Wednesday, October 3, 2012

@CraftyChica Design Team: #Crochet Fabulous Milagro Market Tote Tutorial

Welcome to Crafting by the Pool  
with Cami from

 It's so exciting!  I applied for and was chosen to participate on the Crafty Chica Design Team! The purpose of this post is to show you how I used one of her cool, new, Dia de los Muertos-themed products in an original DIY project.  Before we begin, take a look at this fun video where I show you all the materials I used!

And don't worry. In case you're viewing this on a mobile device or don't feel like watching the video, I'll do a play by play right here with still pictures.


Oh yeah!
 Materials:  Crafty Chica Market Tote, Wescott Brand Personal Trimmer, Tulip Fabric Markers (al), Tulip Beads in a Bottle (al), Lion Brand Bonbons (al), Crochet Dude Bent End Needles (al), Size G (4.0) and H (5.0) crochet hooks, authentic Mexican Milagros (or other charms), Pen, File Folder.

Click here to see if a Michaels store in your area is carrying the Crafty Chica line.   I went to my local Michaels while preparing for this post and I saw the line!  There may be more of these market bags in my future...
(Please note: I tend to mention product brands a lot, 
because I appreciate that in other blog posts. 
I like to know my products! This goes without saying, but
feel free to sub any materials you have on hand 
to decorate your Crafty Chica Market Tote!)

Step 1: Color!  It really is that simple.  As I colored, I recalled my first grade teacher and picking up tips from my friends and my sister on how to color well.  I just followed my heart and colored step by step.  Putting color on fabric in this manner is not a usual activity for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

 Step 2: Measure, Stitch, & Gather!  This requires a little more explanation.  In order to gather the bottom of my tote, I folded it in half and marked the middle with a marker.  I then folded the outer edge to meet the middle point, and marked that midpoint with a marker as well.  I continued in this manner until the bag had little black marks evenly spaced all across the bottom of the bag.  Alternately, I could have just measured 1/2 marks along the bottom of the bag!  DOH!

Next I used the pointy Crochet Dude bent end needle threaded with Lion Brand Bonbons in cotton to stitch across the bottom of the bag.  As you can see, I did wide stitches. Note: I began by poking the needle through the corner from the inside out, and ended by poking it back in the other end. 

 In order to gather the bag evenly, I used the Wescott Trimmer to measure 5-6 inches or so across the bottom.  I pulled the stitches, and poked the needle-end of the thread into the inside of the bag so that I could tie the long tails inside of the bag, making a firm knot.  The knot stays on the inside of the bag. 

Step 3:  Crochet!  Using a G (4.0) hook and 2 colors of Lion Brand Bonbons held together, I joined the yarn to one end of the stitching with a slip stitch.
  • Next I did a single crochet in the same stitch (by stitch, I mean the black yarn you see up there.)
  • Next I chained 4 and single crocheted into the next stitch on the other side of the bag.  
  • In this manner I continued (sc, ch 4, sc into next stitch on other side of tote) until I reached the end of the bag. 
  • Next, using the larger hook, I chained 3, turned, and worked 3 dc into each ch 4 sp across the bag.  
  • I then fastened off, broke the yarn, and wove in the ends.  
Please note:  You could add ANY crochet border to your bag! This is just what worked for me!

Step 4:  Add Milagros.  To accomplish this, I took about a 12" length of the red Lion Brand Bonbons, and separated the 4-ply yarn into two plies.  I did this twice.  Next, I threaded the red string through the holes in the milagros.  I infused each milagro with happy, empowering, positive feelings! 

 I then stitched the milagros to the bag and wove in the ends.  But I wasn't done yet!

Step 5:  Get a Little Bling with It. * Snap *  First I tested the Tulip beads in a bottle on my file folder to get used to the product. 

Then I added my liquid bling to the bag!  I have to admit, it was kind of hard to stop, but I did restrain myself. However, I see much more crafting with this in the future! (Note: Because of where I added the Beads in a Bottle to the bag, I was able to have the tote bag lie flat, even though I had already gathered the bottom.  In the future, I might add the Beads in a Bottle before gathering the bottom.)

I let the Beads in a Bottle dry for a few hours before proceeding. 

Step 6:  Gather the Top.  This is where I started to get a little wiser.  I realized that these Crochet Dude Bent End Needles were actually made to poke through fabric like this at 1/2 inch intervals.  DOH! I could have used that in step 2!  Therefore, using black cotton Bonbons on the pointy needle, I simply stitched around the border of the top hem of the bag.  I started at one seam and ended at the same seam.  I secured the gather with a strong knot, making sure not to gather the top too tight! This will be my only opening on the tote!

Step 7:  Crochet the Top.  Using the chain and single crochet method described in step three, I crocheted a sweet border around the top of the bag.  I did not go further and do the double crochet round.

Step 8:  Crochet Optional Flower & Pin to Bag.  I just did a regular/kind of improvised flower, but any handmade flower, crocheted or not, will work beautifully!  I just used a simple safety pin to attach the flower, but you could stitch it to the bag, or even stitch a pin onto the back of the flower.

Click here to see if a Michaels store in your area is carrying the Crafty Chica line. 

Que milagro. I'm done!
 I have to admit I felt a little bit like Estrella Esteban, the protagonist in the fabulous novel Waking Up in the Land of Glitter (al) by Kathy Cano-Murillo while I was crafting this fabulous bag.  You see, my heart was aflame with love while I was crafting up this little beauty! And hopefully all this positive energy and the pretty milagros I've attached will help me find my own happy ending. :)

Yes, I am wearing green jeggings. But in my defense, I was indoors.
Disclosure:  I received a complimentary Crafty Chica Market Tote from as part of the Crafty Chica Design Team, and was asked to share an original DIY project.

I hope this project tutorial inspires you to decorate your own Crafty Chica Market Tote!  Please leave any questions here in the comments, so I can answer back here and we can all benefit from one another's suggestions and questions!  If you make a project like this, please share it on the Art, Like Bread Facebook page!  Thanks so much!