Monday, October 14, 2013

Floral Tote Bag

For several months now I have been trying to come up with a way to update an old tote bag I got while working for DHEC here in South Carolina.  I used the bag to tote things back and forth to work, like my shoes, a book for lunch time reading, little things like that.  The bag held up well but was not what I wanted to use to tote my needlework around in.  I had seen a tote bag remake in a magazine and thought I would put my spin on it.

Also....I realized while making this bag why I don't post very often.  I forget to take pictures!  And my pictures aren't always that good so I don't like putting them up for the world, so to speak, to see.  My son asked me while I was working on this if I was going to post it on my blog and I looked at him blankly as he ran inside to get my camera.  So....some of these pictures were taken in the garage, some while the bag was hanging on the fence with a car in the background.  I hope that you will overlook my lack of photography skills and I'll keep trying to do better!

Here is the bag before.  Nothing special, just a regular ol' tote bag.

I decided to start on the back first.  I had no idea what I was going to do, which may be obvious from the design on the back, but it's still better than a plain bag.  I keep my paints in the garage so I set up a small table out there to work on.  I used whatever I had in my paint box to stamp with which turned out to be a plastic pudding cup and a pencil.  I painted the rim of the cup and then just set to stamping.  I used bright colors.  I know this is fall and I should be using something to keep in the season, but I love "happy" colors!!  Here are some pictures as I did the stamping.  (Told you I was working in the garage!)
 And the finished back...
I did a bit of stamping on the front also just for continuity.
Next I picked bright colors of felt, kind of matching the paint colors.  I cut petals from the felt, just eyeballing them for size.
Then I started hot gluing, using my low temp glue gun.  The first layer (orange) I glued down adding a bit of a pleat to the flower as shown in the picture below.  I put a line of glue in the center of the bottom of the petal and pinched it together to form a pleat.  The pink layer I added flat and the yellow layer was again pleated. 
The final teal layered was added using flat petals.  To cover the raw edges of the petals and fill the inside of the flower I cut circles from the teal felt.  I added a bit of glue to the center of the circle and then pinched it together to give it dimension.  I then glued these to the inside of the flower. 
Here is my finished bag!  I love how bright and happy it is and look forward to carrying my needlework in it!  And the best part of all is that everything was on hand!  (Almost forgot to tell you that I also added some leaves at the bottom of the flower to cover some wording on the bag.  Not necessary, but a bit more color!)
Happy Crafting!


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