Monday, 17 September 2012

Toy Tote and a toot

Ooooh, have I been busy! Wait till you see what I made this afternoon.

Hello, my crafty cronies. So, I've been noodling with this idea for Mynette's Technique Tuesday challenge. This month she's kindly given us a lesson on how to make faux leather using masking tape and all we have to do is make something of it.  Just like the quick-witted Winnie the Pooh, I thought and I thought and all I could say was "Oh bother!"...until today. A trip to the Body Shop ended with a few freebie sachets of Shea Body Butter being shoved into my shopping bag.  I don't fancy smothering stuff that smell like food on my skin (makes me hungry) but I know someone who takes pleasure in smelling like a tropical fruit punch. Some free chocolate smoothie body cream is right up her alley. A nice receptacle and gift voucher will make it a wonderful gift.

After shopping, I headed straight to my craft corner and a couple of hours or so later I emerged with this toy tote, thanks to Mynette's tutorial and some inspiration from Top Tip's Tuesday #85: "Recycle It". Since I'm sort of pleased with the way it turned out...for the most part,  I'm also linking up this project over at Anything but a Card #2: "Texture"Pile It On #38: "It's A Stitch Up!" and Simon Says Stamp & Show: "Tape It Up!". There's also a how-to pictorial if you decide to make your own toy tote.

Here's my toy-tote. It is 4-1/4" at the base and stands 6-1/4" tall. The front and back panels are faux leather.  
The straps are made of ribbon.
The bag is 3/4" thick and can comfortably hold 6 sachet of  body butter and a gift voucher. I couldn't help but stitch all the panels. Just keeping it real, folks!
On the front I have a tag; the behind is plain.
Here's a close-up of the faux leather. The masking tape and Snowflake EP offer plenty of interesting texture. A very tactile tote!  For the tag, I used Spellbinder dies and the sentiment is by Waltzing Mouse Stamps. 
Quite a roomy tote. Will also hold a
bar of two of real chocolate.

So what have I recycled? These 2 items: crochet thread from a trunkful of threads, yarn, needles, bobbins etc that I inherited from Conan's great-aunt when she passed away 5 years ago and a roll of painter's masking tape that Conan bought last month but never used because someone left it out in the rain and it got all wrinkly. Personally, I wouldn't recommend intentionally leaving your husband's toys out in the rain, unless of course you felt compelled to subtly inform him that cutting copper wires with your ribbon scissors is oh so wrong. It's great when you can communicate this frankly with your spouse!

On to the pic-toot-orial:

Cut 2 pieces of CS in kraft / tan measuring 6-1/4"  x 4-1/4" each.
On the 4-1/4" side measure and mark 3/8" in from both ends.  Draw a straight line down to the bottom end as shown above and cut off  both these portions and ...   
... the rectangle now measures 3-1/2" on top and 4-1/4" at the bottom. 
Repeat with the other piece and you should have 2 pieces as above. 
For the base of the tote: cut a piece of CS measuring 4-1/4" x 1-1/4". Score 1/4" on both long ends, leaving a central panel of 3/4".  
For the sides of the tote: cut a piece of CS measuring 6-3/4" x 1-1/4". Score 1/4" on both long ends, leaving a central panel of 3/4". On one end, score 1/2" in from edge, as shown above. Cut and score another piece of CS in exactly the same way.
To create tabs to hold the base, cut and remove the shaded area (as shown above) from the side pieces, where you made the 1/2" score. This will leave a  1/2" tab on both pieces of CS.
Next, I worked on the body panels of the tote - the faux leather  for front & back. I followed Mynette's tutorial.
First I applied Memento Dessert Sand - direct to paper (panel on left) . The I applied Memento Rich Cocoa, also direct to paper (panel on right). 
With an applicator I rubbed TH's Vintage Photo all over (left). I repeated the process until I was happy with the blend and depth of colour (right). So pleased was I with the colour-blend that I went fix myself a G&T to celebrate. Shockingly,  when I came back the panels were too dry for the embossing powder to stick. Great! 
Didn't want to mess up my Versamark pad to I dabbed  some refill all over the panels before...
... dumping the Snowflake EP all over the panels and heat-setting them. Here is the end result. 
Now to assemble the base of the tote. I layered the side and base panels with chocolate CS and stitched with the old crochet thread. Next I adhered the side panels to the body panel of the tote, followed by the base panel, in all cases keeping the glue tabs on the outside, i,e, over the body panel as shown above.  This will keep inside of the tote free of joints.
Then I adhered faux leather panel, which I had also given a dose of stitching.
Repeat the process on the other side. 
Lastly, cut 2 pieces of ribbon, each 10" long, and attach to the top of the top tote (about 1/2" in from the edge) with brads.  I've used 4 black brads, i.e 2 on each side. 
Close-up of the faux-leather.
Here's a list of the main ingredients:

Faux leather: 
Materials: Masking tape, PVC glue
Inks: Memento Dessert Sand and Rich Cocoa, Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink
Embossing: Sticky Fingers Snowflake EP, Versamark Refill, heat tool


Materials: CS in tan and chocolate; Crochet thread for stitching
Handle: Ribbon, Brads
Tag: Spellbinders Beaded Ovals S4-294; Classic Ovals LG  S4-110; WMS Say It Loud stamp set; Memento Rich Cocoa.

