DIY Friday: Monogrammed Tote Bag

11 September 2009

My cousin Molly is settling into her freshman year of college. I can clearly remember two things about my freshman year:

1) How rough my transition was.

2) How much I loved getting mail.

Thankfully, Miss Molly’s transition seems to be going much more smoothly than mine did. I still, however, thought she would enjoy some mail, so inspired by Brooke of inchmark, I settled on sending her a custom tote bag.

If you’d like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need:
— a tote bag (mine was canvas from Joann’s)
— freezer paper
— a pencil
— an x-acto knife (scissors could work)
— a self-healing cutting mat
— fabric paint + a brush (mine was foam)
— a letter to trace

1. Print out one letter in the typeface and size of your choice. Trace the letter onto the paper side of your freezer paper and cut it out carefully with an x-acto knife. Remember that you’re making a stencil, not cutting out the letter.

2. Iron the freezer paper onto your bag, wax side down. Make sure to press down firmly, especially if your letter has narrow areas (you don’t want the ink to bleed underneath).

3. Tuck an extra sheet of freezer paper inside your bag in case any paint bleeds through. Paint and then let dry overnight.

4. The next morning (you won’t be able to wait any later than that!), peel off the freezer paper. Admire your handiwork. Then iron again to heat set your letter.

5. Fill with your most indispensable college goodies. J helped me pick, and we decided on Vosges chocolate, ricola cough drops, a Tide to go pen, travel Advil, lip balm, and custom mixed CDs.

Lots of love to you, Molly!

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September 11, 2009 5:45 pm

So cute & fun to get a surprise in the mail ;)

September 11, 2009 11:52 pm

I'm sure she'll love it! Great idea – maybe Christmas gifts!

Ayer Mail
September 14, 2009 12:39 pm

That was a very nice thing for you to make and send. And I do remember how hard your transition was… — RCA

October 9, 2010 1:53 pm

Emily! I didn't know you made the bag! This made my day! (then and today!) Some of that music is my favorite now, and I use the bag (and tide pen!) all the time!

P.S. I have followed the blog for awhile, but this morning I'm looking through old stuff and now all I want to do is craft! :) Love it!

xoxo! Hopefully see you in November!'


October 26, 2010 4:00 pm

Just now finding this online.. did a search for DIY Monogram Tote and found this! I plan to do this for my bridesmaids! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

October 26, 2010 4:25 pm

You're so welcome, Nicole-Lynn! You'll love this project — very easy, and entirely satisfying :)