Crafty Kids | DIY Book Tote

by , posted on January 21st, 2013 in Kids DIY

Crafty Kids Book Tote

January is National Book Month. Show your love for the written word and how crafty you are with a super cool book tote. It’s perfect for carrying all those books you check out at the library, you clever kid, you.

Note: This is craft is for older kids and will require supervision since we’re using a sewing machine or it can be an afternoon parent-kid craft.

You’ll need:
an old tee shirt
sewing machine

sponge brush
freezer paper
craft knife


Step 1
Lay the tee shirt on a flat surface. Trim off the sleeves using the arm holes as your guide.

Step 2
Trim the neckline.

Step 3
Turn the shirt inside out.


Step 4

Lay out the teeshirt (inside out) and draw a line across the bottom. This will be your sew line. You can pin it if you like.

Step 5

Sew across the line. Then sew another line above or below it. You’ll want two sew lines so the bottom of the bag is extra tough.

Step 6

Trim the excess fabric below your sew line. Turn your shirt right side out and you have your very own bag. You can leave your project there or you can decorate it.



Show the world your love for the written word with a bold declaration. Take freezer paper* and write READ! Use a craft knife to trim out the letters and iron the freezer paper onto the bag (a grown up can do those two steps).

Insert a piece of cardboard into the bag so the paint doesn’t bleed through to the back. Apply paint. Let dry. Then peel off the freezer paper. You’re done!

*click here for a full freezer paper tutorial

reading tote

StumbleUponFacebookTwitterShare it!


11 Responses to “Crafty Kids | DIY Book Tote”

  1. Heather Says:

    January 21st, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Woohoo!!! Go Ellie!! :)

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    She was so proud of herself. It was really cute.

  2. Caroline Says:

    January 21st, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Super, SUPER awesome job, Ellie!! I absolutely LOVE it!!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Ellie says, “Thanks Miss Caroline!”

  3. Miranda Makes Says:

    January 21st, 2013 at 7:33 pm


    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Miranda. She did a great job, didn’t she?

    A sewer in the making.

  4. Miranda Makes Says:

    January 22nd, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Yeah, it would be really awesome if Ellie caught the sewing bug. Being able to sew is really empowering! Want something? Make it! :)

  5. marie Says:

    January 24th, 2013 at 11:12 am

    This was a great tutorial. I always wanted to make a t-shirt bag. I have a t-shirt just right for this project. thanks Ellie for your help.

  6. Kristen S- Craft Gossip Says:

    January 27th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I love this idea!! We too love to watch Pink Panther episodes…my children have seen every single one… not sure if I’m proud of that:)

    Just posted on Craft Gossip!!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Oh wow! Thanks so much Kristen.

    And I would wear that accomplishment as a badge of honor. Absolutely! ;)

  7. HawaiianLibrarian Says:

    January 28th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Clever craft that we could do at the library w/ parent and child pairs bringing in their own Ts. Mahalo for a great idea.

« previous  |  next »