Craftspiration: Perforated Tote Bag

Today’s craftspiration (craft inspiration) comes from this DIY by one of my favorite bloggers/TV personalities Amber Kemp-Gerstel of Damask Love. Her Perforated Leather Flair Tote Bag got my attention back in 2017, and I’ve been dying to do it since. It takes me awhile nowadays to get to all my crafts as my job (which I love) has become bigger and better. :)

I love her DIY, but I decided to alter it just a tiny bit to allow for a leather tote bag I already had. The only difference is the bag has an exterior leather pocket. On the plus side, having the perforations on the exterior pocket will allow the pin backings to be more ‘protected’ from interior contents. It seems like whenever I wear a pin, I always end up losing the backing…thus losing the pin in return.

Check out the instructions on Damask Love, and you can see my version below.

UPDATE: What kind of magic is this? Pin locks?!? I had no idea that these pin locks even existed. I guess I didn’t really need the exterior pocket. Well too late now. I picked some of these up from Amazon, and now my pins will be super safe.



Reversed Striped Tote Bag

I’m off to the 2015 Winter Alt Design Summit in Salt Lake City today! This will be my second Alt Summit as a blogger, and I’m really excited to go and get re-energized to take my blog to the next level. Plus I’m super pumped to meet up with the bloggers I met last year. We have been having this virtual relationship over the past year, and it’s definitely time to see each other face-to-face!

When you attend Alt, you definitely need a good bag to carry around your various accessories. Such accessories as your business cards, notebook and iPad. :) Last year I made an Vintage Blanket Tote to use at the conference, and this year I decided it was a good idea to repeat the tradition.

For the tote, I decided to use this striped twill fabric I bought at Britex Fabrics on a trip to San Fransisco over a year ago. It was about time I used this fabric…for it was collecting dust waiting for me to make up my mind on how to best use it. I found my inspiration last summer when I saw a striped tote bag at Anthropologie, and knew how I was going to craft my perfect tote bag for this years conference.

Overall the bag was pretty easy to assemble. The one exception was making sure the stripes matched up, and calculating the size appropriately to make sure that they worked with the seams. With a little patience, it all worked out and I’m super excited to sport my tote at Alt this week!



  • Exterior fabric – 1 1/2 yard
  • Interior fabric -1 1/2 yard
  • Head pins
  • Matching thread
  • Fabric scissors
  • Two leather bag straps
  • Leather hole punch tool
  • 8 – 1/4″ gold rivets (front and back pieces)
  • Rivet setting tool
  • Hammer
  • Sewing machine (not pictured)
  • Iron (not pictured)



Step 1:

Cut your fabric into the following pieces:

  • Exterior: 18″ wide x 41.5″ tall
  • Interior: 18″ wide x 41.5″ tall

I used a 3.5″ wide striped fabric for the outside of this tote. I folded the fabric in half (to match the stripes on front and back) and then measured from the bottom to top. This way the cut allows for the top and bottom of the finished tote to be blue stripes.

For the inside I am using a ticking stripe fabric with the stripes going the opposite way.

Step 2:

For the exterior, fold the fabric so the right sides are facing each other. With the open end at the top, sew a 1/4″ seam along both the left and right sides.

Repeat this step with the interior fabric.




Step 3:

Note: You will do Step 3 to both the exterior and interior fabrics.

Create a box bottom, pull the front and back pieces away from each other and line up the side seam with the bottom fold. The corner will be at a 90 degree angle.

Press with a hot iron.

Since the stripes on my fabric are 3.5″ wide, I marked with pins where the corner angle is 3.5″ wide.


Sew along the pinned line.


Trim off the excess corner, leaving about 1/4″ of fabric.


Step 4:

Turn the exterior piece right sides facing out. Iron to smooth out the fabric.

Keep the interior piece right sides facing in.


Step 5:

Insert the interior fabric inside the exterior fabric, lining up the side seams.



Step 6:

To make the top hem, fold inside the exterior fabric 1/4″ and then 1″ over the interior. If there is too much interior fabric, you can trim off a little off the top. Secure the hem with pins, and iron out flat.


Step 7:

Sew along the inside edge, around the mouth of the bag.



Step 8:

Once your finished sewing, you can flatten the hem with your iron.

Step 9:

Take your leather straps and measure 1/2″ and 1 1/4″ from each end. Mark with a pencil and punch a hole at each end.



Step 10:

On one side of the bag, measure in 5″ from each side and 2″ from the top, and mark with a pencil.

Step 11:

Using the leather tool, punch a hole through the bag at these marks.


