Hi all!  Carla from Creatin’ in the Sticks here and  thrilled to be on the Therm-o-Web blog today sharing a super fun button project. Using Heat n Bond® Fusible Interfacing makes fabric a perfect foundation for button art whether you sew or glue the buttons.


Make this lunch tote for a teacher or yourself by sewing buttons in an apple pattern and adding a sparkle accent with a Deco Foil leaf and stem to the pocket. This tote is perfectly soft and insulated with fleece interfacing and is also a fantastic size for papers, books, or an iPad.

Finished size:  11 ½” x 13 ½” x 4”  From top of handle to bottom of tote:  23”  Handle opening- 9 ½”




1 pkg. Heat n bond fusible medium weight

1 pkg. Heat n bond High Loft Fusible Fleece interfacing


¾ yard outside fabric (red)

½ yard lining fabric (stripe)

1 fat quarter contrast for pocket (white)

Other Supplies:

Fabric Fuse™ Liquid Adhesive (Optional)

Deco Foil™ Transfer Sheet – Spring Green

Deco Foil™ Hot Melt Adhesive – 1 sheet

Coloring book drawing for button art pattern or apple pattern -Button Art Pocket Tote PDF pattern can be found at Creatin’ In The Sticks Craftsy Store – Here

30 small buttons

Matching thread

Optional closure: 

1 ponytail elastic

1 large button



(Red fabric)

  • 4 – 2 ½” x 21 ½” for handles
  • 2 – 15 ½” x 13 ½”
  • 1 – 2” x 21” for pocket ruffle

(Stripe fabric)

  • 2 – 15 ½” x 13 ½”

(Contrast fabric) White

  • 2 – 8 ½” x 8 ½” for pocket

Heat n Bond medium weight fusible interfacing

  • 1 – 8 ½” x 8 ½” for pocket
  • 2 – 15 ½” x 13 ½” for lining

Heat n Bond High Loft Fusible Fleece interfacing

  • 2 – 2” x 21 ½” for handles
  • 1 – 8 ½” x 8 ½” for pocket
  • 2 – 15 ½” x 13 ½” for outside bag


**All seams are ¼” unless stated otherwise

Step 1 – Pocket

Fuse Heat n bond® medium weight interfacing to the wrong side of one 8 ½” contrast (white) and 8 ½” Heat n bond fleece to the wrong side of the other contrast (white) piece following manufacturer’s instructions. Set aside the piece with interfacing.

Make the ruffle for the pocket by hemming the short ends of the 2” x 21” fabric by folding in ¼” and folding in another ¼” and top stitching.  Now fold the fabric in half lengthwise wrong sides together and press.  The ruffle is sewn to the top of the fleece backed pocket fabric on the right side of the fabric. Pleat by starting ¼” from edge and easing it in to finish ¼” for the other edge.  Here’s a picture of the pleats all pinned.


Baste across pleats 1/8” from top edge.

Pin both pocket pieces together on all 4 sides right sides together, leaving a 3” opening at the bottom for turning right side out.  Make sure the ruffle edges won’t be sewn into the ¼” seam.

Tip:  use small pins to pin the edges out of the way.

Stitch ¼” seam on all 4 sides backstitching at the beginning and end of the 3” opening at the bottom. Trim the corners and turn pocket right side out.  Gently push out corners with a chop stick and press folding the opening shut.  Edge stitch around the pocket, catching opening edges to close.

Trace a coloring book picture (the apple is included in the PDF) onto the right side of the fleece backed side of the pocket with an erasable pen.  (MAKE SURE IT IS ERASABLE!) Use this as a pattern to quilt through all thickness of the pocket.  Erase marks.


Trace leaf and stem on back (smooth side) of hot melt adhesive sheet with permanent marker.


Cut out and fuse the leaf and stem to the fabric where the quilting is on the pocket following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Apply the spring green foil following the instructions.

Tip:  Pressure is key!!TooltipText

Now sew or glue buttons randomly on the apple.  There’s no right or wrong way to place the buttons.  Just go for it.

Tip:  Check your sewing machine manual to see if it can sew on buttons.TooltipText


Step 2 – Handles

Fuse Heat n bond® fusible fleece 2” x 21 ½” pieces to the wrong side of 2 of the handle pieces,

centering in the middle lengthwise.  Pair other 2 handle pieces with each of the fused pieces right sides

together and stitch on each long side with ¼” seams leaving the short ends open.

Turn right side out, press, and quilt by sewing a few lines down the length of each handle.


Step 3 – Outside of Tote

Fuse fleece to 2 outside pieces of bag and quilt if desired.  Find the center of one of these pieces and pin on the pocket centering it.  Stitch pocket on 3 sides by sewing along the edge stitching from before.

Optional closure:

Measure 1 ½” down from the top and stitch the large button in the center if there is going to be an optional closure.  On the other outside piece (back) find the center and baste the elastic ponytail holder to the top edge of the right side. Tip:  Wrap thread around the end to from a little lasso.  This makes it easier to stitch. After basting, remove the wrapped thread.

On both outside (red)  pieces, pin handles 2 ¼” from the right side top edge leaving ½” overhang.

Stitch handles 1/8” from the bag top.


Now stitch the 2 outer tote pieces together, right sides together. on sides and bottom with a ¼” seam forming the bag.  Leave the top open. Box the bottom corners by forming a triangle at the corner of side seams and bottom by spreading the bag out and matching the seams.  Measure 2” from corner and drawing a stitching line on both corners. Stitch across this line on both corners.

Fuse interfacing to wrong side of each lining piece.


With right sides together, stitch around three sides leaving a 4” opening at the bottom of the lining for turning later. Square the corners just like before with the outside of the bag.  Turn lining right side out.

Step 5 – Putting the tote together.

Put lining inside of outside tote with handles between right sides together and pin around the top lining up side seams. Encase the elastic ponytail with pins to stabilize it while stitching.


Stitch ¼” seam around the top of bag.  Stitch again over the elastic ponytail to reinforce. Pull the tote through opening in lining gently. Close the opening by hand stitching or taking a narrow seam with a sewing machine.

Tuck lining into tote, press, and pin around the top.

Caution:  do not iron the foil leaf and stem.

Top stitch around the top ¼” to finish.


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