Posts Tagged ‘color block’


How to instantly upgrade any tote bag with this DIY sewn leather handle tutorial (click through for the step by step instructions on Paper & Stitch)

A while back I bought this giant shopping tote that I'm willing to bet you've seen before. Why? Because it's from, it's color blocked, and it's only $9! So, it is pretty much calling all of our names from sun up to sun down. Right?

I mean, when I saw that it was less than ten bucks, it basically flew itself to the register for checkout. Admittedly, I wasn't super into the nylon handles, but that was the ONLY drawback. So, I brought it home and got to thinking about how to change up the handles to make it perfect (for me anyway). And in the end, decided to go with short leather straps.

DIY Leather Handle Tote Bag

How to instantly upgrade any tote bag with this DIY sewn leather handle tutorial (click through for the step by step instructions on Paper & Stitch)

I bought the leather on Amazon because I'm lazy and don't want to have to drive 30 minutes to the nearest craft store. But you can purchase a similar strap locally as well.

This 3/4 inch vegetable tanned leather is the exact one I bought (brace yourself, it's a horrible photo, but the leather is great in person, I promise). The full length was under $13 and I used less than half of it for the straps (about $5 worth), which brings the total cost of this DIY to $14!

DIY Leather Handle Shopping Tote for Under $15


- tote bag
- 3/4 inch wide leather strap
- seam ripper
- upholstery thread
- size 18/110 sewing machine needle (jean & denim)
- heavy duty or industrial sewing machine (capable of sewing leather)

Quick Notes: If you plan to carry heavy items regularly, then you'll likely want to use cowhide straps for extra strength. Thick leather can be harder to sew, though. So, depending on how thick your leather is, it can take a bit of horsepower to get through it.

The type of sewing machine that you would need to use depends on the thickness of your leather. We used a Bernina 5 Series sewing machine and it was able to get through the leather. But, before beginning, be sure to test your sewing machine on a scrap piece of the leather to see how it goes.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get started...


How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

1. Using the seam ripper, remove the nylon handles from the tote.

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

2. Measure and cut the length of leather strap desired.

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

How to sew leather handles onto a tote bag

3. Sew the handles in place. Back-tack several stitches at the beginning and end of all seams. This is important so that the stitches do not unravel.

Also, we sewed three parallel lines to attach each handle as a design element. Alternatively, you can sew a rectangle or an X, both of which are often used. Just be sure that the top and bottom of your stitch design are symmetrical so as to not cause uneven strain on the stitches, which may cause a stitch to break.

DIY Leather Handle Tote Bag for Under $15

Sewing DIY // how to easily sew leather handles onto any tote

This would be a fun project to try with one of the extra tote bags you have lying around the house (if you're like me, you have a huge pile of them). And it's a great way to replace broken bag straps too, if one of your favorite bags has kicked the bucket in the handle department.

DIY leather handle tote

DIY Leather Handle Shopping Tote for Under $15

How to easily sew leather handles onto any tote (click through for the full tutorial on Paper & Stitch)

Sewing by Linda Jednaszewski
Concept, styling and photography by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you'll give this DIY a try? What other ways have you upcycled a basic tote?


Holiday DIY // Giant Color Blocked Wall Ornament Message Board

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.

I've made it my mission to cram in as many holiday DIY projects as possible before Christmas this year (how is it less than two weeks away?!) because I always end up with a ton of extra ideas after Christmas that I wasn't able to fit in before the holiday.

Sooooo, today I'm bringing you another holiday DIY and this one is perfect for the weekend!

Also, it one of my faves so far because I can (and will!) use it after the holidays are over, by removing one little piece. Easy as pie.

So what are we making exactly?

These giant color blocked holiday wall ornaments, made of wood, that double as a message station. Yay. I love projects that have a dual purpose. Don't you?

Supplies for Giant Wall Ornament for the Holidays


So to make your own, you'll just need a few supplies. You can pick everything up from Home Depot, so it's a one stop shopping situation. Bonus!

