Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Handmade Navidad: Tote Bag Craft

by Betty Galvan

This past weekend was all about the children. It normally is all about the children, but Jose and I were extra conscious of our little blessings. We went into the city on Saturday to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and spent some time in our old neighborhood of Tribeca. We wrapped up the weekend on Sunday by making book tote bags for Diego's older cousins. One is finishing up high school and the other one college (!), yet Diego (only in Kindergarten) adores the two and he can't wait to see them at Tita and Tito's house in Chicago in less than a week!

Inspired by an amazing apron Diego made at school for me, I thought that tote bags would be a perfect homemade gift for two young ladies who love to read. I stopped at Michael's to purchase the $2.99 bags, iron on rhinestones, fabric markers and fabric paint.

For the first step, I had Diego stand WAY back as I ironed on the rhinestones. You simply stick the plastic with the stones on the front of the bag, turn it inside-out and iron for about 30 seconds. Once it cools and you pull the plastic off, the stones should be set and your little one is ready to decorate as he or she pleases!

Diego wrote his cousins' names on the bag, drew some hearts, and felt it was important to label, "Books Only!" on the back of the bag, "just in case they don't know what the bag is for."

I painted his hands with a brush so he can leave his hand prints and "signature" on the back of the bags.

I let him make mistakes and helped him correct, after all, this was his special gift project.

Notice the hearts around the word "books"? They are there because he used an apostrophe! Ha! So cute.

The project was simple! My two year-old Santi was running around trying to help, but because this was so easy, he was able to help without us having to direct him to something else. Diego was so proud of his work and he can't wait to see Lisa and Cindy's faces when they open up their homemade gifts.

You can do the exact same project for others! Teachers can also use a tote, abuelitas can use an apron, and siblings can use t-shirts! The possibilities are endless and your little creator's project is memorable, unique and special. Happy Holidays!

Your friend,



Betty Galvan, is helping her readers "find the positive and seek the benefits" over at her blog,
She is the mother of three beautiful little boys and a teacher.


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