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!

DIY mug design

How you can create your own coffee mug

As you might already know, I am a cat lady. So I like everything related to cats. Currently, I am building on my cat mug collection (unfortunately, it consists only of two mugs at the moment).

Recently, I saw a crazy cat lady mug in a store. I liked the shape of the mug but not the design. The lettering was too bold and boxy, so I didn’t buy it. The idea stayed in my mind, though. So, I decided to create my own mug design and here I will share with you how you can do the same.

All you need to create your own mug:

  • a plain mug
  • porcelain colours
  • a fine brush
  • imagination
Materials you need to design your own mug
Everything you need to design your own mug

Firstly, you need to find the perfect plain mug. This turned out to be not that easy for me. Many are too small, too square or way too expensive. Or maybe I am just too picky. In the end, I found the perfect mug for me. In a crafts store, I bought porcelain colours in gold and black and a fine brush. Now, the only thing that you still need is imagination and creativity to design your own mug. I found inspiration on pinterest. If you need inspiration, too, try looking for “mug design” or “DIY mug”, for example.

Designing your mug

I wanted a hand lettering design for my mug. As I haven’t tried hand lettering before, I used an online generator to get a template for the writing. Next I transferred the template on to the mug using a pencil, so I roughly knew where I should start painting.
I started writing very carefully as painting with the porcelain colours on the mug can be a bit difficult (at least it was for me). But it gets easier with every letter. To make to mug even prettier I painted golden dots (which was a lot easier than the lettering).

DIY mug design ideas

 

Finishing the mug

The next steps are dependent on your porcelain colours. Therefore, you should read the instructions and stick to them. For me it meant to let it dry for at least 4 hours, put it in the oven afterwards, set the heat to 160° C and bake it for 90 minutes. Now it should be waterproof and dishwater safe. I haven’t put it in the dishwasher yet, though.

(Side note: I had taken photos during the process but my SD card decided to break, so I lost them all..)

 

Easy knitting pattern for a Norwegian Sweater

How to knit your own Norwegian Sweater

Today I will share with you, my knitting pattern for this Norwegian Sweater!
I have been a fan of Norway even before going there for my semester abroad. And I’ve always wanted to have a sweater with a cute and wintry reindeer pattern. I searched quite a bit online and soon found out that those sweaters are a) really hard to find and b) very expensive.
So I did some research on how to do jacquard knit and looked for knitting patterns. In the end, I combined some patterns I found online and created my own one, which I like very much (of course).

How did I proceed after I had my pattern?

Once I was happy with the pattern, I looked for instructions for a jumper. I quickly found a pattern I liked but had to change the yarn they used, because I wanted the sweaters to be woollen and cosy. Then I only adapted amount of stiches in the instructions to my yarn and started knitting. The patterns I created are quite simple. As it was also the first sweater I ever knitted, I deliberately decided to keep the pattern as easy as possible.

Here is a simple instruction video on how to do a jacquard knit.

The first Norwegian Sweater I knitted
The first Norwegian Sweater I knitted

What do you need to knit a sweater like this?

In my opinion you need motivation, endurance and patience. The knitting itself is not very difficult and knitting the pattern is actually quite motivating as you can see the pattern develop. But it can get a bit annoying because the two threads get twisted up all the time and you have to count the stiches and pay attention all the time to make no mistakes during the pattern. And you should also keep in mind that it’s a big piece you’ll have to knit.

How long did I need to finish the sweaters?

Well, that’s a huge timespan. While knitting the green sweater, I was a bit under time pressure because I wanted to finish it before going to Norway. All in all, it took me around 6 to 8 weeks to finish. The time I spent knitting each day varied quite a bit. In the beginning I knitted quite a lot each day, but I had to reduce the time because my hands and fingers where aching. For the green sweater I casted on 144 stiches each for the front and the back.

Click here for the pattern of the green sweater!

Easy Norwegian Sweater

For the burgundy sweater it looked a bit different. I finished the back piece in little less than a week. But then I knitted less and due to a huge lack of motivation it took me over a year to finish this one. I wasn’t working on it for a couple of months and the unfinished pieces where just lying in the corner. But after all I did finish it. The front and back have each a width of 120 stiches.

Click here for the pattern of the burgundy sweater!

Would I do it again?

How to knit a jumper

That’s a tough question. Knitting a jumper? Definitely yes! Knitting a jumper with a jacquard pattern? Probably yes. I am very happy and also proud that I knitted the two sweaters. To do it again, I would need a lot of motivation. But I would definitely recommend to you trying it yourself. It’s not as difficult as it might seem and you will definitely be proud of yourself!
If you do try it out, I’d be pleased to receive photos of your Norwegian Sweaters, or tag me on Instagram or twitter!

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me!

Knitting – my new love and hobby

Why everyone should try knitting and how you can start

Knitting has become popular again! With platforms like We are knitters and Wool and the Gang, it is no longer something for grannies only. Maybe it is because of our fast developing world that we try to go back to the roots and do something slow, mindful and non-digital. No matter why, knitting has become one of my greatest hobbies.

Knitting project

How and why I started knitting

About two years ago I started knitting. I don’t remember exactly why I started, but I think I was looking for a hobby. Additionally, I was looking for a nice hat for winter that was not made out of plastic because I have problems with flyaway hair during winter which gets intensified by acrylic hats. So I decided to buy some good wool and started knitting.

I had tried knitting before – not really successfully though – but I still liked the idea of creating my own clothes. I bought some introductory books and watched many explanatory videos on YouTube. If you have troubles understanding the illustrations of knitting instructions in books, I would definitely recommend watching videos. It’s a lot easier to understand if you can actually see someone doing it than just seeing it on photos or illustrations where you have to do a lot of guessing what is happening.
That way, I taught myself how to knit. For me, it was good that I had no one to help, because then I really had to understand what I was doing and not just replicate what I was seeing. If I made a mistake, I had to correct it myself and now I feel like I have really understood knitting.

Just watch some tutorials, get some needles and wool and try it. Easy projects for beginners are for example scrarves and headbands – which where also my first projects.

Ball of yarn, what I like about knitting

 

What I like about knitting

For me, knitting is something calming and relaxing. I like to work on my projects in the evenings while watching TV or on long train rides. Especially the train rides fly by when I’m knitting.
I also like that I can see the progress and what I have done. If I watch Netflix for three hours, I might be entertained afterwards but it is not really productive. If I am knitting for three hours I might have finished half a sock. It’s also quite satisfying to hold the finished project in your hands and being able to say “I’ve done that!” Not to mention the compliments you might receive.

What do I want to do in the future?

So far, I only know two different kinds of stiches. With these stiches I can do about four patterns. But there are like hundreds of different patterns and variations. So my skills are quite limited yet. In the future, I want to knit more, start new and bigger projects and develop new skills. I share this with you on my blog to inspire you to start knitting and get creative.

Categories DIY