Crayon Monster Art Tote Tutorial!

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If you have little guys like I do, you should run over and check out Made by Rae and MADE this month for Celebrate the Boy, a collection of tutorials, round-ups, giveaways and generally awesome boy-related crafts from around the Internet. Last year my Boy’s Tie from a Man’s Tie tutorial was featured in one of their many amazing round-ups of crafting for boys, and this year they asked me to contribute a tutorial for my Crayon Monster Art Totes.

And, to make it even MORE fun, I’ve decided to give away the tote that I made for this tutorial! A separate giveaway post with all of the details on how to enter is directly below this post.

The LARGE Print: Please remember that all tutorials, patterns and projects on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! are for personal use only and may not be distributed commercially without my permission. That includes Etsy! Make them for yourself, make them for your friends, hand them out at your kid’s birthday party, but please don’t sell them without my permission. Making objects from my patterns for charitable donations is also okay, as long as you do not exceed 25 pieces for that purpose. If you want to make larger quantities or sell objects made from this pattern, or inspired by this patterns (as in, if you’re selling a monster bag with crayon teeth, we need to talk!) please contact me for licensing information at For independent handmade sellers, I ask for a nominal fee ($5-$10/year) and a design credit. Thanks!

A PDF Pattern for a sturdier canvas tote with more monster facial features is now available in my Pattern shop. Get it now!


for the monster:
(1) 8″ x 8″ piece of fleece for head
(1) 5″ x 8″ piece of fleece for mouth
(2) 1.5″ circles of white fleece or felt for eyes
(2) .5″ circles of black fleece or felt for eyes
(1) 1.5″ x 1″ oval of fleece or felt for nose
(5) crayons

for tote:
(1) 10.5″ x 25″ piece of felt
4 ft. belting for strap

sewing machine
matching and contrasting thread
1″ wide masking tape
scissors and/or rotary cutter
pinking shears

Sew a 1/4″ hem along the top of the 5″x8″ pice of fleece. Place this piece on the bottom of your 8″x8″ square of fleece and pin* it into place. Find the center of the square and put a piece of 1″ wide masking tape down. The tape will be your sewing guide so that you can make nice, evenly spaced pockets for the crayon teeth.

Without sewing your tape, sew as close to your tape as possible along both edges, back-stitching a couple of times at the openings.

Move your tape over so that it is to the right of your last stitch line, then stitch along the right edge of the tape.

Continue to move the tape across the bottom until you have five crayon pockets (a total of six stitch lines). Round off the corners of your square. You can free-hand this, or, if that makes you nervous, make yourself a rounded corner template out of a piece of paper or cardstock. Lay this template over each corner and cut for symmetrical corners.

Sew on the eyes and nose. I like to use black thread in a straight stitch for the eyes, going around the circle twice. For the nose I like a zig-zag stitch in a contrasting thread. Sew these pieces on slowly, taking care to lift the presser foot and smooth the material every few stitches.

You now have a completed monster patch! For this tutorial, I’ll show you how to add your monster to a super simple felt tote that is just big enough to hold a couple of coloring books. However, you can sew it onto any bag of your choosing-just sew the monster onto the right side of your material before make your bag. Or you can customize any messenger bag by sewing you monster onto the flap.


Fold the long piece of 10.5″ x 25″ felt in half. You should have a 10.5″ x 12.5″ folded rectangle of felt.

Iron down a 1/4″ hem along the top of the bag (folding toward the inside of the bag).

Cut the belting into two pieces, 24″ each. (This may seem a bit long for a child, but I like my straps to be long enough for Mom to sling over her shoulder, since she always ends up carrying everything in the end…)
Going in about 2″ from the edge, place one end of the belting under the hem you just ironed. Fold the flap of felt down over the belting, then flip the belting up over the felt hem. Pin into place and repeat on the other side, taking care that your strap isn’t twisted. Repeat on the other side of the bag.

Pin the monster patch to the front of the bag. You now have the straps pinned to the top and the monster pinned to the front. It’s time to sew!

In this order:
1. Sew a zig-zag stitch along the top hems, securing the straps to the top of the bag.
2. Sew the monster to the front of the bag. Tip: Start along the top of the monster’s head. Fleece is stretchy and tends to shift, and it may get a little uneven, even if you pinned extensively. Sew along the top first so that the top edge of the monster is even with the top of the bag. Even if it shifts, this will make it look better over all. Also, be sure to pick up your presser foot and smooth the fabric every few inches. This will help prevent shifty wonkiness.
3. Straight stitch the sides of the bag together about 1/4″. Cut with pinking shears.

That’s it! Stuff the pockets with crayons to make the teeth and show off your cute new tote!

Read on to the following post to see how to win this crayon tote for yourself! (or, you can always check out my Etsy shop, Stinky Boy! and buy one there :)

*A note about pinning in this project: I am not usually a “pinner” and I avoid using pins at all costs. In this project, though, you will want to pin, pin, pin! Fleece is pretty stretchy stuff and it is easy for things to get real wonky real quick. So if you’re a lazy pinner like I am, you’ll want to make sure that you actually PIN when the instructions say to do so. Trust me, I wouldn’t make you pin if you didn’t need to :)

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Spring Kaydra

34 Responses to Crayon Monster Art Tote Tutorial!

  1. I’m new to the sewing scene and this was one of the first “projects” I’ve tackled. I gifted it at a baby shower and it was a HUGE hit. Perfect tutorial. You are lovely for letting us in on the directions.

  2. I’m not sure if Hobby Lobby carries belting. They may, since HL has a fabric department. I get mine from a local fabric shop. I have also seen it at Jo-Ann’s, and I’m sure you could find it online!

  3. This is so cute – I’m making it for my nephew for Christmas. Also, this is the first time I’ve seen your blog and I see that you are terrified of birds. ME TOO!!

  4. I just made one of these to hold art supplies for a birthday gift for a 3 year-old. It turned out super cute!! Thanks for the tutorial. I’ll definitely make more!
    Love from Argentina!

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Marigold Haske

I'm Marigold and I like to make stuff. Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! is a place where I share my love of DIY and working with my hands. You'll find projects for kids and adults that are quirky, fun, artful and functional.You can email me at