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Iron-On Kids' Tote Bag

A cloth bag makes a natural canvas for young artists. This iron-on design spurs their self-expression, with its coloring book-style outlines and the start of a sweet sentiment: "Mom, I love you because..."

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2010


  • Transfer paper (Epson Iron-On Cool Peel Transfer Paper for basic transfer,; or Dark T-Shirt Transfers for white-on-dark transfers,

  • Scissors or craft knife

  • Ironed pillowcase

  • Natural-fiber (such as cotton) tote bags

  • Iron

  • Sharpie markers in assorted colors

  • Butcher paper

  • Scrap paper


  1. Download clip art, and print it onto transfer paper. (Images will appear in reverse.) Using scissors or a craft knife, cut loosely around the designs, leaving a 1/8-inch border.

  2. Lay an ironed pillowcase on a table or other hard, heat-resistant surface (not an ironing board, which has too much padding).

  3. Place an ironed bag on pillowcase. Arrange cutout designs face-down on bag, avoiding seams or pockets.

  4. With an iron set on high and no steam, slowly iron on designs, applying firm, even pressure (follow the transfer-paper manufacturer's instructions). Let cool. Remove paper backings.

  5. Before allowing kids to decorate their tote with permanent markers, cover the table with butcher paper. Slip sheets of scrap paper inside the tote to prevent the ink from bleeding.

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