How to Make an Apple-Print Tote Bag

comments (22) August 21st, 2012     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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My apple tote accompanied me on a recent shopping trip to Dumbo and the Brooklyn Flea!
Look for nicely shaped apples that you think will make good prints.
Dab, dont paint, the ink onto the apples so you cant see any brushstrokes.
My apple tote accompanied me on a recent shopping trip to Dumbo and the Brooklyn Flea!

My apple tote accompanied me on a recent shopping trip to Dumbo and the Brooklyn Flea!

Photo: Kayte Terry
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I don't know about you, but I am much more likely to remember to bring reusable totes to the grocery store when said totes are cute and fashionable. This tote bag is printed with real apples and embellished with a little bit of appliqué and bright fabric handles. Hang your new tote right by the front door, and I guarantee you will never ask for paper or plastic at the store again!

What you'll need:

  • Two or three apples with stems
  • Sharp knife
  • Cardboard
  • Plain canvas tote bag
  • Fabric ink
  • Sponge or spongebrush
  • Press cloth and iron
  • 1/4 yard cotton fabric
  • Small scrap of a contrasting cotton fabric
  • Small piece of fusible webbing
  • Fabric and paper scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Seam ripper
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How to print the tote:

  Look for nicely shaped apples that you think will make good prints.

1. Cut an apple in half with a sharp knife. You will use the side with the stem attached.

2. Insert a piece of cardboard into the tote bag so that the ink doesn't bleed through.

  Dab, don't paint, the ink onto the apple so you can't see any brushstrokes.

3. Brush the apple half with ink (don't forget the stem!), and firmly press the apple onto the bag as desired. Continue to make your pattern. If you want to change colors, you will need to use another apple.

4. When the ink is dry, place a press cloth over the bag and press to heat-set.

How to appliqué the tote:

  These fabrics look as though they would make nice leaves!

1. Chose some scraps of cotton fabric. Draw simple leaf shapes on one side of the paper-backed fusible webbing. Cut out the shapes roughly with paper scissors. I made four leaves.

2. Peel one side of the paper off the fusible webbing. Following the manufacturer's instructions, iron the webbing to the wrong side of your scrap fabric.

  Add your leaf details randomly as desired.

3. Peel off the other paper on the fusible webbing, and iron to the bag as desired. I just added a few leaves scattered around the tote.

4. Sew around the perimeter of the leaves using a sewing machine. Add some sewn details to the leaves if desired.

How to make the straps:

1. Use your seam ripper to take the canvas straps off the tote.

2. Measure your straps and multiply the width by two plus 1 inch. Add 2 inches to the length. Cut two pieces of cotton fabric to those measurements.

  Lay out your fabric wrong side up and the strap on top.

3. With the fabric strip wrong side up, press one long edge over 1/2 inch to the wrong side. Place the canvas strip on the fabric, with one long edge inside the pressed edge of the fabric strip. Center the canvas strap from top to bottom. Fold the other long edge of the strip over the canvas strap to encase it, then press. Turn the long raw edge under, pin, and press.

4. Topstitch both fabric straps using your sewing machine.

  Insert the end of the strap into the spot where it was before you seam-ripped it out.

5. Insert the end of the fabric strap into the spot where you took the strap out in step 1.

  Pin the strap in place before you start to sew.

 

6. Pin the strap flat against the bag.

  If you don't want to see the sewn square, use thread to match the tote. I like to see the stitching, so I chose a green.

7. On the front of the bag, sew a 1-inch square to secure the strap, then sew an X through the center of the square.

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Comments (22)

itsajoy writes:

toooo cute!!!
love it!
Posted: 7:04 pm on July 9th
GlassPeace writes: Oh my gosh I love it!
Posted: 1:28 am on April 30th
patricetaylor88 writes: This would be a great project to do with Liberty, my 8 year old niece.
Posted: 12:49 pm on March 25th
patricetaylor88 writes: This would be a great project to do with Liberty, my 8 year old niece.
Posted: 12:49 pm on March 25th
isnessofwhatis writes: this is AWESOME! I'm putting this on my must do list.
Posted: 12:56 am on July 16th
Menna writes: Super fun
Posted: 6:57 pm on May 19th
un_vagalume writes: I couldn't wait to do one on my own :P So beautiful idea!
Posted: 6:34 pm on April 15th
meganc writes: So cute. I want to do this with my daughters. It won't come out as neat and tidy, but they'll love doing it. Kayte, your tutorials are always fantastic.
Posted: 9:58 am on April 11th
scrappytime writes: This is such a great project! Fun and functional!
Posted: 6:32 pm on April 9th
sarahbcraw writes: This is so fun!
Posted: 1:33 pm on April 7th
erika_kern writes: So much fun! I love how it just screams spring. Oh, and you're completely making me miss Brooklyn. Brooklyn!
Posted: 11:18 pm on April 3rd
csheffield writes: Definitely can't wait to try this!
Posted: 7:19 pm on April 3rd
croqzine writes: Best use of apple prints ever! Love the addition of the applique leaves. Genius!
Posted: 5:52 pm on April 3rd
codyscreations writes: That is too cute!
Posted: 11:59 am on April 3rd
ien writes: cute!!!
Posted: 12:58 am on April 3rd
ien writes: cute!!!
Posted: 12:58 am on April 3rd
hemidemisemiquaver writes: Very, very cool! I was just in DUMBO the other day!
Posted: 2:51 pm on April 2nd
PetitGateau writes: Once again, you've come up with something I have to go home and make right away! : )
Posted: 2:19 pm on April 2nd
susanstars writes: oh, I love it!!
Posted: 1:34 pm on April 2nd
kaytet writes: thanks ladies!
Posted: 1:09 pm on April 2nd
LindaPermann writes: adorable!
Posted: 12:24 pm on April 2nd
Jen_W writes: This is absolutely fantastic!
Posted: 12:23 pm on April 2nd
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