Just For Fun! An Oliver Sacks-Inspired Tote Bag Gift

As mentioned above, this post is “just for fun!” It’s not really going to be a tutorial; I’m just sharing some geeky, crafty joy we had making this DIY gift!

My friend and I put our heads together to create this unique gift for our best friend! She studies neuropsychology and is an Oliver Sacks enthusiast. At first we considered making her a mural of his book covers, but eventually decided on creating an iron-on design for a tote bag.

She’s also a musician so we really wanted to include the creative title art from one of his books, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. My friend also came across this great t-shirt design by Jeremy of Amorphia Apparel (his whole site is worth checking out, there’s some really awesome geeky gear there; this illustration was part of a collection called “Hirsute History: history told through the hair of the people who shaped it” haha.) In Cricut Design Space, I combined these two graphics and added two more book titles to the design. oliver sacks design

We ordered a black canvas tote bag on Amazon because we wanted something a little more fashion-forward and functional than the blank (read: boring & pocketless) totes you can find in the craft store.

I bought a roll of mint-colored HTV (heat-transfer vinyl) and used the Cricut to cut a mirror image of our design.

Weeding went really well using the Siser Easyweed HTV; this was my first time using iron-on with the Cricut and I was pleasantly surprised. DSC04146 - Copy

Ironing, on the other hand, didn’t go as smoothly (pun intended). Next time, I think I’ll try pressing the iron to the design for >10 seconds the first time around (the instructions said 10 seconds) because some of my small letters came off with the plastic! I had to rearrange & iron them individually by hand and it was tedious. DSC04150 - Copy

Once I sorted all of that out, the vinyl adhered well to the canvas and I think the final result looks great!

DSC04153 - Copy

Have you tried crafting with heat-transfer vinyl? How did it turn out? Share your comments below and follow my blog for more fun DIY projects!


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