2010 whipup guest blogging series: library tote tutorial

by Admin on 06/10/2010

in Guest Series 2010, Whip Up Tutorials

September/October brings change of season, and fresh starts and frivolity and seriousness too. So for a break from whipup realtime I am introducing a few weeks of guest bloggers to liven up your crafty experience. To bring you something fresh, and hopefully invigorate you to make and do and be and think! Its going to be a fun few weeks so come along for the ride.

Today I want to introduce you to Holly Keller of Beeper Bébé, a fresh, family loving, unpretentious blog full of recipes and making stuff and full of the joy of living life. You can read a little more about her here.

Outfitted with sketchy knowledge of toy design at best and a hand-me-down sewing machine, I began designing plushies back in 2005. Today, I design all manner of toys and other things, usually incorporating secondhand or recycled stuff, and love to share tutorials on my blog. I have one gorgeously energetic 6-year-old boy who is a continual inspiration (and disruption) to my design endeavors. I live in Minneapolis. Future goals of mine include moving to France with my family, becoming a cowgirl, finishing that novel I started writing 15 years ago, learning to do shashiko, redesigning Little People for Fisher Price so that can be as cool again as they once were, and drinking scotch on my back step—not necessarily in that order though. You can visit my blog and buy my plushies and other stuff at my etsy store.

Library Book Tote Tutorial and pattern

Why hello there. It’s me. Holly, from Chez Beeper Bebe. I am so happy to be here with all of you. Mostly because I heart Whip Up and being a special guest is pretty rad. When Kathreen invited me over to be a guest and asked what I thought I would like to blog about, well, I pretty much immediately knew I wanted to share some sort of tutorial with all of you—because that’s what I do. I like to make stuff—mostly toys and plushies, mostly from recycled materials—but other stuff too when the mood strikes. And second only to designing stuff, I like to share those designs with other people so they can join in on the fun and make their own too. Which brings me back to Whip Up—because this blog is all about making stuff and sharing designs so others can make them too. And I admit, when I am not designing my own, I am probably making something of somebody else’s design, probably discovered right here. I make yours and you make mine and we are all together…or something like that?

Okay, but let’s get down to what it is I have for you here. It’s a tote bag—not that making a tote bag in and of itself if rocket science. While this tote was inspired by my boy (some of you may know him as Beeper), it is not only good for kids—it can be made for and used by big people like you too. Really.

Here’s a little bit about the inspiration behind the bag. First off, personally, I love tote bags and sort of buy them obsessively. I think you can never have too many tote bags (or pajama pants for that matter). As I write this, I am yearning to buy one of Emily’s new dancing bear tote bags—or to make several of these brilliant tote-like bags for use around our house from JCasa*Handmade.

Then there is the inspiration my son gave me—simply because he loveslovesloves the library and books and we visit almost weekly—so in designing this bag, I made it extra roomy so it can tote around a good sized lot of books. Also ever since he got his very own library card this summer, we are always having to hunt down where it is and who had it last—so you will see a little pocket prominently placed on the front of the bag, perfectly sized for a library card (no more search for the library card now because we always know where it is now). Also, the word on the front of the tote—BOOKS—well, it is rainbow hued because Beeper loves everything colorful and uses every crayon in his box when coloring a picture like his life depends on it.

And here is a 6 page downloadable pdf tutorial with templates for you on how to make my Library Book Tote.

It’s not so hard at all. Personally, I am already finding the tote handy to hang from a doorknob as a place to collect library books that need to be returned soon. I hope you enjoy the tutorial and make one for a kiddie you know, or just for yourself. Happy book toting and library visiting.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patricia October 7, 2010 at 12:54 am

Love this one!!! looks great I might try it!


2 Jeni October 7, 2010 at 3:23 am

What a cool idea! I linked to your post from our Friends of the Library blog — it’s my first time linking to your site, so please let me know if I need to change anything to give proper credit where due. Thanks!


3 eeloh October 7, 2010 at 5:03 am

Oh god, yet another bag to hang form the pegs by the door – which is already looking like a bag mountain! but this is too good to pass up. Thanks Holly.

I heart whipup too.


4 Naomi October 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

Loving my local library… Think I will craft your lovely bag to be a trusted library accessory. Thanks for the instructions!


5 Mary Williams October 15, 2010 at 11:32 am

I love this tote! My son plays the summer reading game at our local library every year and this would be great to have! I featured it on my friday favorites! http://lilbitofus.blogspot.com/2010/10/friday-favorites_15.html
I also checked out your etsy shop and you have really cute items in there!


6 Kim October 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I need one of these for myself. My favorite part of your picture…your son’s dirty feet! I love it! I always knew that if my kids had dirty feet at the end of the day they had a good day!!!


7 Nanette vitamine October 19, 2010 at 5:56 am

Thanks a lot ! I’ll make it soon.


8 Jo October 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

GREAT idea to have the library card tucked in there! My kids never know where theirs are!


9 shelly November 22, 2010 at 11:59 pm

What a wonderful tote and I love the toes!!


10 marci m March 15, 2011 at 8:35 am

love the tutorial, love the bag.. but what i love most is the picture of those LITTLE DIRTY FEET!!!!!


11 Janel March 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Love this idea. i need a book bag that can fit all my new fav’s in it…in a space that i can find. but i adore the idea of putting the card ON the bag…i’m good at hiding things…where i ‘think’ i can find them again!!


12 Kate April 13, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I referenced this tutorial because I LOVED your use of the card holder feature and wanted to let you know! Please let me know if you want me to change or delete the reference. I am new to blogging so I don’t know all of the rules! I love this bag and am a regular reader of your blog :)



13 Jen of Quality Sewing Tutorials February 19, 2012 at 8:32 am

Great tutorial! You’ve been featured on the Quality Sewing Tutorials blog.

We hand select only the best free tutorials and patterns for the home sewist.

Grab a brag button!


14 Michelle November 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

I adore this idea! I’m having a really hard time with the PDF though because the font is very hard to read. I’m also a bit confused by the diagrams for the card pocket. Is the velcro supposed to be on the right side or wrong side of the fabric? I see in the pictures above that there’s a tab closure on the outside of the pocket, but there’s not any mention of it in the PDF instructions. Am I missing something?


15 Annanda February 6, 2013 at 7:39 am

I made this bag 2 years ago, it is still in use & in perfect conditions. I love the card pocket idea (also the library lady loves the idea, as I used to forget the card BEFORE making the bag!).
I added the velcro closure to the pocket, without adding the tab closure, changed some colours and sewed a very useful zipper pocket to the inside.
So, thanks from Italy for this super cute bag!!!


16 Stacy Ann Bednar November 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Can I hire you to make me one :) Seriously!


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