Plain canvas tote bags are everywhere, and can be had for very little money in most stores. They’re ideal for shopping trips, beach days, picnics, gift bags, or any event where you need to pack extra items. Yet without a doubt, the number one thing holding us back from stocking up on these eco-friendly wonders is how boring they can be.
With a little craftiness, you can personalize yours, or even make a real fashion statement. Here are ten ways to put your own stamp on a tote bag.
- A gold glitter heart gift bag.
For this DIY, you need a plain tote, some iron-on glitter vinyl from a craft store, and the ability to cut out a good heart. It’s a sweet, sparkly gift bag the recipient can use again and again.
- The color block tote.
If you want a pop of color without getting too busy, simply use painter’s tape to block out some simple shapes and get painting. When you remove the tape, you reveal nice clean lines.
- Bow print stencil bag.
For this bag, you use freezer paper and a bow-shaped paper punch (or any other shape you like) to create a custom strip of stencils. It’s the perfect bag to tote along to dance class.
- A tote with words of wisdom.
Choose your favorite affirmation and track down a printable design for that. Print the mirror image onto a piece of iron transfer paper and apply with heat. This is a great project for beginners that produces pro results.
- The quote tote.
If you’re a little more verbose, apply a longer quote on your bag using letter stamps. Replace the old straps with a few strips of leather, and make some letters slightly askew to emulate an old typewriter. The end result is a bag that makes a better daily carryall than the average.
- A bag for everyone.
Let the kids pitch in with stenciling shapes and letters onto a bag in fun colors. This particular bag was dreamt up by a school teacher who wanted to make Show and Tell a little more special.
- The dip dye tote.
Simple fabric dye and some well-timed soaking makes it easy to create this ombre look. It’ll be your go-to tote to drag along to the beach.
- A monogrammed tote with style.
Grab a pretty paper doily and use the negative space to paint on a layer of intricate lacework that’s much easier than it looks. From there, use freezer paper to make a letter stencil for your initials.
- The “cross-stitched” monogram tote.
Using graph paper, cardboard as a guide, and a lot of small x’s, you can make a tote that easily resembles one that’s sold in stores. If you’re patient with it, you’ll be impressed by your own skill.
- A blingy bejeweled tote.
Who doesn’t love gemstones? Pack up your best friend’s birthday gift in a hand-bedazzled tote. From the craft store, buy as many jewels as you like, as well as some gemstone glue. Keep a piece of cardboard inside the tote to make a good working surface, and adhere them in any shape you like.