Step 12:

Insert the rivet back from the inside of the bag…through the fabric and the strap.


Place the rivet front on top of the rivet back.


Use your hammer and rivet tool to set the rivets.

If you haven’t used a rivet tool before, it’s pretty easy. :) Place the rivet setter against the back rivet (flat side facing up.) Then take the rivet anvil (curved side down) and place it on top of the front rivet (shown below.) Now take your hammer and hammer down on top of the anvil to push the two sides of the rivet together.


Step 13:

Repeat step 12 to the other side of the bag to finish it off!


As a finishing touch, I sewed on a custom “Krafty Kath” leather tag from CocosHeaven’s Etsy Shop just below the top of the bag, in between the straps.



I love how it turned out! It’s just the right mix of bold and nautical. Now I’m ready to show off at Alt!

Come find me (and my bag) and say “hello!”

Vintage blanket tote bag

Since this is my first Alt as a blogger, I am trying to bring outfits that represent me, and where I come from. I’m lucky that its going to be cold this week in Salt Lake City, because I have some perfect sweaters for the occasion! And since this is Alt, I wanted to MAKE something that represents the Pacific Northwest too!

My idea started last July when I bought a vintage Pendleton blanket off Etsy. This seemed like the perfect starting point for something Northwest.

Pendleton blankets are kind of a staple for the Northwest. The company is based out of Oregon, my next door neighbor. My parents had and affinity for Pendleton blankets. My first year at college my parents bought me a UW Pendleton blanket. It was (and is) perfect for picnics and football games. Years later who knew that the design firm I was working for, would have Pendleton for a client. I had a great time working on print jobs for them while learning all about blankets in the process. There is such history in the company and they go to great lengths to make a beautiful, quality product.

So with a history with these blankets, I decided to make this vintage one into a tote bag to use as my carry-all for Alt Summit.

Now since I’m not a pattern maker, nor an expert seamstress…I needed to find the perfect pattern to showcase (and work with) the blanket. I went through 2 patterns until I came across and the Super Tote Pattern. With a few modifications (to adjust for the thickness of the blanket fabric) I created the perfect bag for Alt. Even though there are some flaws, I am so happy with the outcome!

Blanket tote process

I added a “Krafty Kath” leather label from Cocosheaven as a finishing touch! So come look for the girl with the blanket bag and come say “hi!”


Blanket tote


Taxidermy tote

My recent trip to Portland inspired me to make a craft worth the great city. I picked up this inexpensive natural colored tote at Joann’s, and my first instinct was to “put a bird on it” but that was too obvious. Instead I decided to take a cue from nature (and my current obsession with faux taxidermy) and put a deer on it! Maybe I can start a new trend on Portlandia.




Step 1:

First print out the deer template on the cover weight stock. Either cut with an x-acto knife, or cheat like I did and print it out using your Cameo Silhouette!!

I ran my stencil through my Xyron to give it some tack on the backside. If you don’t have a Xyron, you could spray some light Spray Mount on the backside.


Step 2:

Trim close to the stencil and position your stencil on the bag where you want it.


Step 3:

Choose what color of paint you’d like to use and begin to dab the paint on at a 90 degree angle. This helps the paint not to creep under the edges of the stencil.


Step 4:

Carefully pull off the stencil and fix up any rough edges with paint. Let it dry for a few hours, and then fill it up with your craft goodies and go!



September craft-spiration

Here are my latest craft inspiration from the web for September!

Summer is starting to draw to a close and all the kids are starting to go back to school. I’m luckily out of school…but that still doesn’t mean I can’t covet those back-to-school shopping trips I used to do with my Mother. Besides the new clothes, I was probably most excited about picking out my school supplies. New notebooks, pencils and backpacks to name a few. Here are just a few back-to-school inspired items that may turn into a craft sometime this Fall!

Top Row:

Pencil Pouches – I really can’t get enough of bags in general. These pouches created by Eveden on Etsy are absolutely gorgeous. Simple, clean, and perfect size for storing all your pencils.

Middle Row:

Trays – This biodegradable lunch tray is adorable and it doesn’t help that I’m currently obsessed with trays. I know there will be a tray craft in my future.

Colorful totes – Someday soon I will hopefully get a screen printing lesson from my friend Jen…and then I can make all the printed totes I want!

Bottom Row:

Printed tea towels – Just like printed totes, I love all kinds of tea towels. I don’t have enough room for more in my drawer, but a girl can dream.

Fabric notebook covers – My most favorite fabric notebook cover was made by Jill Bliss. She doesn’t sell them anymore, but I also love this one by Simbiosis on Etsy.