Adorable Stamped Mini Totes (Kids Craft Idea)

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Well Craft Campers, we’re deep into our week of kids crafts as summer winds down for some of you (and speeds up for the rest of us).  Today I have a kid’s activity that is practical yet adorable, and inexpensive to boot– Personalized Stamped Totebags (made with DIY stamps– did you see yesterday’s post with three practically free DIY stamp ideas?)

With ‘back to school’ thoughts in our head, this inexpensive craft idea is perfect for toting:

  • snacks or lunches
  • books
  • change of clothes
  • dance shoes
  • trucks and choo-choos
  • gifts– wouldn’t it be a cute gift bag?

The base for the bags are cheap-o totebags available at most major craft stores for $1 (or less).  Cheap is good if you are stamping with kids, because if they make mistakes it’s not the end of the world.  If you are stamping them yourself or have an experienced stamper as your camper, you can upgrade to a heavier tote if you wish.  {snicker… stamper camper… I think this week of kids crafting is making me a bit punchy.}

DIY blue bird stamps

stamps (here’s how to make three DIY stampers if you need them!)
fabric paint (or paint mixed with fabric medium in the stenciled tea towel tutorial)
tote bag


1.  Slide a piece of cardboard inside the bag to protect the other side from paint.

Slide a piece of cardboard into the bag to prevent the paint from seeping through

2.  Dab your stamp in fabric paint (or use a paint brush to apply to the stamp, depending on the age of the child).

My Noodle and her Yiayia (grandmother) stamping together
Little girl and her grandma stamping together

3.  Stamp onto the tote, making sure to press evenly.  Feel free to add embellishments (like this beak I added with a paintbrush).

Stamp on a hard surface to ensure the stamps are even

4.  Let dry, and rock that tote!

Adorable stamped bag


Circles stamped on a bag

You can also use spouncers like in the reusable cloth napkin tutorial for some ‘happy dot’ tote bags.  Some kiddos might like ‘driving’ a toy car through black paint and then onto a tote for tire tracks.  Use your imagination– and as many household objects as you can think of!

Note: for the bird tote above, I stamped over the birdie a second time so it appeared more ‘solid’.  Since the totes are cheap, paint does seep through it and it might need a second application to look more finished.  If a child is making the tote, it wouldn’t matter but because I created this particular version while my kiddos were asleep, I took the liberty.  Just wanted to fully disclose these things, keeping it real over here!

Obviously, if you are doing this with kids the birds probably won’t line up and the circles perfectly overlap.  You get what you get with kids, and you celebrate it.  I plan to use these as gift bags, so I know you’ll understand why I did them myself.  To prove that I do stamp with the kids, here’s evidence A– also labeled, ‘why kids should use an apron and/or be naked around permanent fabric paint’:

Little girl with apron on

And no, that paint didn’t come off those pink pajamas she’s wearing.  But it’s all in the name of art, right?

Got any of those foam stickers hanging around your house?  We have them by the hundreds, this might spark another crafting obsession over here!  What would you (um, I mean, a child) tote around in this mini-bag?
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