Reindeer Tote Bag
Don’t go shopping without it! Show your holiday spirit with this colorful reindeer tote bag. Sized to hold your gift items, I used my Basic Purse Pattern and increased the dimensions. Nothing fussy about this construction. It sews up quickly. Download the stencils and paint the fabric before sewing. This is a simple tote that offers a happy “Noel” and “Tis the Season” greeting everywhere you go. Add optional hanging pockets inside to hold Christmas wish lists or your shopping receipts. I used an airbrush to apply the paint but you can do it with with fabric paint and brush or sponge.
BEFORE PAINTING, ALWAYS WASH AND DRY FABRIC (WITHOUT FABRIC SOFTENER). DURING PAINTING, COVER EXPOSED FABRIC TO PREVENT ACCIDENTAL OVER SPRAY. ALLOW PAINT TO DRY BETWEEN STEPS.
Preparation & Painting
step 1 - Download and print out the stencils on heavy card stock or copy to blank stencil sheets.
step 2 - With a craft knife, cut out the grey areas. Spray the back of the stencil with adhesive stencil spray. Also spray the back of the die-cut letters.
step 3 - Cut your canvas and interfacing fabric to measure 17” X 41”. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric.
step 4 - Create horizontal boundaries for your work using 3 pieces of painter’s tape. The first piece should be placed across the width of the fabric at 20.5” from the fabric’s top edge. This marks the center bottom of the tote. Place thesecond piece at 17” from the top which will be 3.50” above the bottom center. This will be the base line for the “tis the season” stencil placement. Place the third tape above and touching the second piece of tape.
step 5 - To create vertical boundaries and a straight edge for the 4” wide, white vertical strip, put down three pieces of painters tape that start at the top edge and end at the center bottom. The first tape should be 2.50” away from the right raw edge, another piece 4” away from the first and the third piece 3” away from the left raw edge.
step 9 - Be sure to cover any fabric you don’t want to get sprayed. Spray the reindeer and the vertical strip with White Wedding paint. When airbrushing very light colors like white on vibrant colors like red, it will take more than one coat to achieve a good white. Don’t try to saturate the fabric. Instead apply a light coat, wait until it dries, then add another. Repeat until you are happy with the whiteness of the painted fabric.
step 10 - Remove the reindeer stencil. Remove the third piece of tape you placed horizontally in step #5, revealing the “tis the season” stencil placement line. Spray the back of the metal stencil and position it on the placement line with it’s left edge against the left vertical tape edge. Press in place. Cover any exposed areas to prevent overspray. Spray the stencil with Black Tie paint.
step 11 - The stencil will fit twice across the bag with about 1/2” in between. When the first spray is dry, pick up the stencil and move it 1/2” to the right.
step 12 - When all the paint is dry remove the stencil, the four die-cut letters and all the tape.
For assembly images go to my Basic Purse page.
step 1 - On both short ends of fabric, fold under the raw edges, wrong sides together and press to create a .50” hem. Sew down the hem. Turn under again 3” and press but do not sew.
step 2- Open the 3” hem and align the raw edges with right sides together. Be sure the creases match up.
step 3 - Sew the left and right side edges of the bag with 5/8 seams, from the raw edges to the center bottom. Finish off the seams with a serger or a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.
step 4 - Bring together the bottom point of the right and left seams in a pyramid shape. Smooth layers. Press with your hands to create temporary creases on angled edges.
step 5 - Place a ruler across the layers, aligning the 2” mark with the seam stitching. There should be 2” of fabric to the left and right of center.
step 6 - Make a line against the ruler with a pen or tape. Machine stitch across the ruled line.
step 7 - Turn the bag right side out and push into the corners of the line you just sewed. This will create the 4” flat bottom for your bag. If you like a solid bottom, cut heavy card board 4” by 12”. Sew a simple fabric cover for it and place it in the bottom of the bag. Hand stitch the cover to the bag’s side seams to keep the cardboard in position if desired.
step 8 - Turn the hem at the crease you made in step #1. Machine stitch around the bag 2” from the top edge.
step 9 - Finish the tote by attaching grommets four inches from the side seams on the front and back of the bag. Cut two pieces of purchased leather strips to 31”. Thread through the grommets and tie knots in the ends of the leather.
- 17” X 41” red canvas
- 17” X 41” Craft Fuse Interfacing
- 62” black leather straps
- 4 small grommets
- card stock
- craft knife
- sewing notions
- painters tape
- 4’ X 12” heavy cardboard and cotton cover 24.5” x 5”
- Repositionable stencil adhesive spray
- Metal “Tis The Season” stencil
- ColorArtzairbrush kit and paint color pouches: White Wedding and Black Tie