DIY Cat Tote Bag

How you can easily design your own tote bag

I love cats. Unfortunately, I don’t have a cat, so I feel the need to express my love for cats with my style. For a while I have been on the hunt for a nice cat bag, but failed to find one. That’s why I decided to create one myself and here I share how you can make one yourself.

The making of this bag was quite easy and I am acutally really happy with the result.

All you need is:

materials for a DIY tote bag design
Materials for your DIY project
  • cardboard
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • textile colours
  • a paintbrush
  • and most important of all: a plain tote bag (you can buy one in most crafts stores or online)

 

Find your design

First of all, you need to find your design. I wanted a cat bag, so I searched for “cat silhouette” online and quickly found what I was looking for. For me, that was easier than drawing a cat myself. Of course you can design your bag as you wish and it can be a dog, dolphin or whatever you desire.

cat-stamp-DIY

Create a stamp

Next, we need to create a stamp. Therefore, I transferred the cat silhouette onto my cardboard and cut it out. Depending on the shape of your object, you might need tiny scissors. I had to use manicure scissors to be able to cut out the shape properly.

cut out the cat stamp

Afterwards, I cut a stripe out of the cardboard and glued it on the cat (you can best see it on the photos). And now we have created our own little stamp.

The fun part

Next step: Apply the textile colour onto your stamp and start stamping! I would advise you to experiment at first with the amount of colour you need to apply to the stamp. In my case the cardboard did absorb a lot of colour so I could be generous with applying, but if I was too generous, the colour would smear over the edges of the stamp.
The second difficulty I had was that I didn’t press the stamp tightly enough to the fabric, so the colour didn’t transfer evenly to the fabric. It depends on the result you desire. I wanted the cats to be filled out completely.

My technique got better and better with every cat that I printed on the bag.

DIY-cat-bag-stamp
Applying the colour onto the stamp

Before you know it, you have finished your bag. Almost: Now you need to read the instructions of your textile colours on how to fixate it. In my case, I had to wait for 24 hours and then iron it through a cloth.

And it’s done! I am really happy with my DIY cat bag (even though the lilac cats are hard to see) and I am tempted to make another one, maybe for my cat loving friends.

finished-DIY-tote-bag
The result

So I hope you enjoy my little DIY and have fun recreating it. If you do, tag me on Instagram, twitter or send me your photos. I’m looking forward to receive photos from you!

7 easy steps to reduce your fashion consumerism

How to become a sensible shopper

Minimalism and capsule wardrobes are something you come across more and more often on the internet. I think it is inspiring and eye-opening, but so far I haven’t really changed my behaviours. Only recently I discovered the extent of my shopping behaviour and have since changed my habits.

Accept that you have a problem

The biggest problem for me was, that I didn’t really see the money I spent. Therefore, the first step should be to have a closer look on how much money you have actually spent in the past months on fashion. When I did this, it was disturbing. I bought so much stuff, even though I didn’t have the money to do so. I didn’t spend more than I have, but I definitely could have spent the money more sensible. That was probably a turning point in my life as a shopaholic. Since then, I felt bad about all my purchases and really questioned them. I also started a shopping ban, which you can read about here.

Easy steps to incorporate into your daily routine

By now, I have incorporated some simple steps into my life to reduce my fashion consumerism. Here are my 7 tips how you can change your shopping behaviour, too.

1. Unsubscribe from all fashion related newsletters. Asos, H&M, Zalando, … They all send you newsletters with the latest styles and sales and draw you to their online shops. Often you end up buying something you don’t really need or wanted in the first place. Without the newsletters you wouldn’t even know that there is a sale happening.

2. Delete shopping apps from your phone. I have experienced myself that if I’m bored I am likely to grab my phone to scroll through the apps of the shops. Then I discover all the dresses, skirts and jeans that I want but don’t need.

3. Avoid online shopping. From my own experience, I would say that I spend a lot more online than in a real store. The reason for this is probably that you are likely to order a lot more because you expect to return a lot of the stuff. Money that is disappearing online doesn’t hurt as much as cash you really see disappearing from your wallet.

4. Avoid going to the shops, or test yourself. Going shopping can be quite dangerous as you see all the new clothing pieces in store. But it can be a good way to test yourself. Look at the pieces and ask yourself: Do I need this? Do I even want this? Another phrase that I always keep in mind is: “If you don’t love it, don’t buy it.”

5. If you see something you want to buy, ask yourself if you need it and if you can see yourself wearing it still next year. Only if this applies you should be buying new things. The crucial purchase argument is often the price instead of the use value. Would you buy the piece if it wasn’t cheap or on sale?

