Thursday, 21 November 2013

Crafty Project - Upcycled Retro Summer Tote

 I just love using patterns, especially over the summer months, to decorate my home and liven up my wardrobe. The brighter and bolder they are, the happier I am and it’s no secret I have a crush on fabulous retro prints. My favourite pattern has to have three things: bold graphics; flowers (preferably daisies); and, a burst of sunshine yellow. These classic sixties floral patterns  transport me to summers of yesteryear, when all you needed was a split-screen Kombi, some groovy tunes and flowers in your hair. When I was searching for a tote bag to take to the beach recently, I thought why not get nostalgic and do a little crafty upcycling. So here’s a quick and easy DIY (I’m really loving simple crafting projects right now), which adds a fresh and fun retro summer vibe to an everyday hessian grocery bag.     
To Make Upcycled Tote
You’ll Need: A hessian grocery bag or something similar, a thrifted retro scarf or cute vintage fabric featuring a fun summer pattern, a needle and thread (or sewing machine) and scissors.

1. Cut fabric to desired size leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance for any raw edges.
2. Pin and sew to bag either by hand or with your sewing machine.

To make Tassel & Beads
You’ll Need: Twine, Embroidery thread and beads (to match the colour of your fabric) and scissors.
1. Wrap twine forty times around your fingers.  Cut and leave about 30cm extra to secure tassel.  
2. Secure the twine in place by wrapping the extra 30cm length around one end and knot tightly.
3. At the top of your tassel, wrap your chosen embroidery thread neatly around the twine. Tie off securely at the back and trim any excess thread. Then cut the bottom of the long end of the twin to create your tassel. Trim the twine to create an even finish if needed.
4. Take a length of twine and pull one end through the loop at the top of the tassel then create a knot to secure.
Then Add some Beads
1. Take a length of twine, knot securely on one end and add smallest bead.
2. Continue adding beads knotting in between. Add a final small bead and knot at the top to secure.
Put it all Together

Secure tassel and beads to bag handle, fill with your favourite beach accessories and enjoy a beautiful pattern filled day!
Much Love
This post was originally written for Voices of 2013 and published on Kidspot.


  1. Lovely! You are a talent, mama! How you find the time to take care of sweet Tallow, and be this crafty.. is inspirational! x

    1. Awww thanks so much Theresa! So sweet of you x

  2. You are so clever. You make it look so simple too! x

  3. That's gorgeous, my needlework/fine motor skills are not up to such creativity alas!

  4. Love love love that....guess what everyone is getting for Christmas lol. I am definitely going to give that a go :)

    1. Yay! They would make great upcycled gifts. x


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