Thursday, February 1, 2018

DIY Iron-On Mini Tote Bags for Galentine's Day (Free "I Got You Bae" SVG File)

As long as we're spreading the love around in February, why not celebrate your best friends, the women who offer you a shoulder to cry on, who send you those silly GIFs that perfectly capture your relationship and who understand what it's like to be the only person in the house who can see an empty toilet paper roll? Galentine's Day is celebrated on February 13th. It's a party just for the ladies. I think it would be fun to get together over a couple of bottles of wine and a selection of chocolate goodies and share little gifts that nurture your favourite gals.

These DIY iron-on mini tote bags are ideal for filling up with small treats for your besties. Of course, these totes can also be used for Valentine's Day proper. They would be great to hold gifts for a kids' Valentine's Day party or for your child to give to special friends at school. Better yet, why not make these mini totes together with friends at a crafting party? Read on to see how they're made.

I was in my bedroom brainstorming sayings to iron on these mini tote bags when I heard "I Got You Babe" playing somewhere downstairs. My daughter came into my room and I asked her where the song was coming from. When she answered me, I heard her say "I Got You Bae" and thought she misunderstood the wording in the song. It actually turned out that I misheard her response and she had said the song title the original way. But I knew then that "I Got You Bae" had to go on a tote bag. It's a modern update, right? And even though it's often used in reference to a significant other, bae stands for "before anyone else" and can be used to refer to the people who are most important in your life - like your girlfriends. In other words, feel free to use it for Valentine's Day or Galentine's Day. Long story not so short. 

I created this "I got you BAE" image in Adobe Illustrator. It was quite easy and pretty fun too. Visit this post for a great tutorial on making SVG files from Cori at Hey Let's Make Stuff. But in case you don't have Illustrator or just want to use my image as is, you can download the SVG file below.

Once you have your SVG file, the process to make your tote bag goes like this...

Materials needed for "I got you BAE" DIY iron-on mini tote bag for Galentine's Day:

SVG image file
Cricut Explore Air™ or Cricut Maker or other cutting machine
Cricut® StandardGrip Adhesive Cutting Mat
Cricut® Tools Weeder
Cricut® Tools Scissors

Cricut® Iron-on Glitter, Gold
tote bag

Steps to make iron-on mini tote:

My instructions are for Cricut Design Space, because that's what I use, but you can certainly make this project with whichever cutting machine you have. In Cricut Design Space, open a new project and select "Upload."

Browse your computer for the saved SVG file, name and tag your image and save.

Choose the "I got you BAE" image from recently uploaded images and insert.

You'll now see the image on your canvas. Save the project.

I have sized the image for the small tote bags, but you can re-size it for a larger tote, pillow cover or whatever you want. Click "Make It" to proceed to the cut.

Because this is an iron-on project, make sure you select mirror in the mat view.

Apply the glitter iron-on material liner side down on the standard grip cutting mat and load into the machine.

Set the dial on your Explore Air to "Custom" and then choose "Glitter Iron-On" in Design Space. If you have an older Cricut machine or another brand of cutting machine, follow the directions on the material packaging to ensure you set the cut for iron-on material. You need to kiss-cut the material (ie. cut through the glitter iron-on, but not the backing). Proceed with the cut.

When the cut is finished, weed away the excess glitter iron-on material using the weeder tool. If you're like me, you'll have to take off your distance glasses. I don't quite need reading glasses yet, but I need to take off my glasses to see up close. Sigh.

Once all the excess material is weeded and only the lettering remains on the backing, you're ready to iron!

Iron the tote bag for a few seconds to prepare the surface. Lay the "I got you BAE" image where you want it to end up on the tote bag. Use a ruler if you tend towards the perfectionist end of things.

Place a dish towel over top of the design. Follow the directions provided with the iron-on material. I used my iron on the hottest setting and ironed over the surface for probably double to triple the 30 seconds recommended, because I'm skeptical like that. Flip the tote over, place the dish towel over the back and iron for another 30 seconds.

Let the whole thing cool for a minute or two and then remove the liner. All done!

I found the heart and xoxo images through a search in Cricut Design Space™. Search "heart" or "xoxo" in the images and you'll find a wealth of options.

I thought the heart within a heart was particularly sweet. I have this Iron-on Starter Kit with several colours of glitter iron-on (including this striking red), but shiny foil iron-on looks lovely too. (You can see how the red foil looks on my Canada Day tank and tote.) And the little totes offer a great way to use up small leftover pieces of iron-on material.

Other sayings to put on your Galentine's tote bags:

  • Girl power
  • The best girls are golden
  • Besties
  • Who loves ya?

Ideas for what to put inside the tote bags:

  • candy (consider setting up a candy bar and having guests fill up small plastic bags full of candy to tuck inside their totes)
  • bath bombs
  • lip gloss
  • chocolates
  • inexpensive jewelry
  • small candles
  • gift cards
  • notes expressing thanks

Once you get the hang of cutting and applying iron-on, you'll want to iron on images and text to all the things. Last time I used iron-on I screwed up a couple of times. You can read about that in this post. This time I was more careful. Basically you just have to remember to flip the image before you cut. And put the material liner side down on the mat, so the machine is kiss cutting the actual material and not the backing.

As I happily ironed on the last of these images, I practically begged my family to find things they wanted iron-on applied to. They couldn't think of anything offhand. But I'm confident we'll come up with something...soon.

