Monogrammed Market Tote

Like every other mom with an eye for the environmental future, I seem to have unwittingly built up an armory of recyclable shopping bags well beyond my actual needs.  I have large ones, small ones, some made of recycled plastic bottles, some of vinyl, some of canvas.  While I do use one or two every day for everything from toys to groceries to diapers to a last-chance change of clothes and a few wipes while out on the road(essential, btw...), the fact is that if I was to fill up every one of my bags on a single trip I'd need a military convoy to carry everything home. No one needs that much stuff. But every mom needs a tote. So I'm looking to downsize my own collection and hand off some convenient carrying-capacity to a new mom in need.  This particular re-constituted tote I made for a friend of mine who just had her first baby boy 3 months ago (okay, okay, I run late...).  His name is Niko so I thought a big "N" would get him on the letter train early.  I dabbled with the idea of an animal that started with the letter "N", like maybe a newt or a narwhal, but I let Grippy choose which animal went on the bag instead. Obviously he chose an octopus. Who wouldn't?! O is so close to N, and so much more fun.  Fun and easy to draw, I found out, when I made one that had a tentacle wrapping around the "N"and curious button eyes for shoppers of all ages to have a giggle at.

What You'll Need:

  • Canvas bag 
  • A print fabric, and another plain one- small pieces will do.
  • Double sided interfacing
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Sewing machine 
  • Buttons for the eyes

The final tote.

1.  The raw materials, fabric, double-sided interfacing, canvas bag.

1.  Back the fabric with double-sided interfacing by ironing on a low setting.

2.  Freehand or trace from a print out a jolly little octopus on back of the interfacing.  I found inspiration on the Papersource website.  Remember, he will be backwards when appliqued.

3.  Cut out your octopus.  Cut out a letter too.  You can either freehand the letter, or blow one up in a Word doc and trace it.

4.  Hand stitch the letter, and machine stitch the octopus to the canvas.  Hand sew button eyes on and you're set!


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