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Monster Library Bags

Exercise your skills and create a groovy Monster Library Bag! These bags are perfect for the kids to use for their books, or even to carry their other belongings like toys. The embroidery and applique detail on this project makes it super fun and exciting for kids, and adds that touch of character.

This project is great for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. The Monster Library Bags can also be donated to charity. View charities that accept this item →

Tools required


To construct your bag, we suggest using linen, denim, cotton sateen, canvas, or fabrics with weight for your outer fabric. For the lining of your bag, we recommend using a lightweight fabric such as cotton or polyester.


Outer fabric: 2 pieces measuring 30cm x 40cm
Lining fabric: 2 pieces measuring 30cm x 40cm


Outer fabric: 1 piece measuring 30cm x 23cm
Lining fabric: 1 piece measuring 30cm x 23cm
Iron-on Interfacing: 1 piece measuring 30cm x 23cm

Bag Strap

Outer fabric: 2 pieces measuring 80cm x 8cm
Note: If your material isn't thick enough, you can also add some Iron-on Interfacing to your strap material.

Monster Face

Scrap fabric: You can use scrap fabric to cut out your monster face, enough to cover the printed pattern.

Monster Library Bag Project Monster Library Bag Project

Create a Monster Library Bag with an existing tote bag

If you don't wish to make your bag from scratch, you can also add these details to an existing tote bag and turn it into a monster bag. Use either machine embroidery applique or sewing applique! See instructions →


  1. Iron-on some iron-on interfacing to the wrong side of the pocket material. Place the right sides of the pocket material together and stch 1/4” along the top.
  2. Fold out the pocket and iron down flat.
  3. Iron on your iron-on applique paper onto the wrong sides of your monster face material. Note on the applique parts what colours to use to create your monster face.
  4. Place your monster teeth onto the pocket front and iron down. Get some test material and select the blanket stch on your sewing machine. Adjust the length and width sengs unl you are happy with thestch. Now stch around the enre outside of your monster teeth in the same thread colour as your material, securing it to the pocket front.
  5. Place your finished pocket over the front of the bag front. You can use this to line up your eyes onto your bag front. Iron on your eye applique parts. Using the same colour threads stch the same blanket stch around the outside of your eyes.
  6. Iron on some iron-on interfacing onto the wrong side of the monster ear fabric. Place the right sides together and sew 1/4" around the outside of the ears. Clip the edges and turn inside out. Iron down flat.
  7. Place the right sides of the bag front material and lining and stch across the top. Repeat for the bag back material and lining.
  8. Fold the bag front and back out and iron down flat. Now place the pocket front back onto the bag front. Place the ears in place and face them inside the bag.
  9. Place the right sides of the bag material and lining together, pining around the edges. Now stch 1/4" around the edge of the material making sure to leave a 10cm gap at the boom of the lining.
  10. Trim the corners, being careful not to cut through the stch lines.
  11. Now pull the bag inside out through the lining opening. Handstch the opening closed using matching thread and then push the lining inside the bag. Push at the corners so that they sit flat and then iron your bag down flat.
  12. Pin along the top of the bag making sure that the seams sit nice and flat. With matching thread, stch 1/4 around the outside of the bag top.
  13. If you are using thin fabric make sure to iron on some iron-on interfacing onto the wrong sides of your fabric straps for extra thickness.

    To create the straps, turn in the right sides of the fabric edges so that they meet in the middle, shown le. Once you have done this, fold it again, so now there are no raw edges showing.

    Pin along this open edge and stch down as close to the edge as possible.

  14. Fold the boom edges of the strap up 5cm and then pin them down onto the bag front at the very edges, where the red squares are marked.
  15. Stch a square around your strap so that it sits nicely. You can then stch an “X”mark inside your square for extra support, shown below le.
  16. Repeat the same step for your second strap and stch onto the back of your library bag.
  17. This completes your monster library bag.

Materials needed:
What you need for the machine embroidery applique method:
What you need for the sewing applique method:

Machine Embroidery Applique:

  1. Iron the tote bag with Best Press Starch Spray so it is wrinkle free. Fold the tote in ½ and iron ensuring the top of the tote and the handles are aligned.
  2. Measure 3 ½” from the top of the tote, fold and press/iron to create the placement cross hairs. Hoop the tote & stabiliser in the 4 x 4” hoop ensuring the cross hairs are centred in the middle of the hoop.
  3. This is a layered applique monster eye that consists of stitching all three elements, the outer eye, inner eye and iris on top of each other. Load the relevant design onto your USB and place in the machine, then stitch the layers as follows:
    1. Stitch the placement stitch onto the hooped bag.
    2. Place your Pistachio coloured felt on top of the hooped bag and tape down.
    3. Stitch the run stitch. It will sew around the circle two times.
    4. Trim the Pistachio felt back ⅛” from the stitching line, being careful not to cut the run stitches.
    5. The next step is a placement stitch for the white felt (inner eye). Repeat the same process to complete the inner eye and iris. Note: Please disregard the colour thread changes that will be indicated for this design on your machine. They are there to pause the stitching so you can place and trim your fabric.