These DIY mini totes make great gifts for many different occasions. Use different images and they'll work as birthday loot bags, shower and party favours and crafting party take-aways.

Wishing you love and joy this February!

Do you celebrate Galentine's Day and/or Valentine's Day? What's your favourite way to spend the day? What image would you iron on your tote bag?

Download the free "I got you BAE" SVG file

Click here to download my free "I got you bae" cut file to use in Cricut Design Space or with whichever cutting machine you own. You can also use the image on a cushion cover or tee. Cut it from adhesive for a mug too!

Pin it for later:

Other Galentine's & Valentine's Day crafts & recipes on the blog...

Lovey Dovey Vegan Chocolate Bark
Easy & Fun Valentine's Day Painted Mugs
Sew A Simple Paper Hearts Garland
Beet-ing Hearts Blood Orange Smoothie
Felt Hearts Garland
Coco Cherry Chocolate Mug Cake

30 Sweet Valentine's Day Ideas to Make, Bake & Create

I have joined together with 29 other Canadian blogging friends to bring you 30 ideas for making, baking and creating this Valentine's Day. I hope you get a chance to visit everybody and find a wealth of creative ideas. Thank you to Jo-Anna from the gorgeous A Pretty Life blog for hosting.

Valentine's Day Cherry Pie by Jo-Anna of A Pretty Life

Valentine's Triple Berry Breakfast Parfait by Joanna at Lazy Moms Blog

Valentine's Day Mini Bouquet with Printable Wrap by Lucy of Craftberry Bush

DIY Iron-On Mini Tote Bags for Galentine's Day by Joann of Woman in Real Life

DIY Clay Valentine Heart Wall Hanging by Jen of Kitchen Counter Chronicles

Valentine's Day Smoothie Bowl by Kristeena of Motherhood in Stilettos

Chunky Crochet Heart Banner by Christina of The DIY Mommy

'I'm Stuck On You Valentine' Free Printable by Chandra of HashtagBlessed Blog

DIY Love Tees by Colleen of Lemon Thistle

Red Velvet Cheesecake by Kim of Kim Power Style

Custom Floral Dishware DIY with Temporary Tattoos by Christine of Amidst the Chaos

Valentine's Day Keto Cheesecake by Thalita of The Learner Observer

How to Host a Mother/Daughter Galentine's by Kelsey of Kelsey Diane Blog

Free Printable Farmhouse Style Valentine's Day Cards by Shannon of AKA Design

GALentine’s Day Tea Party by Shauna of Satori Design for Living

Valentine Heart Necklace by Christine of The DIY Dreamer

Simple Valentine's Day Decor by Alicia of A Burst of Beautiful

Valentine's Sushi Recipe by Stefania of From the Playpen

Valentine’s Day Decor by Dannyelle of Life is a Party

Valentine Countdown for Kids by Heather of Raising Memories

Love Sign by Meagan of Row House Nest

Valentine's Day Kindness Countdown Calendar by Jen of Rambling Renovators

Rustic Valentine's Day Decor by Sarah of The Project Pile

Peach Raspberry Crisp by Brittany of My Daily Randomness

How to Make Pine Cone Roses by Jane & Sonja of Sustain My Craft Habit

Handmade Paper Gift Boxes by Jessica of The Vanderveen House

DIY Valentine's Day Pouch by Lidia of Design Inside the Box

Valentine Oreo Cookies by Kendra of Joy In Our Home

Valentine's Day Lunch Idea by Adriana of Chaos and Caffeine

Chocolate Cherries Baileys Cookies by Emily of daydreaming of elsewhere

*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after following a link, Woman in Real Life may earn a small commission. Your price is not affected.


  1. The mini totes are AWESOME Joann! I need to try out a Cricut! Pinned! :)

    1. Oh, I'm sure you would love Cricut Christine!

  2. These are sooo cute! I love the glittery iron on vinyl!!

    1. Thanks so much Heather! Glitter makes everything better, huh? ;)

  3. Love love love this!!! (I can totally see doing this as teacher gifts!)

    1. Hi Lidia, you are so sweet to think of teacher gifts for Valentine's Day!

  4. These totes are so great Joann! And I LOVE the idea of Galentine's Day...I'm totally celebrating on Feb 13! xo

    1. Thanks Jo-Anna! We gals should definitely celebrate our own day!

  5. I'm so old school I actually thought 'Bae' was shortform for 'Babe', ha!! Such a cute idea.

    1. I am right there with you! I am coming around very slowly to the new language. ;)

  6. These are so cute! Love the sparkles!

  7. Joann!!! These bags are so so cute. I wish I had a machine to make these. They are so much fun

    1. Thanks Meagan! Feel free to come over and cut some any time!

  8. I love these bags, this is such a fun idea!

  9. I've always wondered how people make things like this!! So fun!! The "I got you bae" one is my favourite for sure!

  10. I love these, completely adorable. And I love the idea of Galentine's Day, brilliant!

    1. Thanks so much Laurie! Maybe one day we can share a Galentine's Day box of chocolates. ;)

  11. These are such a cute idea! I'm amazed by you crafty gals!

    1. Thanks Laura! If I can do it, anybody can. ;)

  12. Joann these are so sweet. Love the "I've got you BAE"!

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