Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


DIY 'Leer Reír Vivir' Library Tote

Photograph by Ruby Wright

The summer isn't over just yet, but the kids have already been asking about back-to-school items and are ready to head back. Like most summers, we still have vacation homework and always have a list of books to read. Sadly, this seems to be the last thing on both my kids' minds. I needed something fun to keep them busy and also excited about summer reading so we made some fun custom DIY summer reading totes to carry our books from the library to the park and everywhere else we may travel to so there's always a book to be read.

Creating a custom summer reading tote with the saying "Leer Reír Vivir" means a lot to us because it's a way to keep our Spanish-language reading skills front and center as we reintroduce bilingual reading for the new school year.

Using fabric markers and an easy homemade stencil, the mess is limited and we get to enjoy our totes right away!

Love this? Follow us on Pinterest!

DIY: How to Make a Reading Tote


  • Fabric markers
  • Printable stencil
  • X-acto knife
  • Masking tape
  • Blank canvas tote
  • Cardboard
Photograph by Ruby Wright


1. Print your stencil, attach to the cardboard with masking tape, and cut out the letters to reveal the stencil using the X-acto knife. You may need to cut off the sides before attaching to your tote. Attach the stencil to your tote using masking tape.

TIP: Be sure to place a piece of cardboard on the inside of your tote for support as well while coloring in your stencil, and to also protect the other side of the fabric if the markers bleed.

2. Color in your letters with desired colors. Be sure to add proper holes for letters "e" and "R" or any other letters if you use your own stencil. Hold the stencil down with your hand while coloring in the letters.

3. Remove the stencil. Trace all letters with a gray or black fabric marker. This is optional, but recommended it if you use lighter colored markers to color in the letters. It helps them stand out. Don't forget to remove the cardboard after you're done designing your bag!

4. Fill with books and enjoy reading! Keep a reading log and reward your little readers with a treat or new books when they hit a reading milestone.

Love this? Follow us on Pinterest!

Photograph by Ruby Wright
Photograph by Ruby Wright

Love this? Follow us on Pinterest!

More from entertainment