Recently, we participated in the National Craft Day for Your Local Shelter. We made 20 tote bags to give out to people who adopt West Highland white terriers from a Westie rescue we volunteer with. These bags will hold the dog’s records, toys, their food, and any medication they need to go to their forever home.
Since these bags are so simple to make, I wanted to share with you a quick and fun craft to make for your dog (and cat) friends. This idea came from Martha Stewart, but I made a simpler version of the bag since I’m not as crafty as Martha.
Supplies you will need: Fabric tote bag, two types of ribbon, fabric paint, microsuede fabric (we found many colors at our local craft store), double stick fusible web (we used lite steam-a-seam), needle and thread, iron, and ironing board.
- Find a silhouette for the breed of dog (or cat) you want on your bag. One good resource is Google. However, when you search, click on the left to only search images. Next, save the image you want, then go into a photo editing software to resize it to fit the bag. Print out your silhouette and cut it out. This is your stencil.
- Trace your stencil onto one side of the double stick fusible web. Cut roughly around the outline, leaving some space outside the line you traced (don’t actually cut it out on the line yet).
- Peel off one side of the double stick web and attach it to the back side of the microsuede. If it doesn’t stick, use a hot iron to very lightly and quickly pass over the webbing and fabric to activate the web to stick.
- Next, carefully cut out the dog silhouette on the line you traced.
- Peel off the other side of the paper on the silhouette and place the dog where you want it on the bag. Thoroughly iron the dog onto place.
- Cut off a piece of the ribbon you want to use as the dog’s collar and attach it to the bag. You can attach the collar by either sewing it into place, or using a small piece of the webbing and ironing it into place.
- Next, cut off a piece of ribbon you want for the leash. Cut the ribbon longer than needed because it will be tucked over the top of the bag. Once again, you can attach the leash by either sewing it into place or by cutting webbing and ironing it on.
- You will also want to tack the leash onto the bag in a couple of places to make it more secure.
- To prevent the fabric from fraying, outline the dog with fabric paint and allow it to dry for several hours.
10. Enjoy your new bag!