Monday, January 14, 2013

Gift Idea: Embroidered Owl Library Tote

Good Monday morning to you!  It's rainy and dreary here which makes the fact that it's Monday even more unbearable.  Ugh.

Anywho, I have a {belated} gift idea for you!  It's a little late for Christmas, granted, but I'm sure you have birthdays coming up, plus there's always the option to pin it for next year.  :)

The 5-year-old girl I nanny loves books.  We go to the library every Thursday morning and check out an armload so I figured it was high time I made her something to carry them all in.

I blurred her name to protect the innocent.  ;)

My love of owls has rubbed off on her, plus owls are wise, so I figured what better figure for a library tote?

Supplies:
Canvas tote bag (available at most craft stores - this one came from Hobby Lobby)
1 yard of pom pom fringe, ric rac, lace, whatever you like!
Scrap of black fabric for eyes
Fun patterned fabric for wings
Heat 'n' Bond
Embroidery floss and needle
Sharpie

Time:
1-2 hours

First, sketch your design on a sheet of paper (or Google an image and print it at your desired size).  The trick for a perfectly symmetrical owl?  Fold your paper in half lengthwise, sketch half of your owl, then cut it out while it's still folded.


BAM - perfect owl!


For my owl, I decided to use fabric for the eyes and wings and leave everything else natural.  If you wanted, you could do your whole owl in a fabric with contrasting wings, but I didn't have two fabrics I liked that looked good together.  I was all about using what I had!

Using a pencil, trace the owl shape onto the tote bag.


See that little area I've marked "wing" on the owl?  That's where I want my contrasting wing fabric to go.  So I cut it out, then, following the directions on the package of Heat 'n' Bond, I adhered it to the wrong side of the wing fabric, and cut out the wing shape.


Iron the wings onto the tote.  Yay, cuteness!


Now for the eyes, follow the same method as the wings, using the black fabric.  If you have a circle cutter, perfect!  If not, find two different sizes of small, round things to trace.




Now for the time consuming part:  embroidery.  Using black embroidery floss, embroider the eyes onto the tote.


I also embroidered the outer eyes, the triangle nose (not pictured) and the wings (in a contrasting color that matched my pom pom fringe to tie it all together).  If you don't know how to embroider, don't worry, I don't either!  Okay, well I know one stitch, the backstitch, which is what I use for everything.  After the embroidery is done, sew on your trim, making sure to pull it tight as you go and keep it as close to the edge as possible.

I think anything personalized is way more fun, so I wanted to add her name to her new library tote.  With a little experimenting, I drew an arch and traced it onto the tote.


Add some ribbon tails to the arch and trace it with a Sharpie - easy peasy!


I went back and forth on whether to embroider the owl's body or just Sharpie it, but in the end, laziness won out and I broke out the Sharpie.  I'm glad I did because it looks great and took no time at all.


And there you have it - a cute library tote for a cute book lover!


I hope your week is off to a great start!  I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things really soon, because I have a lot of things on my to-do list!  Go away, January laziness!


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