New This Month


Embroidered Tote Bag

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2010


Turn a child's drawing into a long-lasting keepsake with this bag from crafter Sharon Fischer.


  • Plain canvas tote bag

  • Children's artwork

  • Scanner or copier

  • Medium to heavy point permanent marker

  • Tracing paper

  • Iron-on transfer pencil

  • Square embroidery hoop

  • Embroidery floss in colors of artwork

  • Embroidery needle

  • Quick Fuse iron-on fabric sheet


  1. Scan original artwork on computer or color copier, flip design to make a mirror image, and print.

  2. Trace lines of artwork with permanent marker. Place tracing paper over artwork, and trace marker lines with an iron-on transfer pencil.

  3. Place tracing paper right side down on tote bag, and tape in place with painter's tape. Iron tracing onto tote.

  4. Place a square embroidery hoop around design, pulling fabric taut.

  5. To begin stitching, fold three strands of embroidery floss in half. Thread 6 ends of floss onto needle. Insert needle into fabric, back to front, leaving a tiny loop in the back. Insert needle back into fabric, front to back, and pull needle through loop on back to secure.

  6. Backstitch along lines, and fill shapes with satin stitches. (See the how-to glossary of these and other embroidery stitches that can be used to complete the bag.)

  7. When embroidery is complete, Iron a sheet of Quick Fuse iron-on backing over the wrong side of the embroidery on the inside of the bag.

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