Our First Day of Aquarium School!
A Big Day (and a little craft) for Earlybird!

A Quick & Crafty Apple Tote

Apple picking is such a treasured American tradition; I look forward to it every autumn! Have you been yet this year? We're planning to go next week on Johnny Appleseed Day, and so over the next several days we'll have apple stories to tell, books to read, crafts to make, experiments to try and snacks to eat ... But first, we'll make tote bags to bring to the farm!

This is a fun, kid-friendly project, requiring some quick and easy parent set up. I did a trial run today, and took pictures of each step. Here's what you need:


      • a plain canvas bag
      • red fabric paint
      • a new sponge
      • a laundry detergent cap (clean and dry)
      • hot glue gun
      • sharp scissors
      • a black marker
      • paper towels


Now, there are plenty of apple-shaped stamps and stencils available at the store, and of course you could always just use an apple half itself! But in the September issue of Parents magazine, I saw a neat idea for making a homemade stamp by attaching a sponge to a laundry detergent cap. Well, I just happened to have an empty detergent container sitting in our recycle bin and a new package of sponges beneath the sink. :)

The first thing I did was to draw an apple on the sponge. Not having any apples on hand for an impromptu still life, I looked up stencils online. I found this one which turned out a bit bigger than I needed, so I eyeballed it:


I used very sharp scissors to cut out the shape, trimming any rough edges.


Next I attached the sponge shape to the top of the detergent cap, using my trusty glue gun (marker side down).


After a few minutes the stamp was ready to go, so I poured myself a good size dab of apple-red fabric paint ...


I dipped in my stamp, making sure to coat all the nooks and crannies, and ...voila:


Sorry that's a bit blurry; it was taken at the very moment Earlybird discovered what I was up to! (Remember this was supposed to be a trial run, lol!) I did find I needed to blot the stamped images gently with paper towels to remove excess paint. Then I set the bag aside to dry.

Of course, then EB got into the act:


And here are the two bags I (or we, as it turned out, lol) made today. We'll make a few more before our apple farm visit next week.


These are smaller bags, just the right size for small hands - whether they get filled to the brim with rosy red globes, or tote home just one or two. :)

I also think these bags would make lovely gifts for someone special - perhaps an elderly relative or neighbor who can't get to the farm on their own. Fill them up to the top, and attach a pretty fall ribbon, bring along a jug of cider and plan an autumn afternoon visit.

Well, I'm off now for the night. Tomorrow's a busy one, so I'll catch up with you all again soon!