A couple weeks ago before we left for Hawaii my intern and I spent a good part of the week reorganizing the craft room to make room for the baby and so I could finally find glue when I need it. Some blank canvas totes resurfaced in the process (from my series of DIY canvas tote tutorials I did last year) and it got me thinking again about them. I thought making a notebook sewn tote would be the perfect back to school project for the fall.I sewed the horizontal lines with a machine and hand embroidered the red stripe. I like the look of different textures, but you could also sew the red stripe with a machine if you’d rather. This might be my favorite DIY tote yet! I love the look of sewn designs onto fabric and canvas is a super easy fabric to sew on since it’s stiff and has no stretch.
And if you’re into the notebook lined look, here’s my tutorial to make a notebook lined t-shirt. It’s a super easy project and Henry still wears his from 2 years ago (that doesn’t seem humanly possible but somehow it is).
Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by my new project assistant, Isabelle Ambler.
Keep reading to see how to make one yourself…
Canvas tote (I bought mine here for under $2 each)
Red embroidery thread + needle
Step 4: With either tape or colored chalk, draw or mark a straight line vertically about 2-3 inches in from the left side of the tote. Embroider with red thread. For a simple embroidering lesson, see my post here.