This DIY tote saves lives. Okay, it doesn’t but I’m at least confident it’s environmental friendly and it definitely banishes the guilt of taking plastic bags from shop staff, which I’m guilty of doing almost daily.
Of course, it’s not like totes are new inventions. I almost have as many as I do plastic bags. I shabby tatty ones; I have gorgeous ones that are too nice to use. In fact that’s the issue, I have so many but rarely use them.
I figured a small, simple but pretty tote, which could I keep in my handbag, would be something I’d actually use… And of course, it was an excuse to do my new favourite thing – stamping!
The tote cost me £2 and the stamps were a fun, quick and easy way to jazz it up. I picked the bird stamp for under £2 and made the heart stamp as I explained here.
The stamping involves the same process I used for this geometric t-shirt… Which I like so much, I may have to make a matching tote!
I love a bit of Paperchase but my lord, gift wrapping can cost a fortune if you let it, and I have certainly been known to get a bit carried away with the gift garnish. Here’s my solution, an oh-so-simple paper gift bag. Actually, I can’t take credit for this one, I’ve seen these used at a couple of craft stalls but never thought they would be so easy to make.
Here’s what you do. Get a piece of paper – I’ve used newspaper and pages of a comic book before, you could also try old maps, wrapping paper or other ingenious ingredients – felt or plastic sheets perhaps?
Firstly, measure a strip one inch wide right the way along the widest side of your paper. Fold this down and glue it. This reinforced strip will be used later for the handles.
Next, get something rectangular such as a book. It needs to be equivalent in size to the paper i.e. a small book for a small piece of paper. You may need to try out a few before you commit to gluing.
Wrap the paper around the book as though you are wrapping a present. Then glue the edge of the paper down along the longest side, leaving you with two open ends.
Next fold in the paper at the bottom of the book just as though you are wrapping a present and glue down. Once you’ve done that, slip the paper off the book and you’ve got your basic bag shape.
Then simply hole punch the reinforced strip you made earlier. You will need to punch holes in the middle of each of the widest sides, one set directly opposite the other. Thread a pretty ribbon or some garden string though and tie, et voile you have your handles.
Once you’ve got the knack this takes moments to do and is a cute way to give a gift. I’ve also made envelopes in matching paper and a personalised birthday card to go in it.