Kids Art Tote Bag-Mother’s Day Craft

kid's art tote bags


As mother’s we LOVE getting all those cute pictures drawn by our doting children for Mother’s Day.  Am I right?  But what do you do with them after Sunday is over?  Sure, they hang on the fridge, with the magnets they made for a couple of days.  And then what?  Throw them away?  NEVER!! Today’s tutorial provides an option to enjoy those pictures created with love, and keep your fridge usable.

These tote bags are fairly quick to whip up, and they proudly display the budding Michelangelo’s you are raising.


Kids Masterpieces

1/2 yard each (at least 45 inches wide) of coordinating fabrics.  I used canvas fabric because it is sturdy and doesn’t require lining.  You can use whatever fabric you have on hand, or any cotton print you like.

Sewing Machine (Serger may come in handy, but not necessary)

These printable fabric sheets (You can buy them at any craft store, even Wal-Mart sells them in their craft area).

fabric paperAnd a copy machine.  My printer has copy/scan features, so that’s what I used.

Start with the adorable pictures.  Copy them onto the fabric sheets.  I shrunk mine down so I could have two pictures on the same sheet of paper.  Run a test print before printing on the fabric sheets.

kids art

kids art on fabric

Next cut out your fabric pieces.  The sheets come 8 1/2 x 11 inches, like a regular piece of paper, so I wanted my pockets to be 8 1/2 inches tall.

From the Blue (bag piece) cut 2 – 15 x 18 1/2 inch rectangles

From the Natural canvas (pockets) cut 2 – 11 x 18 1/2 inch rectangles

From the Natural canvas (handles) cut 2 – 4 x 36 inch rectangles

Prepare the handles by folding in half length-wise and pressing.  Open and fold each side into the middle, press, then fold in half again.  This will provide you with a one-inch handle.  Topstitch along each side of both handle pieces.

Hem the top of each pocket piece.  (Fold down a quarter-inch and press, fold once more and press again.  Topstitch through all layers.)

Applique the kids art to the pocket piece.  Mark the center of the pocket and the center of the art.  Match center lines, pin, and sew using a blanket stitch, or blind hem stitch, or zigzag stitch.  To save time you can just sew across the top and bottom, the sides will be sewn with the handle step.

Layer the bag side (blue piece), pocket piece, and handles.  Match the bottom edge of all three pieces.  Pin the handle to frame the art.

bag side unitsTopstitch the handle through all three layers (handle, pocket, bag).  Start at the bottom, sew up until 2 inches above pocket, sew across handle and back down other side of handle.  Repeat with the other handle.  Repeat with the other bag side.  This will provide you with six outer pockets on the bag.

Mark a line across the bottom of the bag 2 inches from the bottom edge.  Topstitch across that line.

bag bottom edge


This creates the bottom of the pocket and will help form the bottom of the bag.

Place bag sides right sides together and sew through all layers (with 1/4 inch seams), on the sides and bottom.  This is where I used my serger because canvas frays a lot.  You can also use a zigzag on a sewing machine to finish the edges.

To create a flat bottom (on the bag), match the bottom seam with the side seam.  This creates a triangle.  Flatten out the fabric and you will see the line you sewed 2 inches up.  Sew straight across the triangle matching the sewn lines.  Cut off the excess fabric.  (You can see the white lines sewn parallel to the bottom, and how the sewn line is perpendicular to these.)

bottom corner of bag


The last step is to hem the top of the bag.  You can do this step at the same time you hem the pocket piece, but I like the top edge to hide the side seam.  Repeat the steps for hemming the pocket pieces.  Be careful to not catch the handles when you are hemming the top.  Enjoy your beautiful bag, and the kids art!

kids art craft

anne signature


Our Mother’s May Highlight today is Trina Brunson.

mothers may trina brunsonTrina was nominated by her daughter, Ambre Fowlke.

Here’s what Ambre said about her mom in the nomination form:

She will do anything for us at any time. She gave up her dreams of traveling around the world so that she could be a mommy. She does a job she hates so that she can help support her husband. She helps her widowed mom every Wednesday for hours with projects around the house that my grandma can’t do herself. She is so kind and loving to everyone she meets.

And a short bio about Trina (again from Ambre):

She grew up in CA and Springville.  She has 6 brothers and sisters. Her family had a band where she played the drums and guitar.  She also took Karate.  She loves adventure, travel, being outdoors, decorating homes, singing, playing guitar and piano, and being around people.  She taught herself how to play piano, speak some spanish, and rebuild homes from the ground up. She has 7 kids and 11 grandchildren. One of the things I admire most about my mom is her desire to serve others.  I remember countless times where she would give to others even though she didn’t have the time, money, or means herself.
She truly loves everyone.  In fact, all of our friends call her Trina Mom because she loves them all just like her own children.  Her strong spirit shines through to everyone who meets her.  I sincerely hope I can grow up to be the kind of person and mother that she is.
I wish we could meet all these amazing moms that are being highlighted!  Thanks, Ambre for sharing your love with us.  Share some comment love for Trina!




About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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