Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Custom Totes for the Youngins!

I mentioned in my Gifts post that I was planning on making some custom totes for RB Nephew and FG Niece. 

Not going to lie, this was one of those projects that I was planning on putting off forever and then probably end up buying the totes off Etsy a couple weeks before the wedding.

But while I was looking through my crafting stash for paint for my Here Comes Your Girl signs, I came across two rumpled tote bags that I knew would be perfect.  One even had pink edging – perfect for FG Niece! 

So on a whim, I decided to customize them and get that project out of the way and I was blown away by how easy it was.  It took me less than one episode of House of Cards (I know I’m behind, but can we discuss Season 2, Ep 1 please! Holy crap!) to complete the two bags. 

So if you want to make your own custom tote bags, follow along!

You’ll need:
A tote bag or two (obviously)
Heat N Bond in a sheet (not the thin rolls used for hemming)
Fun fabric – I bought a couple of fat quarter sets at JoAnn’s
Printed name in block letters
Iron/Ironing Board
Puff Paint (optional)
Sewing Machine (optional)

Aaaand I forgot to put the Heat N Bond in this picture like an idiot…

First up, if your tote bags have been sitting at the bottom of a closet for God knows how long, iron out the wrinkles. 

Next, cut a piece of fabric and a strip of Heat N Bond big enough for all your letters.

Iron the nubby side of the Heat N Bond to the wrong (back) side of your fabric. 

Then, cut your letters apart and place them on the strip of Heat N Bond.  I placed them right-side up first to judge spacing.

However, in the next step, you’ll want to flip the letters over and tape them to the Heat N Bond.

Now, cut your letters out.  Don’t worry – the paper template will drop off when you’re done cutting each letter.  Yeah, for some reason, I was really concerned about that tape as I was cutting?  I dunno, sometimes my brain can’t think two steps ahead!

When all your letters are cut out, they should look something like this – fabric on the front, Heat N Bond on the back.


Peel apart the second layer of the Heat N Bond and arrange your letters exactly how you want them to be on the tote.


I tried to get a good picture of the second Heat N Bond layer here, but my phone was all “I don’t want to focus on what’s in front of me!!”

When you’re satisfied with letter placement, iron over each letter.  I had to iron over them for about a minute.  The package suggested 20 seconds, but I found the edges of my letters weren’t secure until roughly the one minute mark.

 If you’re happy with how the bag and the letters look right now, then you’re done! 

I thought RB Nephew’s name was a little hard to read, so I outlined each letter in puff paint – another random craft stash find.

And as I was outlining, I learned something super important – I am not good at outlining with puff paint!  So the letters aren’t perfect and poor FG Niece’s “A” has a giant glob of it at the bottom. 

But overall, I’m happy with my quick little one-hour project and they will be perfect little gift bags!  Now on to the fun part – finding stuff to put IN the bags! 

Any suggestions?  What are you guys getting your Flower Girls and Ring Bearers?

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