I know this project sounds complicated but trust me, it really isn't. It's just a tad fiddly because of the faux leather work. If you choose to use patterned paper, you can churn 'em out in no time.  My measurements for this tote are based on the size of the Body Shop sachets with about 1/2" wriggle room and can easily be adapted for any size. If you have any questions, drop me a line.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again real soon!


PS: Don't forget to swing by Make It Monday #108 for this week's spectacular show and tell!

Blogged to:
Martini Bianco on ice and 


  1. What a great idea to add texture. I LOOOVE this! :) Thanks for joining us at ABAC!!! :) :) :)

  2. What a fantastic idea Asha!! I love the way your post gives us all the details and the finished result works so brilliantly - your friend is very, very lucky!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us ABAC and I do hope you'll join us again soon!
    PS Have you thought of putting it in at Simon Says Stamp and Show?? Their theme this week is taped up - so good for your piece!! x

  3. Hey Asha, thanks for your sweet words on my card. This is a great tut and your card/creation is wow....have joined your blog too as a newie..x

  4. Wow Asha, what a fabulous project! Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial and pictures. So happy you joined in our Recycle It challenge here at Top Tip Tuesday!!! Hugs

  5. Gorgeous project Asha~I love the look!

  6. LOL..your posts are just chalked full of inspiration and humor. I just love it! As for your tote bag and gift set...WOWZERS, that faux leather is sensational! Eat your heart out Gucci. ;)Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial as well.

    Thank you so much for playing along with us at Top Tip Tuesday!
    Remember you can enter up to 3 projects and 3 tips.
    Have a great one!
    Lisa xx

  7. Asha, this is amazing!!!!! LOVE the use of our technique--thank you so much for your support of Technique Tuesday!!! We LOVE seeing your projects! HUGS! :)

  8. FABULOUS!!! LOVE this faux leather technique, I have never seen anything like it before. Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial and for joining us at Simon Says Stamp and Show :)

  9. Wonderful way to recycle - Fantastic idea and great tutorial! Thank you for sharing this with us at Anything But A Card Challenge.

    I invite you to join me at the Anything Goes challenge here:

    Lots of joy,

  10. This is great. What a wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much for playing along with us at Pile It On this week.

  11. there you go again-showing off your super creative skills! This is just outstanding, I love it xx

  12. Fabulous gift bag, wonderful tutorial,and communicating with your spouse tips all in one post!! Love it!! The faux leather gives such a wonderful impression of the real thing! I was a bit envious about the lotion...we no longer have a Body Shop nearby and I love their products!
    Thanks so much for joining us at ABAC!

  13. This is awesome! Thanks so much for the tutorial too (should've added (TIP) after your name as it's a great Top Tip!).
    You did make me giggle ref hubby, his copper wire and your ribbon scissors!!! I have a hubby like that too - although he preference is for my ONLY decent veg knife!
    Thanks for joining in with us over at Top Tip Tuesday for our 'Recycle it' challenge :)

    Carol x

  14. I know what you mean about smelling like food, I hate going to the beach because I love to each coconut candy and there's always someone there with coconut oil on. good idea to give the stuff away and you're too nice to make a beautiful bag for it, and a gift voucher too! thanks for sharing it with us at Pile It On.

  15. This is brilliant! I love how you made a bag! That's so creative! Awesome use of the technique!! Thank you so much for joining us at Technique Tuesday! :)

  16. This is fabulous Asha, what a fantastic tutorial and a wonderful creation..brilliant.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Make it Monday.

    luv CHRISSYxx

  17. Hi Asha Spotted you an Make it Monday ! This is lovely texture looks almost real...Thanks for the tutorial !

  18. Fantastic project and tutorial Asha. I saw this on MIM..faye

  19. Wow, this is fabulous. Thanks for the tutorial. I saw it on Make it Monday.

  20. Wow, such a cool bag! Thanks for the tutorial.

  21. Hello Asha, thank you so much for joining us at Mynnette's Technique Tuesday Challenge Blog this month. Now that the formalities are over with - wowser! What a fantastic way to use this months technique. I love what you've made and thank you so much for sharing the sizes and everything too. I'll have to find some time to try this out. I do hope we get to see more of your lovely creations for the next challenge hugs Karen

  22. Beautiful Project and wonderful tutorial Asha. I saw this on MIM..Loz

  23. That faux leather is great, isn't it? I saw it on MIM.

  24. I saw your beautiful creation on Make It Monday and had to visit and take a closer look. Gorgeous! TFS!

    My entries are: #111 and #124.

    I would love to have you visit my blogs: Paper and Scraps Creations by Julia and Me and Myself on the Dark…



  25. superb idea and I loved the textured feel it is giving to the whole project... the earthy look creates wonderful, saw your entry on MIM and dropped in to say how wonderful it has come out to be!!


  26. great giftbag and I am a huge fan of the masking tape technique!Thanks for joining in the Anything But A Card texture challenge starts tomorrow and I hope to see another of your creations!

  27. Wow Asha this is a stunning tote and thank you for sharing all of your wonderful tutorials with us. Have so many of your's that I must try!!!. I love that faux leather card it looks amazing. Beautifully decorated too. You are such a talented lady. Big hugs Clare xxx


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