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!
Phew, it’s good to be back! A week without blogging has been hard! I’ll post a thing or two about my trip to Barcelona but for now I’ll fill you in on a project I finished a while ago…
I made this mobile for my god-daughter, Annabelle, as a ‘welcome to the world’ present. It was actually one of a long list (bibs, booties, embroidered babygrows) and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.
I hope she enjoys using it as much as I did making it. Here’s how I did it.
For the rainbow:
- Take the cardboard inner from an old loo roll and cut it in half length-ways and again width-ways so that you have a long semi-circle, or rainbow, shape.
- Next, carefully stick a length of ribbon against the edge of the loo roll sticking it both on the top and underside of the arch. Trim any excess ribbon.
- Take another piece of coloured ribbon and stick it next to the first. Repeat until you have used all your ribbon and have created a rainbow effect.
- Cut any excess cardboard and leave to dry.
- Take another length of ribbon and sew one end to the centre point of rainbow. If you can’t sew it easily, you may will to glue it instead. You will want a short ribbon on this so that the rainbow hangs high up, preferably out of baby’s reach — while the other shapes are soft and meant for grabbing, this one is delicate and could get misshapen.
For the felt shapes:
- Using tailors chalk, mark your shape on a piece of felt.
- Pin the felt to another piece so you have two sides pinned together.
- Allowing a little extra material around all sides for the seam allowance, cut your doubled-up up felt.
- Mark and sew a face on one side
- Lay your felt on top of each other with the embroidered face touching the other piece of felt, pin in place and sew round leaving a small gap at the top.
- Turn it right side out and stuff with filling. Use a pencil to poke the stuffing into any small parts if need be.
- Sew up the remainder of the shape adding a ribbon at the top, from which it will hang (I used different lengths for each shape so that it fell nicely)
- For the bird, appliqué a wing shape on either side before sewing the two sides together and once finished, glue a small gem on either side for the eyes
For the cloud:
- Draw and cut your letter (I used an ‘A’ on each side for Annabelle), tack it to the front of your fabric and sew it in place. You will need to do this twice so that you have a front and a back.
- Next, draw a cloud shape onto paper, cut this out and use it as a template to mark your fabric. (It’s best not to mark straight on to fabric – it’s trickier than it looks to get the cloud shape right!).
- Cut your fabric with 1-2 inch excess around all edges for your seam allowance.
- Here’s the tricky bit. You will need your shapes finished before you can continue. Place one side of your cloud with the letter facing up. Put your shapes on top, directly above the letter, and lay the ribbons out straight down to the bottom of the cloud. You will want the ribbons to poke out lower than the bottom of the fabric. Pin the ribbons in place.
- Take the other side of your cloud and lay it face down on top, making sure that it is not upside down and the letters are directly facing each other. Pin in place so that the shapes are inside.
- Sew around the edges leaving a gap at the top so that you can turn it right side out (remember it has to be big enough to fit the shapes!) Turn it right side out and remove the pins from the ribbons. The shapes should fall straight from the bottom cloud. It not (and this happened it me) stitch the longer side of the ribbon to the bottom of the cloud to straight it up.
- Stuff the cloud with filling and sew up the top adding a loop of ribbon so that you can hang it.
Of course, you don’t have to make a cloud — I just wanted something related to the sky. Perhaps you can make something based on what the parents like, or a family tree with the name of each family member sewn onto a branch.