Handmade Gifts for Boys: embroidered kid art tote bag [a tutorial]


As I said yesterday, my boys love to do art. Their drawings and creations are seriously beginning to take over our house. Because not only do my boys love their art, they also hate to part with it. My oldest tapes it all over our walls, and the refrigerator is completely covered. I find myself sneaking papers into the recycling when the kids are asleep [I’m not the only one who does this, right??]

I wanted to come up with a creative way to keep my boys’ art, so the stitcher in me had to do some embroidery!

DIY embroidered kid art tote bag tutorial


  • 1/4 – 1/2 yard of woven material [depending on how big you want your tote]
  • embroidery hoop
  • embroidery floss and needle
  • scissors
  • water soluble transfer marker
  • sewing machine/thread
  • your child’s drawing

 photo 63e4dd47-de96-40db-be1f-ddab2f6f8869_zps711dc0ca.jpg

1. Stretch your fabric in your embroidery hoop. You will want to choose a fabric that is lighter in color and you can see light through – you will need to see your child’s drawing through the fabric.

 photo 44a565e3-9bee-4f5f-8e9e-a2c5c52b71c2_zps36770d27.jpg2. Hold your child’s drawing up to the light so you can trace the picture onto the fabric with your water soluble marker. If it helps, pin the picture to the fabric.

 photo f82e36f5-62bf-4e60-953a-875a10706f95_zpsc341a5f9.jpg3. After you’ve traced the whole drawing, stitch over it using your embroidery floss.

**If you stop at this step, wouldn’t this make a fabulous present for grandparents?? Just secure the fabric behind the hoop with glue.**

4. Make your tote bag, using this simple tutorial. By making the bag before you continue, you can make sure your pocket is an appropriate size.

 photo DSC_0073_zpse3b2039d.jpg5. Cut your embroidered fabric into a square and cut another piece of the same fabric in the same size. [the size you cut it into is your choice and will depend on how big your tote bag is]

 photo DSC_0079_zps07e6ba5d.jpg6. Put the two squares right sides together and sew along three sides, leaving the top open. A serger is not necessary for this step and can be easily done with a sewing machine as well.

 photo DSC_0097_zps0fa75b4f.jpg7. Fold the pocket right sides out. Fold the top edge down 1/4in. and press carefully.

 photo DSC_0109_zps5078a635.jpg8. Straight stitch across the top folded edge. Then place the pocket onto the tote bag and pin in place. [the bag is shown here without the straps]
 photo DSC_0127_zpse3c887bf.jpg9. Straight stitch around the three sides of the pocket, being careful not to sew through the other side of the tote bag. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitches!

 photo DSC_0142_zpsdad0301f.jpgNow throw some books or art supplies in there, and you’ve got yourself a personalized gift!

 photo DSC_0144_zps05c9ffaf.jpg

Head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to check out Stacey’s DIY Football Peg Dolls and to enter today’s giveaway!

Handmade Gifts for Boys continues tomorrow, so I’ll see you then!

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