the domestic tales of four sisters

Canvas Bag Upgrade

In 2010 my husband and I built our first house. We were elated. We waited the few months for it to be built, moved in as newlyweds, and it was so much fun setting it up and making it our own. One of the most wonderful things about where we built our home – the neighbors! How I stumbled upon one of my neighbors, however, was not due to bumping into her on the street or introducing ourselves. It was kind of weird. And stalkerish.

I love furniture re-do and interior design. Granted I haven’t involved myself in it much because I’m stretched 80 other ways, but the love is there. 🙂 Someday I’ll be a furniture refinishing nutjob. Someday. At any rate –  for the longest time I read Liz Marie Blog. She was so creative and came up with the most awesome ways of re-doing furniture and decorating her house. Everyday I would be captivated, but there was one day where something looked reallllllly familiar. I sat and stalked this post over and over and over. Why did that floor look familiar? Why did that pillar look so dang familiar?! And then it dawned on me … “Holy crap. She lives in our subdivision.” I knew Liz was a fellow marine spouse, but I didn’t know where they were stationed. It could have been anywhere! So like a creeper I went ahead and commented and said something like, “Yo, homie. Do you live in “blank and blank” subdivision?!” The answer was “yes!” and then it got really weird … how about Liz and I lived exactly 4 doors away from one another? We lived on the same street and had no clue! We also went to the same church! And in less weird terms … we both have an unhealthy obsession with Target and their Cherry Coke (So fizzy and sweet). Weird, right? Weird.

Liz is crafty and creative and has inspired a lot of things that I have done around my house – which sadly I don’t live in for the next 3 years. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new slew of ideas when we move back. 🙂 I miss Blank and Blank Subdivision. Such a phenomenal group of neighbors. Most of us military! When my husband was gone I had people checking up on me, offering to help around the house. Right before I had my daughter so many were willing to pitch in because they knew we had a move coming up soon after. Truly such a wonderful community that I miss terribly!

Moving on … 🙂 Liz recently made a school bag for herself out of a canvas tote that she purchased at Hobby Lobby (love that place)! Because I was in South Dakota this weekend I decided to stop by Hobby Lobby and take Liz’s idea and recreate it for my own personal use. I purchased a 3-pack of standard totes as well as a large pocket canvas tote. We live in a very small, overpriced townhome in a Wyoming boomtown. Because it is a boomtown the cost of real estate is ridiculous and you don’t get much for your money. I’m learning to make it a home and make our things fit, but I’m having storage situations. Especially with a baby and all her junk! The canvas totes will be playing a role in a toy storage solution that I’ve come up with. Over the next few weeks I’ll be working on it, and of course I will share! For right now though I will be sharing my canvas bag upgrade. (Thanks again, Lizzypants!)


Liz’s tutorial is a little more in depth than mine is – because I used a different technique. Stencil and paint! I couldn’t find a letter stencil that I liked so I went ahead and made my own by tracing an “e” (my daughter’s intial) onto sturdy stencil blanks. The type that I used (from Hobby Lobby, of course!) are frosty white. It dawned on me that I could go all lightbox and trace directly onto the stencil blank from my laptop screen. The light from the screen shines through enough that I could trace very easily. Those years of begging my mom for a Crayola Lightbox were not wasted! I did NOT use a craft knife to cut this stencil out. Just a standard old pair of scissors and then I used my painter’s tape to seal off the one edge that I cut into. I saved the “e” that I cut out to create the stencil. I’ll be using that for another bag!


You must be dying to know – what does a 3 month old baby keep in her canvas tote?


Dr. Seuss, of course!


I hope you check back in the next few weeks to see how these little canvas totes play out! For right now we’ll use it for quick trips to the store or to hold our favorite books.

Get creative!


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