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Monday, August 12, 2013

How I Spent My Summer (of JoAnn)

Remember when Labor Day was the unofficial end of the summer?  Now with kids going back to school in a couple of weeks (or maybe already in school wherever you are) it feels like it's already over.  It was a very busy summer and weather-wise not the greatest, but we did have lots of little enjoyable moments and there's still time to soak up what's left.  This week I have a few posts planned as sort of a summer wrap up.  First up is a project I did as part of the Summer of JoAnn campaign for JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts

project photo via

With as little blogging as actually I did this summer, you can be sure I still spent a lot of time crafting.  JoAnn Fabrics' Cape Discovery craft catalog was a fun way to get some inspiration.  I didn't realize JoAnn has so many free projects on their site.  When you go to the top of the page has three categories: Shopping, Projects, and Classes.  I had only ever been to the Shopping section (default) so I was really surprised with all of the fun projects they have. 

I crocheted a couple of the amigurumi patterns this summer and I posted updates on Instagram, but today's focus is on this cute little drawstring backpack pattern.

No, Bean's name doesn't start with an M.  I made this with a friend in mind so the initial is meant for someone else, hehe. 

The full instructions are at the link above, but I took a few pictures during the process to maybe help clarify the steps.  I also did some minor things differently, but that's what's great about crafting: you can use project instructions as inspiration and make it your own way from there.

Step two of the instructions had me a little confused when reading it until I actually did the step.  So I took this picture of what I think the instructions meant for all of those visual learners out there, hehe.

Once I had all my pieces cut out I realized I didn't have any wonder under on hand so I used my old standby method.  Elmer's School Glue is really just starch so it works great as a temporary way to hold a seam or applique when sewing.  It washes away in the laundry so I use those little purple tubes all the time.  So far I haven't had the purple dye anything a weird color, but I do always worry about that so maybe keep an eye on things or just get the regular white school glue. 

All I did is spread some school glue on the back of the letter I wanted to applique and then placed it on the fabric where I wanted it.  Then I pressed (with no steam) the letter to the bag for a few seconds to let the glue dry.  Once it was dry I machine appliqued the letter to the bag just as I would have if I had used wonder under.

Step four it wasn't clear that you should cut the 3x3 fabric square on the diagonal and use those pieces for the two sides, so again here is a picture of what I did and how I interpreted the step.  It worked great this way.

Once I attached the grommets, I decided they would look better (and a little girlier) if I embroidered around the edges.  So I did using some DMC thread.  I think it makes the bag a little sweeter.

In the interest of being a girly bag, I decided to use cute ribbon instead of the cording recommended.  I think it turned out so adorable. 

This little backpack came together so quickly and with so few supplies, that it would make a great gift bag for any little kid.  You could make a bunch of these in one night for party favors or even a fun pajama bag for a sleepover.  I'm sending this one off to a little girl as part of a swap party I participated in (more on that later) and I think it'll be very well received.

If you're interested in being a JoAnn Preferred Customer you can click here and you'll get a 20% off coupon just for signing up.  I recommend at least checking out some of their projects.  I know when Bean is a little older it'll be a great place to go for ideas for projects we can do together.

JoAnn Fabrics and Craft Stores sent me a gift card for the supplies in this project, but I was not otherwise compensated.  ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE.

As usual, linking up to:

I Heart Nap Time The Chicken Chick Photobucket  photo blogbutton_zpsb1fa0f6d.jpg Happy Hour Projects Photobucket


  1. So glad you clarified the M. I kept hearing her say M in my head but didn't think she was so obsessed with it that you made a bag with it for her!

  2. I love elmers glue. I have used that trick for Tie shirts, I attached ribbon to the tie shape with the glue stick then zig zag over the top of the ribbon. Then glue stick to attach the decorated tie to the t-shirt.

  3. This is really cute by the way. I love the floss around the grommets.


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