DIY Tote Bag

Nothing says multi-purpose than a tote bag. Summer or winter, this tote bag will be a cute, new way to carry all of your go-to items! