About 4 years ago I purchased the Around Town Tote download from PaperTrey Ink. The download has templates for a small and a large tote. I love to keep a stash of both sizes. The small tote is perfect as a gift card holder. The large tote is perfect for a small gift or a set of cards.
I use heavy 12" x 12" patterned paper to create the totes. I cut the paper down so that it measures 8.5" x 11" and run it through my printer so that the template prints on the back side of the paper. I cut just within the black lines so that the lines do not show when the tote is assembled. I use the paper that was leftover after I cut it down to create a coordinating gift tag or mini card. Sometimes I use it to create coordinating note cards.
I keep the totes simple. I mostly choose papers that can be used for any occasions. Sometimes I decorate the front of a tote at the last minute, but as I said mostly I keep them simple.
Here's a large tote that I made yesterday.
It's made from sparkly and glittery paper from a Martha Stewart paper pad. When you are scoring the folds, be sure to score gently. Sometimes glittered paper cracks while you are scoring.
I created 4 cards that coordinate with the tote and the button theme..
I tend to use the same 4 themes again and again for a card set. I usually make a birthday card, a thank you card, a get well card, and an all occasion card. I use the tote bag and set of 4 cards as a hostess or birthday gift. That's why I like to have a stash of them waiting for me. It means I can just grab one and go.
Having some friends over for a potluck luncheon today. Need to make a pot of soup.
Have a great day. It's a sunny one here! Sunny, but cold and windy.