas for fabric gift bags, but don’t forget them the rest of the year!

Project #3- Monster Spray

And last, but not least… This one was also the quickest and easiest. A bottle of Monster Spray! A while back the ladies over at Prudent Baby posted a great printable for a bottle of Monster Spray. I saved and finally printed it and got it made. I had to alter the image just a bit in order to make it fit my teeny tiny bottle.  Just in time too… My son woke up last night terrified of monster dream.

I came home and tonight from work and my son was very excited. He had been spraying the Monster Spray al around the outside of the house. Hopefully, we’ll sleep peacfully tonight!

And man, what a feeling of relief getting those projects done. I feel like a weight has been lifted! I still have a huge list of things to do, but I think i always will. getting these projects done opens the door to move on to other ones.

Did you get anything crossed off your crafty to do list this weekend?

Have a Book that needs Wrapping??

Here’s a last minute tutorial for any of those books you’re wondering how  to wrap! The gift bags that I make, I love, but they aren’t great for the really flat items like books or calendars. So I came up with this gift wrapping technique.






Step 1-  Measure the books (or anything flat that needs wrapping). Be sure to overlap a few inches.

Step 2- Cut your two pieces of fabric.

Step 3- Pin ribbon to fabric. Pin the fabric about 1/2 inch to an inch from the top edge.

Step 4- Sew two pieces of fabric, right sides together. Leave a 2 inch hole in the side. I try to locate my hole on what will be the back of the bag.

Step 5- Pull the fabric through the hole.

Step 6- Iron the fabric bag. Layout the fabric to get the flaps overlap how you want them.

Step 7- Topstich. Start at the bottom corner and stitch around.

Step 9- Insert your book, pull the ribbon around the back and to the front. Tie your bow.

Step 10- Give that book to someone you love!

On Gracie, On Woody, On Gus

OK, so it’s not Santa’s reindeer, they are our ‘cousin’ dogs! And it is another Christmas present checked off the list.

I’m totally loving silhouettes right now. (hint hint, upcoming link love to some other really cool silhouettes…) So I wanted to make one of my in-laws pups. My sister-in-law has been away from her loved ones for quite a few months now and as we were walking with the rest of her family, I saw a silhouette bag of these pups.

It was made with all scrap fabrics lying around the sewing room! I used my gift bag process, but put the seam down the side to make it a bit easier to add the straps. The longest part of the process was cutting out the dogs.

Gracie is the white one, Gus is the old grey Scottie and Woody is the crazy youngester of the bunch, the black Scottie. I’m very happy with how it turned out, except for one thing. In some light, Ms Gracie is hard to see. I should have used a more contrasting background. Hindsight, gotta love it.


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