Click here to jump to the next step, creating the pocket →

Sewing applique:

  1. Trace the monster eyes (excluding the iris) and tongue from the PDF pattern sheet onto Hot Melt Web. Don’t forget to label the parts so they are easily identifiable. Cut out the shapes from the Hot Melt Web and iron onto the back of the Pistachio & White Felt. Cut the shapes out of the felt using scissors, set aside.
  2. Cut the PDF pattern shapes of the teeth and iris out. Using a sharpie, draw around the teeth & iris shape on top of the clear plastic sheet of the glitter sheet. Using scissors, cut out the drawn lines. Peel the clear plastic sheet off the glitter iris and teeth, set aside for placement later. As the applique glitter sheet is a heat transfer vinyl it is not necessary to adhere Hot Melt Web to this product.
  3. Iron the tote bag with Best Press so it is wrinkle free. Fold the tote in ½ and iron ensuring the top of the tote and the handles are aligned. Measure 3 ½” from the top of the tote, fold and press to create the placement cross hairs.
  4. Take the bag to the wool pressing mat and position and iron the pistachio felt in place. Repeat for the same process placing the white felt on top of the pistachio eye.
  5. At the sewing machine, select a stitch to sew around the outside of each felt eye and complete the stitching. We used the straight stitch for the Pistachio outer eye, and a small zig zag stitch for the white felt.
  6. Take the bag back to the wool pressing mat, and place the glitter iris at the bottom of the white felt. Using an applique pressing mat, place the iron on top of the eye and hold for 10 seconds. There is no need to move the iron. Remove the iron and applique mat and check the glitter iris has adhered. Repeat the above process to set the piece if required. Set the bag aside.

Create the pocket

  1. Fold the fat quarter in ½ with WRONG sides together & iron with Best Press to remove any wrinkles. Cut the folded fat quarter to 12 ½” wide - this is the pocket.
  2. Fold the pocket in half with the right sides together this time and pin along the raw edges. Using a ¼” seam stitch the raw edges together, creating a “tube”. Fold the pocket tube back with the wrong sides together and press the stitched seam flat.

Applique the monster tongue and teeth on the pocket

  1. To find the centre of the pocket, fold the pocket in half twice (horizontal and vertical) and press or mark with a Frixion pen. Mark the centre of the Monster tongue by folding in half and press or mark with a Frixion pen (note: the Hot Melt Web paper should still be attached to the back of the fabric!) To position the Monster tongue, place the centre mark of the spotted fabric onto the centre mark of the pocket. Press in place.
  2. Using a straight stitch, sew around the tongue ironed onto the pocket. Finally stitch along the top of the pocket, and tongue using a straight stitch.
  3. Measure 1” in from each side of the tongue, and place the glitter teeth. Place an applique mat on top of the teeth and apply the iron on top of the teeth for 10 seconds. You may have to repeat this step a couple of times for the glitter sheet to adhere to the fabric.

Attaching the pocket

  1. Take the tote bag and fold in half right sides together ensuring the handles match at the top. Iron a fold along the bottom edge of the tote.
  2. Open the tote bag and lay flat. Take the previously constructed pocket and place the bottom folded edge of the pocket onto the ironed bottom edge of the tote. Pin in place.
  3. Using a shorter stitch length, stitch the pocket onto the tote along the bottom edge.
  4. Pin the sides of the pocket onto the tote bag and stitch in place using a ⅛” or ¼” seam.
  5. Stitch the tote side seams together using an overlocker, or sewing machine! Turn inside and your bag is complete.


These libary bags can also be donated to charity. If you want to contribute to a great cause, the charities listed below accept Monster Library Bags to be distributed to children. Just send your creations in to the mailing address provided. 

Are you a charity that would accept this item? Contact us to have your details added here.

New South Wales

Dymocks Children's Charities
Level 6, 428 George St


Backpacks 4 VIC Kids
86 Camms Road
Cranbourne VIC 3977

Charity project requirements: These library bags must be able to seal shut. They recommend adding snaps or studs, but will also accept bags with zips or drawstrings.

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Echidna project material/ fabric requirements are an indication only and can seem to be generous. This has been intentional. Should you make a cutting or embroidery mistake you will have sufficient fabric to rectify your error.

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