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Appliqued Sea Star Tote Bag

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2009


A pair of sea stars floats across a natural-hue tote. Because the canvas bag is too thick to print on, we used a lightweight canvas for the impressions (muslin also works) and appliqued them in place for a pleasing sense of dimension. The finished product is perfect for the beach, but it would look just as chic on a city street.


  1. Print a sea star on lightweight canvas or muslin. (If the sea star's underside is concave, the details may be hard to capture. Instead, lay the star upside down, and use the fish-form technique, pressing with fingers.)

  2. Cut out printed sea star, leaving a 1/2-inch border. 

  3. Place sea-star cutout on bag.

  4. Applique sea-star cutout: Starting at the end of 1 of the cutout's arms, tuck edge of cutout under 1/4 inch. Using a needle and thread, sew along fold, securing with small stitches. Repeat, tucking next section of edge under 1/4 inch and sewing to secure. Continue along edge until cutout is attached. Repeat with additional cutouts.

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