DIY: Back To School Designer Book Bags

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Sure, you could carry a backpack, but why would you when you could go back to school in style with a tricked out book bag!

The Cheerleader
Designer Book Bags, Cheerleader Bags, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Back to School, Crafts, Pom poms
What you need:
1 Cotton book bag
Silhouette of a cheerleader jumping (drag the image below to your desktop and print out to the size needed for your bag)
Embroidery thread (whatever color you like)
Embroidery needle
Embroidery hoop
Yarn Pom Poms (whatever color you like, you’ll need 2 small for the cheerleader and more to hang from the handles of your bag) Learn how to make a hand pom pom HERE.

Cheerleader art
What to do:
1. Print out image of cheerleader (sized to your bag) and cut out silhouette.
2. Place silhouette in the center of your bag and trace around the perimeter with a pencil (don’t worry about tracing around the pom poms you’ll be covering that area up with actual pom poms.)
3. Fasten the embroidery hoop over the cheerleader and stitch the penciled cheerleader with your embroidery thread and needle. (I used all the thickness of thread and a back stitch.)
4. Attach small pom poms where the hand pom poms with embroidery thread.
5. Tie other pom poms on the straps of the bag.

The Jock
Back to School Crafts, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Varsity Letters, Hermes Twilly
What you need:
1 Cotton Book Bag
Varsity Letter Patch
Sewing Machine and Thread
Decorative Pins
Scarf (optional)
What to do:
1. Place the varsity letter where you would like it on the book bag and sew around the perimeter. I used a finishing stitch.
2. Attach pins and tie on scarf (optional)

The Marching Band Leader
Band Leader Book Bag, Back to School, Libbie Summers, Sequins
What you need: 
1 Cotton canvas book bag
Flat backed sequin beads
Fabric Glue or Hot Glue
What to do:
1. Lay bag on a flat surface and place sequin beads in the patter you would like. We did a musical note in the center and a simple linear pattern around it.
2. Taking your time, glue each bead to the bag.
3. Allow bag to dry overnight.

The Happy Thespian
Button Crafts, Libbie Summers, Back to School, Book Bags, Custom Book Bags
What you need: 
1 Cotton canvas book bag
Black buttons in varying sizes and shapes
Black embroidery thread
Embroidery needle
Embroidery hoop
Yellow Buttons in varying sizes and shapes
Yellow embroidery thread
Scarf (optional)
What to do: 
1. Sketch a smiley face somewhere on your bag.
2. Fasten the embroidery hoop over the smiley face.
3. Working with the black eyes and mouth first, sew black buttons onto the bag to cover the lines on your sketch (I used the full thickness of the black embroidery thread).
4. Sew yellow buttons around the perimeter of the smiley face circle then fill in the blank area. Make sure to mix up using small and large buttons so there are no two buttons the same next to each other. (I used the full thickness of the yellow embroidery thread).
5. Tie a coordinating scarf onto one of the straps of the bag (optional). So stinkin’ cute!
Book Bags, Custom Book Bags, Back to School, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Smiley Face
Yep, I’m also wearing my Patch Pants!!

Back To School Designer Book Bags (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

As school busses started rolling down the streets of Savannah this past week, I got a little nostalgic for high school days when instead of a backpack, I toted a tricked out book bag filled with spiral notebooks, a bottle of Baby Fresh cologne and a tube of cherry flavored lip gloss. These thoughts led to a craft project that I hope inspires the next awkwardly cool generation of jocks, geeks, thespians, freaks and the occasional cheerleader.

Libbie Loves: Spring Flower Power

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

This time of year I find my mind and all things in my life are inspired by the gorgeous flowers blooming around me. Here are a few of my favorite Spring flower-inspired obsessions! 

Flowers, Fashion, Soap, Prints

1. Peyton Leather Pumps by Gucci
Because these are not only gorgeous, they look super comfortable and a girl can dream.

2. Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum by Guerlain
Because I can admit I actually bought this perfume after watching Angelina Jolie’s video and LOVE IT!

3. Chea Embroidered Denim Jacket by Acne Studios
Because I am obsessed with this jacket…obsessed.

4. How To Draw Modern Florals: An Introduction To The Art of Flowers, Cacti, and More by Alli K Design
Because who doesn’t want to be able to bust out a cacti drawing when called upon to do so?

