Monday, January 18, 2010

Monogrammed Tote Bags

For Christmas this year I was really ambitious and made my nieces and nephews what we call church bags.  Something they can haul all their stuff to church and I don't have to (in my kids case.)  I found on the sight Crafting Chicks the idea of Monogrammed Tote bags.  They linked to another sight where they had a Tote bag Tutorial  One thing I find with tutorials is that they don't give the materials list up front.  So I thought since I wasn't going to give you the whole tutorial I might just tell you what I used to make my cute bags.

For the Girls totes you can use 2 or 3 different fabrics to make it coordinate together.

For the J tote:
  • Brown dot for the bag
  • Solid Pink for Pocket and Lining
  • Pink print for Letter, Ruffle and Handles

For the A tote:
  • Solid Black for bag
  • Hot pink for lining of bag and pocket
  • Black and white dot forLetter, Ruffle and Handles

For the Boys tote:
  • Cars print for top half of the fabric

  • Blue denim like fabric for handles, pocket and lower portion of fabric

  • Red for Letter

  • Solid Blue for inner lining

The measurements for each of the bags are as follows.  I make them out of regular cotton fabric and to make the bags feel more substantial I always use flannel inbetween the inner and out bags.  So I will include how much of those I used also.  If you use a more substantial fabric like a home dec it may not require the extra layer. 

I attach the letters with wonder under or heat-n-bond to hold them to the fabric and then I sew the pocket pieces together before I do a decorative stitch around it so it goes through all layers.  Then I attach the pocket to the front fabric before I start putting the bag together.

Outer Fabric: cut 2 - 12 (width) inch by 13 (Height) inch
Lining Fabric: cut 2 - 12" x13"
Pocket: cut 2 - 8" x 9"
Handle: cut 2 - 4" x 22"
Ruffle: cut 1 - 2" x wof (width of fabric ~44 inches)
Letter: out of remaining scraps of material - I just used a font on my computer and printed it so it was about 6 inches tall.

Bag - cut 2 -12" x 13"
Pocket - Cut 1 - 8" x 9"
Handle - Cut 2 - 2" x 22"

FLOWERS (on Girls Tote): Tutorial here (I only made one layer with alternating fabrics)
I made my circles only 3 inches.  I made one circle for each color which makes two petals {6 total petals}.
About 2 inch strip of tulle gathered on the back .
Covered button or button of your choice.

For the outer bag I used about 10 inches of the CARS material and then 3 inches of the blue. 
You may have to make the pocket 8" x 8" to fit on without over lapping.

I finished the edges with my serger's hem stitch. Sewed the piece together to make a large circle. Then ran a couple of long stitches down the middle and gathered to fit the finished bag.  Then I sewed it on with a straight stitch.

I love that these totes are the perfect size for a coloring book and crayons or a notebook and pencils or 10 to 15 matchbox cars plus the froggy stuff animal or any variation of all of the above.  My kids love them and use them where ever they go.  I love that they don't take me too long to make and so I can make them for my kid's friends for birthday parties and throw in some new crayons and/or a coloring book.  I made a special coloring book for my nieces and nephews that was made from pictures.  I will include the HOW TO in the next couple of days.  It is the perfect gift for those little kiddos on my list.

The Girl Creative


  1. Very cute and you know being from the south I am required to love everything monogrammed. I have two girls who would love to have one of these. You did a great job, thanks for the inspiration.

    Cha Cha

  2. Very pretty! I like the polka dots...

  3. They are all sooooo CUTE...brings back memories of my girls "CHURCH BAGS"...they are now 22 and 19:) Hope you have a great week!


  4. so cute....thanks for putting all the instructions on here...I know 2 nieces who would love one of these....add that to the project list.

  5. These are just darling - love the ribbon around the top! I know a little granddaughter that might be getting one of these. :)

  6. Great idea, and such a cute gift! Lucky nieces and nephew! Thanks for sharing with me!

  7. Hi Amy! It's Lindsay. I think I like the pink and brown one for Lyla. Email me when you get a chance and we can work out the details. Thanks!



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