tote bag

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.