How To:

Apply Tape // DIY Holiday Wall Ornament

1. Start by taping off a section of the wood round at a diagonal. And covering the entire area with strips of painter's tape to keep from getting paint in areas you don't want it.

Spray with Primer // Wall Ornament Message Board

2. Next, coat the exposed wood area in primer. This can be a latex primer that you spray on or a spray paint primer that works well with wood. I went with spray paint, but both work just as well. Add a second coat of primer if necessary, before moving on to step 3.

Paint with Chalkboard Paint // DIY Wall Ornament Message Board

Paint with Chalkboard Paint // Wall Ornament Message Board

3. Once the primer is completely dry, it's time to add the chalkboard paint. Be sure to shake up the can before opening. Then, paint the exposed surface with a paint brush. Wait for the paint to dry and add a second coat of chalkboard paint if necessary.

Remove Tape // Giant Holiday Wall Ornament

4. Once you've given the paint ample time to dry (1-2 hours or completely dry to the touch), you can peel off the painter's tape. I have to brag for a second about how crisp that line is! I'm high giving myself right now.

Add Wood Block to Top // Giant Holiday Wall Ornament

DIY // Giant Holiday Wall Ornament

5. Once the tape has been removed, add a long bead of wood glue across the surface of the wood block. This is what takes the finished piece from a basic circle to an ornament shape. Attach the wood block to the top center of the circle and allow it to dry completely, according to the label on the bottle. Done!

NOTE: If you want to reuse the message board after the holidays are over, do not use wood glue to attach the wood block to the circle. Instead, attach it with Command strips or double sided foam pad stickies, that can be removed after the holidays are over.

Holiday DIY // Giant Color Blocked Wall Ornament

And if you don't want to keep the raw wood exposed in the finished piece, you can paint over the raw side, after taping and priming. So there's lots of options with this one. They would be fun with multiple colors too, kinds of like pie charts. Don't you think? I might have to try that.

DIY Holiday Message Board Idea

DIY Giant Color Blocked Wall Ornament Message Board

Holiday DIY //  Wall Ornament Message Board

Concept, photography, and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you might give this project a try over the weekend?


The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me for their Holiday DIY Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depots policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


Color Block Wall

Last week, Sarah and I jumped in my car and went downtown to photograph today's Wear This.

The downtown area of Jacksonville is really close to my neighborhood (I'm in Riverside for anyone who knows Jax) and there are so many cool buildings and walls to use for photos. Is your downtown like that too? Anyway, we stumbled across this amazing color blocked wall, which of course meant we just had to take some photos there.

This outfit is kind of my version of jeans and a t-shirt. I don't really wear plain tees much (although I did just buy this one that I really like), so my version is a bit fancier. But just as easy to wear, if you ask me.

A hot day in Jacksonville

side view of DV by Dolce Vita shoes

I pretty much live in these jeans and booties. I don't care that it's starting to get hot outside. Black jeans are my favorite. I was wearing the exact same ones in the very first Wear This post. And the top is super comfortable and breezy. So even though it has three quarter sleeves, it's still pretty breathable.

I've had that Loquita tote bag forever and I usually use it as my carry on/ travel bag or when I have to tote around a ton of stuff for a shoot or something. And I bought the necklace when I was in LA a while back....KellyAsh, and I popped into Poketo and I pretty much shopped til' I dropped. I had never been to the brick and mortar before, so I felt like it was my duty to buy everything a few things.

Wear This // Black + Cream

Wear This // Necklace by Cursive Design

Awesome Shoes on a Color Blocked Wall

An updated version of jeans and a t-shirt

Top // Sam & Lavi

Jeans // BDG

Shoes // DV by Dolce Vita (similar)

Bag // old Loquita NYC

Necklace // Cursive Design

Photography by Sarah Eddy

What does your version of jeans and a tee look like?

P.S. Notice anything different about my hair? I needed a change, so I lightened up the bottom. Way behind on the ombre trend, but better late than never, I suppose?