It especially helps if you have a friend like Marian, a school psychologist by day, talented artist at all times. She created our stencils.
For the following bag, Marian stencilled a Presidential bust onto a sturdy khaki remnant. She painted the stencil in a a gradation, from blue to red.
I stitched on the blue denim sides and bottom.
For the strap, I upcycled a leather belt. On the buckle side, I stitched securely through a button . I removed the belt's prong (using pliers), to avoid accidental impalement. (which might defeat the purpose of the bag; we want people sufficiently intact to vote).
On the other side, I placed buttons on top of two of the preexisting holes, and stitched through those.
At first, the front looked like this. The button's a lovely vintage leather, but overall this side cried out for more.
I finished the interior edges with a zig-zag stitching over the raw edges. (Alas, I don't own a serger.)
Unlined, easy, fun - and best of all, I am happy to say, it went to a very appreciative person! Feel free to borrow these ideas to support YOUR favorite candidate(s)!
If you want to see more of the election-wear we've created -- tees as well as totes -- go to https://plus.google.com/photos/102648768611793343143/albums/5785457564599449121?authkey=CI66saCU_uqSQw. Email me (at cathy[dot]perlmutter[at]gmail[dot]com if you want to order something.