Monday, July 1, 2013

DIY 4th of July + $200 Gift Card Giveaway!

I am sooooo excited to post today! Eeeee!!! I'm practically squealing like a little school girl! Why am I excited? Two reasons. 1.) I have a fabulous project tutorial to share with you and 2.) I have teamed up with some amazing bloggers as well as to give one lucky reader a $200 e-gift card to either Jo-Ann's or Home Depot. Keep reading for more info! But first, let's get started on this awesome project.

As you know, we love the 4th of July around here. Christie's husband is a Marine, and my brother is a Marine and I have another brother enlisting in the Navy, so we are pretty darn patriotic around here and have a deep love for this amazing country. To celebrate, we are always trying new recipes and creating new projects that channel those fabulous colors of red, white, and blue.  Want to see more of what we've created? Just click here for some more simple treats you can make yourself! 

 Now that I have 3 kids, carrying all of their stuff makes me look like a one woman circus, if you know what I mean... and with those of you who have kids, you know what I mean... Instead of constantly looking like a crazy lady, I wisened up and started making my two older girls carry their own stuff. We have practically a bazillion dress up purses, so when we go to church, or swimming, or to the park, the girls each bring their own purses with their own little drinks in it or chapstick, or whatever Barbie they decide needs to tag along that day. And here's the thing... Every year on the 4th of July, we go to a parade, have a little BBQ, and go see some fireworks and since the 4th tends to A.) Be hot, which means we are carrying around extra drinks B.) Be a long day, which means we are carrying around extra snacks and toys to keep the kidlets happy C.) Involve parades, which means lots and lots and lots of candy and D.) Involve fireworks, which means my girls like to carry their own sparklers and pop-its around, I did not... let me repeat that... I DID NOT want to be the one carrying all that extra stuff... So, when I was contacted by to create a DIY 4th of July project from Jo-Ann's (want some awesome coupons? Click here), I knew I wanted to make something that was quick, fairly easy, and p.r.a.c.t.i.c.a.l.  That's how this little tote was born...

I am not much of a seamstress, so this tote had to be on the easy side. I waivered back and forth between being super adventurous and making my own tote, or make things simple and use a canvas tote... you can cllleeeaaarrrrlllyyy see that the canvas tote is the big winner here.

I wanted the tote to be red, white, and blue (of course) and I wanted some sort of flag theme. So, I decided to purchase just a plain white medium tote, some red polka dot fabric (which I am in love with!) and some blue fabric to adorn the tote with. For once, this project turned out just how I envisioned... I love it when that happens! Woot! Holla like a rock star!

Want to make one (or two, or three) of your own? Here's what you'll need to complete each tote...

Step numero uno... Cut 5 or 6 red strips. One of my totes had 5 strips and the other one had 6 strips. That's just how it ended up....  I cut mine 1" wide and made them 13" long. My tote was 13.5" wide, but I didn't want the strips to reach all the way to the end, hence the 13".  However, for the last strip, I cut it about 12" long because the bottom of the bag wasn't as wide.

I then fused them onto the tote using some Stitch Witchery. That stuff seriously saved my life! I'm so glad I fused it to the tote... you'll see why in a second. I didn't hem the strips because I knew I would be sewing them onto the tote later on, and after they were sewn,  if they frayed a little, that's ok. That's the look I was going for. If your heart desires, you can hem the strips. Just cut a them a little wider. Here's what the tote should look like after the strips are fused onto the tote.

And here's what they look like after they were sewed onto the tote. Like I said before, I'm glad I fused them on first so that they stayed in place while I was sewing. I'm kind of an awkward seamstress because I'm pretty much making things up on my own, and I don't have a lot of sewing experience, so I didn't want to be bothered with tons of pins poking me everywhere! :)

Step #2. Cut two strips of blue fabric. Your measurements don't have to be exactly what mine are, but I wanted a fairly large flower, so these are my measurements... 3" x 9" for the smaller strip and 5" by 26.5" (can you tell I didn't really measure... classic.)