5. Whipped soap; Beach Scented with Jasmine Flowers, Salt and Sea Air by 7ChakrasSoap
Because whipped soap. period.

6. Wooden Decorative Spoon Set by ShabbyHappyDecoupage
Because these could “girly up” any kitchen.

7. Zuma Swimsuit by SEEA
Because I love a cool suit that protects me from the sun and doesn’t ride up my ass while I’m actually swimming.

8. 1 Yard of Into The Gargen Sage in Oyster Linen for a pillow by Ashley Woodson Bailey
Because Ashley Bailey does beautiful work and I dream about making a pillow out of this fabric.

9. Candied Whole Violets by India Tree
Because India Tree products are all natural and these candied violets can take a boring cupcake to BRILLIANT!

Food-Inspired Fashion: Strawberry Boiler Suits

by Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong for Savannah Magazine

Every successful event I design, no matter how big or small, involves a little “theater”, and theater means the perfect staff uniforms.
For this strawberry-inspired dinner party, myself and staff wore white tailored boiler suits with a strawberry patch over our hearts. I encourage a little personal flare when the event calls for it –and this event called for it! So pink chuck tailors, red bandanas, a certain pink satin hat and a lot of attitude helped to create even more “theater” for our guests.

Strawberries, Spring, Dinner Party, Flowers, Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life
L-R (Anthony Lunsmann, Libbie Summers, Candace Brower, David Dempsey)

Strawberries, Spring, Dinner Party, Flowers, Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life

Get the Look!
Boiler Suits (tailored of course)
Strawberry Patch 


They Get Me: My Signature Style

By Emily McCarthy
Photography by Teresa Earnest and Cedric Smith

(From the Signature Style Series)

It is our sincere pleasure to welcome the amazing Libbie Summers to our Signature Style series. We’ve been so excited to share this with you – we just adore her (as you know we are gaga for Terra’s Kitchen)! Before we dive into her Signature Style interview – learn a little more about this fabulous culinary delight.

Libbie Summers, the face behind her Food-Inspired Life brand, is recognized as a food and lifestyle tastemaker in print, online and on-air. Her work has been seen in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens, Vogue, ELLE, Camille Styles, Glitter Guide, Redbook, People, Garden and Gun, Condé Nast Traveler, on the OWN Show, and many more.

She has authored three books. The 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards, Sweet & Vicious –baking with attitude (Rizzoli, 2014), Brown Sugar (Short Stack Editions, 2014) and The NY Times 2011 Notable Book, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli, 2011).

As one who wears many hats, Libbie also serves as the Creative Culinary Director of Terra’s Kitchen— an innovative meal delivery service sending healthy farm-fresh ingredients and fresh-prepped recipes to subscribers in an eco-friendly manner.

Libbie resides in Savannah, Georgia with one husband, one son, and one opinionated-dog. She maintains her body and body of work are both food-inspired.

Photo: Teresa Earnest

EMc: Why do these photos show your signature style?

LS: I had this big aha moment when I was around 35 that everything I loved style-wise had some connection with food. Color, texture, feeling, memory….it always came back to food. When I describe something I naturally go to food. “You know, like the color of the top of a strawberry before it’s fully ripe…that pale green. THAT’S the color of vintage velvet on my throw pillows.” 

Master Bedroom (photo by Cedric Smith) Mix of vintage and modern with a touch of whimsy

EMc: What aspects really tell us who you are?

LS: The image Cedric Smith took of me with my kewpie topped cake kind of says everything about my style. I have on a custom made and very simple button down short sleeve oxford, an amazing and whimsical skirt with a print called Babies on Fire from designer Brooke Atwood and the chicest work shoes EVER from CAT (yes, the tractor people). Sure I could have just worn the outfit…but I felt like one of those kewpie dolls was so full of bravado, it needed to climb up to the top of a cake.

EMc: How do you carry your signature style into all aspects of your life be it home decor, entertaining, or fashion?

LS: My style is food-inspired, but it’s also a tomboy chic and homespun chic kind of style. I like items that tell a story AND are comforting and comfortable. The “story” may be about the coolest new designer I’m crushing on or the provenance of the piece, but there is always a relaxed feeling and happy story somewhere.

Read the rest of the interview HERE.

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