project – patchwork totebag

since moving to australia – i’ve become obsessed with totebags.  in fact, on my last trip home to the u.s., I bought a beautiful new marc jacobs leather bag — however, due to my love for the flexibility and bottomless pit of these cotton bags, the MJ has gotten little airtime.

this is another one of my little projects that I enjoy making for gifts, as you can really personalize a bag for someone by picking the right fabric & applique shape. with that, here is my totebag recipe…

cost: approx $5 -10 (depending on the cost of your totebag. I get mine for $1.50 each at lincraft in australia, though I know most of the u.s. chains have the same great deals – esp if you buy in bulk)
creation time: 30 mins
supplies: cotton totebag, buttons, fabric, fusible web, a marker, needlepoint thread, scissors, iron & a needle


  1. using your fabric & fusible web, you can create your own iron-on appliques. (check out this d.i.y. youtube video that I found with the how-to) *if you prefer to have someone else make the iron-ons for you… check out applique heaven’s shop on etsy, i love their designs + they are so cheap & they ship internationally
  2. once you have your iron-ons, decide how you want to place it or them on to the bag.
  3. using your iron on low heat iron the fabric onto the bag and then flip the bag inside out to give it another good mounting
  4. once the iron-on is now mounted to the fabric, go around the edges with a colorful thick thread
  5. i often like to give my patchworks an eye or emphasize the design with a couple cute buttons
  6. to give the bag even a bit more, I’ve done a little cross-stitch in the middle of each of the handles (see below)
  7. and ‘viola’… you are done!

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