I wanted to put together a gift for one of my son's teachers last week. Maybe this is too typical a gift, but I thought a nice tote bag is always useful. Here is the end result, and I have provided the simple steps to this project below. (Note: I do not sew, which means this is a version that is probably not as polished as something put together by a seamstress.)
1. Gather supplies. Canvas tote, fabric (I used white cotton fabric), felt, button, needle and thread, hot glue gun.
2. Cut fabric to about double the width of the bag. Add a top and bottom stitch on the fabric, and continue to gather the fabric together (creating the ruffle.)
3. I then hot glued the white ruffled fabric to the canvas tote by first adding a line of glue along the top and bottom stitch and attached the top and bottom. Then I worked with the sides, folding over a 1/4" fabric and then hot gluing the fold. I attached each side with another line of hot glue. (Stitch witchery would have been a good alternative to using hot glue for this step in the process.)
4. I added an extra bit of interest. I chose to make a lavender felt flower (my sweet son remembered that his teacher's favorite color is purple.) There is a fabulous tutorial on felt flowers here. I wanted to give all the steps to the project, so here is my work on a felt flower. I took a piece of felt and cut it into a wavy oval.
5. I began cutting around the circle inward until I had a small oval. Then I took the end where I began cutting and rolled the felt until I was left with the small oval, which I hot glued to the base. Turn the flower over, and voile! I added a button (again, with hot glue) for a finishing touch.
6. I added the flower to the white fabric with hot glue, and the project was done.
This tote was well-received as a teacher's gift, and I think there are so many applications for a tote that it would make a good gift for many people!