How to make an easy initial bag

Here's a simple version of the popular "initial bag" you've been seeing in stores and blogs. Instead of the traditional stenciled and painted monogram, I decided to use fabric. Here's how I made a special birthday gift for my momma, Edie. 1. Cut a simple pattern of the letter you want on a piece of scrap paper. You could use a computer print-out of a letter if you want, but I just freehanded this "E" (thanks for having an easy initial, Mom!) . Make sure the letter fits on your bag (crucial).

DSCN5430

2. Lay your new pattern on the fabric of your choosing (which you have just finished ironing!) and use it as a template to cut. Pin it on first if you're nervous (or if your fabric is pricey or limited).

DSCN5431

3. Yay, you have a letter! Now iron it again!

DSCN5433

4. For the simplest project, use a pre-made canvas bag from a craft store (or if you want to do a whole slew of these for Christmas gifts, you can buy them in bulk online. Just search for canvas bags).  Iron the bag. Pin on your letter and start stitching it on! I did it by hand and it took about an hour to sew on while watching tv. Simple down-and-up stitches are fine, about 1/8 of an inch in from the edge. (Sorry, I got too excited about sewing and forgot to take a picture. Bad blogger.) Oh, and maybe this is obvious, but be sure you aren't sewing through both sides of the bag or it won't be very useful. Pretty wall-hanging, sad bag.

5. Your finished project should look something like this!

DSCN5437

Anyone have other tips on making a bag like this? I think it would look really pretty with a floral letter on an almost-clashing other floral pattern. Little crazy-bag-lady action going on. Please share your other ideas! Oh, and happy belated birthday, Mom!