Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Homemade Gift for Teacher - Tote Bag

tote bag

Thinking about Back-to-School??

This might be the perfect gift for a teacher that you know...
My children and I made these as part of our end of the year teacher gifts this year.  They have a unique, and personal touch, and are just adorable if I don't say so myself!  Inside, we included a Summer Checklists they created and a little package of goodies.  As a Back-to-School gift, you might include some school supplies (for teacher, of course), some snacks to keep in her desk drawer, or other items of that sort.

I am thrilled with how these turned out!

My inspiration...
The Paper Bag by The Crafty CPA
Ok... I LOVE this bag...  I just needed to simplify this a bit.
For one... I didn't have the time.  Two... I wanted the kids to play a part in creating it.

The best part is, I made these for less than $4 a piece!

-  Canvas Bag, white (I found this 3 pack at JoAnn's for $9.99 and used a 50% off coupon)
-  Sharpies in Blue & Red, fine tipped
-  Needle & Embroidery Floss, #414 (OR... you could use a grey Sharpie)
-  Pencil
-  Ruler

1)  Use a ruler to make lines about 1/2" apart with the blue Sharpie.  I started my lines 3" from the top of the bag.  

2)  Using your red Sharpie, draw a line down the length of your bag, as you see me measuring in the photo below, about 3" from the left of your bag.

And this is what you'll have...

3)   I found that the lid of the Sharpie was the perfect size for the notepaper "holes".  You can use this as a stamp by coloring the edge with a washable marker, place your "hole" and go over it with a grey sharpie if you wish.  I did this with one bag (as you'll notice in the main photo) but decided not to with the others.

4)  Using a pencil, I had my children write their teacher's name in large lettering. 

My 3 year old struggles with writing names still, so I asked her to draw a picture of her teachers instead.
I thought these turned out SO adorable!

5)  How crafty are you?  I chose to embroider my children's pencil lines to finish these off nicely.  If this is not your thing, you could go over your child's pencil lines with a grey Sharpie, or let them write or draw with the Sharpie in the first place.  (I would recommend the pencil first... just to be on the safe side.)

**  I'd also recommend tossing these in the dryer to heat set them.  That way if they ever need to be washed, your lines will stay in tact.

 And here is an up close shot of a finished bag.   Totally adorable, right?
Homemade Gift for Teacher

What teacher wouldn't love that?!


  1. I LOVE these bags! I want to make a couple of them for our teachers (and for me too!).

  2. these are sooo adorable! going to add them to my craft list for first day gifts... thank you for the great idea!

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!! What an adorable idea!!

  4. This is awesome. My kid's teacher is totally getting one of these this year!

  5. I So Love This idea! Would you mind if I attached the picture and then put a link from my blog to head on over to your blog for the idea on how to make one? Thanks! :)
    Crayons and Curls

  6. This is adorable!! I want to make them with the kids for their teacher--me! =) They'd probably want one for themselves, too. =)

    So cute. Thanks for the great idea!


  7. Very nice idea and the bags look cool! Thanks for sharing your tutorial:)

  8. You've been featured on Fabulousity Friday at Sweet Tea Serendipity. Come & pick up your award here: http://sweetteaserendipity.blogspot.com/2011/08/fabulousity-friday-7.html

  9. OMG I absolutely LOVE this... I am bookmarking to make them for my kid's teachers. They are precious!

  10. Great idea--can't wait to make a few.

  11. How cute! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I'd love to have you visit our first linky party this Thursday! It's a party specifically for kids and teenagers craft and other ideas, so your idea will be absolutely perfect! Hope you'll stop by!


  12. This post made me smile. Thanks for inspiring me and many others to even attempt this feat. Really appreciate that you linked up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  13. School starts in 11 days here. I want one of these for me. And of course for my little girl to give to her teacher. Hmmmm. . .think anyone would notice if my bulletin boards in my classroom aren't finished?! LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you!!

    Oh My Little Classity Class

  14. I see these bags at Hobby Lobby cheap and w/their 40% off coupon they always run these would be very inexpensive to make. I don't have any children in school anymore but I know my neice who is in college would actually love this.. going to try and make her one.. since she is going to be a nurse I am going to put her name w/Nurse before it and since I draw like a 4th graders my drawing of a nurse will look cute. :)

    sue s (new follower) sunlite705

  15. These are such cute bags, and as I teacher I know I would love them! I'm featuring this on my blog today, Clever Nest, as part of a Back to School DIY roundup, come check it out!



  16. love this! thanks for sharing!

  17. Love it!!!! Thank you so much for posting I have looked for two weeks trying to find something for my son and I to do for his teacher and this is perfect!!!!


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