July 29, 2011

What busy woman couldn't use a great bag? Just as personal as jewelry but a little less expected, a simple tote bearing a chic design is baggage your bridesmaids will actually want to carry around.

The best thing about this bridesmaid gift idea: You won't find another like it anywhere else. Ask your calligrapher to create something special -- a sentiment (as we did here), an illustration, or simply each attendant's initial. Have the image converted into a digital file and print it onto iron-on transfer paper. Cut closely around the design, iron onto a canvas bag (following the manufacturer's instructions), and -- don't forget this part! -- admire your handiwork.

Grocery tote, $7.99, BagWorks. Iron-on transfer paper, $13.50 for 10 sheets, Epson. Dress, $1,920, by Barbara Tfank, from Barneys New York.

Download the templates in our PDF files for the border and the text; the lettering was done by San Francisco-based illustrator Leigh Wells. (You can commission her to add hand-drawn charm to your own wedding.)

Print the designs onto iron-on transfer paper (we've provided a mirror image, ready for printing). Then, with scissors, cut carefully along edges of design; this will remove the shiny background that surrounds each letter, which will make your finished tote look much more polished.

Carefully position the lettering on the tote bag, and iron in place following the manufacturer's instructions for the transfer paper. (You may find it easier to position the word "with" first, and then work outward from there; working with fewer letters at a time will give you more control.)


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