Blogging has motivated me to do so many things. I’ve taken trips, started hobbies, and made new friends along the way. I’ve been very lucky to have the means to push myself to experience new and exciting horizons.
One thing that I try to do a few times a year is to use my influence for good. With everything I’ve gained, it’s important to me to give back. Brands with heart like Cricut make it easy to partner with and make a difference in the world. This time, we’re collaborating on a project to spread awareness about hunger and homelessness.
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa
Imagine walking into a food bank. I’m sure it’s not easy accepting help. The humility it takes for a person to walk into a food bank is something that I think we should all stop and think on for a moment. For those who will leave the food bank on foot or taking public transport, it must be trying to carry food supplies in a heavy cardboard box.
This is where we come in.
Let’s brighten someone’s day and ease their load with custom tote bags/reusable shopping bags. These bags will be filled with food and donated to your local food bank. It’s important that they help the recipient “blend in” once they’ve left, so keep that in mind when selecting designs.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your tote.
- Cricut Explore Air 2
- Cricut EasyPress 2
- Cricut EasyPress Mat or towel
- Tote Bag Blank (I used size medium)
- StandardGrip Machine Mat
- Iron-On Protective Sheet or butcher paper
- Everyday Iron-On, various colors
- Weeding Tool
- White cardstock
- Lint roller
Choose Your Design
I found all of my designs pre-made in Cricut Design Space. I measured out the size of my design and decided on the placement for my tote. I kept it simple this time and opted for a black iron-on.
Prep Your Tote
Set your EasyPress to 315 degrees F. Use your lint roller on your tote to remove unwanted fuzz, then apply heat to your tote for 5 seconds to get rid of moisture. Let cool completely.
Prep Your Mat + Machine
Put your iron-on vinyl shiny side down on your mat. Make sure your machine’s dial is set to “iron-on” and you’ve toggled to mirror your image in Design Space. Then load and cut.
Weed Your Vinyl
Iron-on vinyl is perhaps my favorite to weed. It’s like butter! Flip your mat upside down and peel your vinyl off. Remove all excess, leaving the design on the backing.
When you’re sure your design is ready for application, flip around and place onto your tote. You’ll leave the clear film on as you press. Slide a piece of white cardstock inside the tote and use butcher paper or Cricut’s Iron-On Protective Sheet atop the tote before pressing. Heat for 30 seconds with mild pressure. Do not wiggle the machine once setting down. I usually flip around and do 30 seconds on the back as well.
Pro tip: lightly bend the design in half to figure out where to line up with the middle of the tote bag.
Finishing the Tote
This tote has a warm peel, meaning you’ll want to let the heat cool a bit before removing the film. Peel the film as close to the design as possible to ensure everything has adhered nicely. If not, keep applying heat until properly secured.
Here are all of the finished totes we completed.
Now that your totes are made, these are the top 10 items needed at food banks.
- Canned meat & chili
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Pasta sauce
- Non-perishable snack items for children (i.e. granola bars, juice boxes, applesauce)
- Macaroni & Cheese
- Low-sugar cereals
- Peanut Butter
- Instant Oatmeal
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
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