So, this past summer the older critter was invited to a few sleepover birthday parties. She was excited, but nervous...partly because prior to this she'd mostly only had sleepovers with her cousins, but also, it turns out, because she didn't have a cool sleeping bag.
Insert conversation about how all the other girls would have cool sleeping bags and cool sleeping bag carriers, and the 20 year old hunter green Coleman sleeping sack I offered her apparently ain't cool, and she'd rather not go than be seen with that thing, etc etc.
So, I surfed the internets and found this very cool colorful retro bag, which I scored for only $7 on ebay. I know, right? I can't believe it either - I mean, you'd think there'd be a showdown over this thing. Well, their loss, my gain, as my little gal loved it. Only problem was I needed something for her to carry it in. The only sleepover bag she had was...Dora themed. Gasp. Insert conversation about how she's not four anymore and can't be seen carrying a Dora suitcase to a 3rd grade sleepover, etc etc
So I surfed the internets again and found nothing cool enough to carry the retro sleeping bag. Sigh. I decided maybe a trip to Hobby Lobby would provide some inspiration. And that's where I found this plain ol canvas drawstring nap-sack duffle-bag thingy...and it was 50% off (what isn't half off at that place?). And there was only one left. I snatched it up, along with some tie dye spray paint (yes, you can now spray on the tie dyed look), a peace inspired bandana, some felt pieces in various colors and a few iron-on patches. With the girl's 9th birthday approaching, I decided to wrap it all up and give the whole project to her for a birthday present, with the option that, if she wanted, we would do it together. She's a crafty girl and loved it so off we went a-decorating. Here's what we did:
1) Sprayed on the tie dye colors. She picked yellow and pink, which of course, gave us orange as well
2) stamped peace sign images onto the bag and covered it up with glue and glitter
3) Cut flowers out of the various colors of felt, in various sizes and pinned them on
4) Cut up the peace signs and smiley faces and other various images out of the $1 bandana we picked up from Hobby Lobby (the rest of which we used for the second critters' bag)
5) Once we determined where everything would go, I/we (painstakingly lovingly) hand stitched each patch/flower onto the canvas bag. I used broad stitches to give it a quilted look; OK fine, because it was easier; but it still looks quilted...kinda sorta
6) Ironed on the remaining patches...and off she went!
I was told all her friends loved her bag, noone had one like it, and she had a super awesome time!
And now I had to help the littler critter make one.
She, of course, wanted a different style handbag (which of course, was 50% off at Hobby Lobby), and she was very stubborn adamant about where each piece would go, and what would be glittered, etc so this design is all her.
I'm at the point where I don't care as long as they're happy and I haven't had to spend a fortune getting there. I see these bags soaking up the memories of sleepovers, campouts, and vacations over the next few years. And I'm sure they'll add more patches and glitter to prove it. The more the merrier.