6. If you still want to buy it, you shouldn’t buy it immediately. Sleep one or two nights over it and see if you can’t get it out of your head or if you forget it quickly.

7. Think in styles, not in pieces. Get an overview of what you have and what is missing in your wardrobe. I searched for styles on pinterest to see what I like and what I would like to dress like. Then I checked what was missing in my closet and looked online for these particular pieces. By only scrolling through the shops without looking for particular pieces you might end up buying things that are pretty, but you have no idea how to style them. Consequently, you will never wear them.

These are my 7 tips to change your fashion consumerism. I am still often tempted to buy new clothing and I often catch myself at saving jeans on my wish list – even though I have plenty of jeans. But I think I am on a good way to become a sensible shopper. I hope my seven steps can inspire you, too, to work on a healthier shopping behaviour (if you want to and don’t already have one).

5 tips to avoid fashion mispurchases

Easy questions you should ask yourself before buying new clothes

Probably everyone owns at least one piece of clothing that qualifies as a mispurchase. Once, it surprised me when people had clothing in their wardrobe which still had the price tag. They had never worn that piece of clothing. Nowadays, I do unfortunately own some pieces, too, which I have never worn. I wish I had put more contemplation in many of these purchases. I could have saved me a lot of money and space in my wardrobe.

So, I decided to look at these pieces I have never worn and consider why that is the case or how I could have avoided it. I came up with five question that I will ask myself every time from now on before buying something new. These five questions will also help you to avoid fashion mispurchases.

1. Does it fit?

The most important question you should always ask yourself before buying something is whether it fits properly or not. Roughly two year ago, I bought those jeans. I like them and they look cool and pretty but they are just incredibly tight. I bought them because I thought “Hey, I will do a lot of sports now and eat healthy, and then I will lose weight and then these jeans will fit properly. Result: I haven’t lost weight and the jeans are still very tight. Don’t buy things for the future. If they don’t fit now, they might not fit in the future or if they finally fit, you might not like them anymore.

2. Do I feel comfortable?

Feeling comfortable should be one of your priorities. No matter how pretty a piece of clothing might be: if you don’t feel comfortable in it, you won’t wear it. This nice bodycon dress that’s really sexy but is somehow to short or makes you feel well aware of every gram that you might have too much? Don’t buy these things. You probably won’t wear them at all and if you do, they will most likely make you feel very self-conscious.

3. Do I feel pretty?

I think this is a question that I have often forgotten when buying new clothing. When you buy something new, you should feel pretty in it no matter how shitty you look that day. I have that one sweater which I like that much that I know I will feel good about myself wearing it. Some days I look in the mirror and nothing looks right. My hair doesn’t sit right, I look really pale and tired and I don’t feel good in any of my clothes. On those days I am likely to wear that sweater and instantly things don’t look that bad anymore. On the other hand, I have a lot of clothing pieces which don’t give me that feeling. I have often bought something even though I didn’t feel pretty. Then, I persuaded myself that I will look good wearing it when I do my hair in a specific way and put on some make-up. Most of the times, that’s not the case.

4. Do I have something to wear it with?

Another question I should have asked myself more often. Once upon a time, I bought a trench coat. I have never worn it. I just don’t have a clue how to style it. Even though, I found some ways to wear it on pinterest, the outfit combinations feel very limited and I had to make a deliberate decision to wear the trench coat instead of just throwing it on with every of my outfits. It just doesn’t feel natural for me. However, that’s what I need in my clothes. I need things that are easy to combine and I don’t want to plan a lot.

5. Do I like the piece or just the idea of it?

I tend to forget about this question when I get inspired by fashion bloggers or on pinterest. Usually, I see how other people style something, I like it and I want to have it, too. A typical example would be a blazer. I do have a couple of rarely worn blazers in my wardrobe. I like the idea of them, I like how they look on others, but I don’t like me wearing a blazer. It just doesn’t feel like me. I think, it has to do a lot with finding your personal style and being honest to yourself. Of course, you can experiment with new styles and try out things you haven’t worn before. But in case with the blazers, I make the same mistake over and over again. I own about four blazers that I only wear to job interviews. Now, it’s time to be honest with myself and admit that blazers are just not my style and stop buying new ones. My advice for you: Don’t randomly buy the things your favourite fashion blogger wears. Reconsider if you really like it or if you just like it because he or she likes it.

I hope these tips can help you to avoid fashion mispurchases in the future. They do help me. Also, let me know in the comments if you have further ideas how you avoid fashion mispurchases!