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Monster Library Bags

Monster Library Bags main image

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.


We have used a premade tote bag with the addition of a monster pocket to create the library bag, see instructions below. If you wish you can sew the complete monster library bag from scratch, just click here to follow the instructions →
To create our monster library bag, we have used a Kimberbell Blank Canvas Tote to add the monster face to. Please note: The eyes of the monster face can be added using machine embroidery applique or sewing applique (instructions for both methods are detailed below).  Use these steps to create the Monster Library bag from the blank canvas tote:
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.