DIY wild things tote bag

25 Jul

I saw this adorable tutorial on, and I did my own version as gifts for my girls…

Wild Things Tote by Courtney Russel from Two Straight Lines…

I have monsters on the brain as we in the States near Halloween, as well as the upcoming release of the film Where the Wild Things Are.  This fun tote project would make a perfect Trick o’ Treat bag, library tote, or even a slightly spooky gift bag.
You will need:
*Pre-made canvas tote
*Pen and paper for sketching
*Fabric or felt
*Fabric glue (I use Alene’s because it doesn’t soak through to the front of the fabric)
*Fine point permanent black or brown marker
*Other embellishments such as yarn, cording, buttons, ric-rac, googly eyes
*1″ Masking tape
*Craft paint or fabric paint
Step one:

Gather “monster inspiration” with your kids.  Do you have any stuffed monsters or monster story books?  What do you turn up if you do an internet search for “monster?”  Bring your inspiration to the table with your supplies.
Step two:
Draw a variety of monsters with the pen on the paper.  Which one is your favorite?  Do you prefer scary monsters?  Silly monsters?  One-eyed monsters?  I prefer friendly monsters.
Step three:
Select which monster you would like to put on your tote bag and refine the drawing, if necessary.
Step four:
Look over your fabrics and felt and see which ones you would like to use for your monster’s body, eyes, nose and mouth.  Does he have any other parts?  Is your monster made from solid or printed fabric?  Is he plush or smooth?  Would you like to use any additional materials for your monster–  ribbon, ric-rac, buttons or googly eyes?  You can see from my photos that at first I tried felt, but decided I wanted to use a printed fabric instead.  I thought he looked too much like an Ugly Doll and wanted something a little more original.  I also really wanted to use to the more muted palette of the book Where the Wild Things Are.
Step five: (optional)
If you have the desire to make your tote striped as I did, cover one side of the tote with stripes of masking tape, alternating with 1″ blank stripes.  Mix up the color of paint that you would like (I made an orange-y pink), and paint between the masked stripes.  When dry, remove the tape and if you wish repeat on the other side.  You don’t need to be too fussy about this, it’s supposed to be imperfect. Tip: you could also make a polka dot background by placing circle stickers on the bag and painting the unmasked area.
Step six:
Cut your monster out of the paper and trace around him on the fabric you’ve chosen.  Cut out any other parts he might have out of the paper, and trace around those too.  Finally, cut the parts out of the fabric.
Step seven:
Lay your tote flat and arrange your monster parts on the front.
Step eight:
Glue your monster parts on the bag, beginning with the ones that go on bottom and working your way to the top.
Step nine:
Using the fine point permanent marker, apply details to your monster, such as pretend stitching or outlining and any other characteristics that you wish him to have.  I also used the marker to draw my monster’s mouth.



2 Responses to “DIY wild things tote bag”

  1. stopurselfcandi July 26, 2012 at 11:31 pm #

    super cute!!! I have everything that you listed. Tonight I shall make my own monster tote bag.

    • loosygoosey July 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      that’s awesome!
      i love diy projects-i am a total geek about them!

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