The smaller strip you will fold it in half and baste it. The larger strip I decided not to fold it in half (I wanted it to be kind of floppy) so I just basted it. I didn't hem the strips either because I wanted them to be a little frayed, but I didn't want them to fray completely, so the stitching helps with that. 

See how lovely it looks all basted?

Step #3. After your strips are basted, cut scallops on them. Some people would probably make a template with scallops and trace around the template, but I really didn't want to do that, so I simply cut scallops. Flowers in nature aren't perfect, so why should this flower be absolutely perfect? Sometimes, beauty lies in the imperfections. Heh heh heh...

I cut smaller scallops for the smaller strip, and larger scallops for the larger strip.

Step #4. Sew around the scallops.

Step #5. Gather both strips to create some ruffles. I'm not very good at gathering material and ruffling, so this was probably the hardest part of the whole project. Remember I'm a little awkward at this kind of stuff? Well, if you're a whiz, then this whole step should be a breeze for ya.

Gather the strip until it makes a little circle. Make a little stitch by hand to fasten the circle together. My circle overlapped a little, and that's perfectly okay because it adds a little to the natural flower affect I was going for. Do this for both strips.

Step #6. Take a little break and enjoy some smiles from a sweet baby girl and and Diet Coke with lime.

Step #7. Place the smaller flower on top of the bigger one, and sew in place. I just did little stitches by hand  at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions to make sure it was on there securely.

 Step # 8. Sew the flower securely onto your tote and add a little embellishment! My girls picked their embellishment out, and of course it had to be a little sparkly button! *Little side note: My flower was a little floppy, so I just dabbed some fabric glue here and there to adhere the petals to the tote. If you don't have fabric glue, I'm sure a hot glue gun would work!

Step #9. (Last one, I promise) Take pictures of your cute girls with their new totes and send it to me! If you have boys, you could easily make a star out of the blue fabric and if you happen make a tote for a boy, take a pic and send it to me! If you made one for yourself (like I am conteplating doing), take a pic and send it to me! My email is:


I would love to see all pictures of your totes and learn more about you! I may even do a post featuring your totes!

 See, isn't that a fun project? Yippee!

Now, for some the other fun stuff!

I have teamed up with  and seven other bloggers to host this giveaway and blog hop!
First off, who are our other bloggers who have designed their own DIY 4th of July projects? They are:

1. Natalie at Natalie's Sentiments

2. Katie at Made to be a Momma

4. Stephanie at Crafting in the Rain

5. Danielle at Blissful and Domestic

6. Emily at House and Hone

7. Lisa at Grey Luster Girl

Stop by and show them some lovin'! They are fabulous bloggers, and I have admired their talents from afar. They have been so amazing to work with!

Now you have the chance to win a $200 e-gift card to either Jo-Ann's or Home Depot! Your choice!

Whoa, that's awesome sauce. Seriously. $200? You get to choose between two awesome stores? You've got to enter this giveaway! Snap to it!

Now here's the details...
The giveaway runs from July 1st through midnight on July 7th. To enter the giveaway, simply tell us what DIY 4th of July project you would like to create, and "like" each of the blog hop hosts on Facebook. That's it! The winner will picked via Rafflecopter on the 8th and will be contacted via email. If you do not respond to the email within 48 hours, we will pick another winner. 

That's it! 
Now I'll stop gabbing and let you submit your entries!!

Happy Crafting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would take the Joanna gift card and get tons of craft supplies I'd go craft crazy!

  2. Thanks for putting this all together Claudia! I am so glad you included me! Your bags turned out really cute!

  3. I would make some cute canvas artwork for baby girl's nursery!

  4. I need to recover my dining chair cushions.

  5. Liked them all :) I'd make your cute bag or the adorable usa map tshirt. super cute.

  6. Your post caught my eye because I luv to make fabric flowers! I would be able to buy up a bunch of fabrics (when on sale, of course) of so many pretty colors. I give them away to disadvantaged girls and women, also sew maternity dresses and baby items for the mothers and babies sewing project for Haitian Health Foundation. You did a nice job on the totes and the flowers!!

  7. Super cute bag! I love that giant flower :)



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