OMG She’s Crafting! – Teacher Thank You Tote Bag

"Thank Your For Helping Me Grow" Tote Bags

I know. I’ve been writing this blog for more than a year and I am finally getting around to posting my first craft project. I’ll say it flat out: I do not consider myself a craft person. I mean, like everyone else, I have a Pinterest board full of fun, cute craft ideas, but like a good chunk of everyone else, I never actually do them. I see a cute idea, pin it, think, “Hey that might be fun to try someday,” but someday never comes. And that’s for a variety of reasons. Either the project seems too time-consuming, I don’t have the necessary tools/skills, or the artistic talent needed to properly pull it off is beyond my abilities. So there you have it, my crafting board on Pinterest is really more of a “Stuff I Might Do If I Were More Artistic, Had More Time, and Knew What I Was Doing” board.

Anyway, Big Bit is about to finish up her first year of school and we wanted to make something for her teachers to show our appreciation. She had such a successful year and I know a great deal of credit goes to her amazing teachers for helping her adjust, not only to going to school for the first time, but also to having another baby sister and giving Big Bit a space where she could be sort of free from that for part of the day. I’ve seen so many cute ideas for teacher appreciation gifts on Pinterest, but one really stood out to me: this “Thank You For Helping Me Grow” Flower Pot. I loved the sentiment and thought it was a really cute idea, but it fell under the “seems too time-consuming” category and so I never tried it. However, I also pinned this nifty project: Handprint Flower Tote Bags. In thinking of something Big Bit and I could do for her teachers, somehow my brain remembered these two projects and melded them together to come up with “Thank You For Helping Me Grow” Handprint Flower Tote Bags! Personally, I think these turned out really well and it was a lot of fun getting to do something crafty with my daughter.

"Thank You For Helping Me Grow!" Tote Bag

Your Supplies

Supplies

  • Canvas Tote Bag(s)
  • Fabric Paint (We used red and blue for the flowers with green stems, but you can use whatever colors you want. Using the school colors for the flowers is fun.)
  • Paint Brush
  • Fabric Marker (Again, use whatever color you want, but darker will show up better.)
  • Pencil
  • A small person willing to get their hands dirty

 

IMG_1763

You can just barely make out my pencil marks.

I started out by tracing out “Thank You For Helping Me Grow!” on the bag with pencil so I could see what sizing I wanted and how I wanted it to be laid out. I just did it by eye, and as long as you only go over the fabric lightly with the pencil, you can still erase and tweak things without problems.

My little helper and her flowers.

My little helper and her flowers.

"Thank You For Helping Me Grow!" Tote Bag

Once I had the words laid out, I grabbed Big Bit and had her make the handprint flowers and paint the stems and leaves. The only trick to this step is that when your child is doing the handprints you want them to put their hand straight down on the bag and then lift it straight back up again, otherwise the “flower” will smudge. Not the end of the world, of course, but it’s easy enough to avoid.

The FInished Product!

The FInished Product!

I let the bags dry overnight before finishing up the project by going over my pencil tracings with the fabric marker. Voila! Finished. In all, the project took less than an hour, not counting the time needed for the paint to dry, and that was to make two bags. This is a wonderfully easy craft project, even for someone as “un-crafty” as myself and a great joint-project to do with a preschooler or early elementary age child.

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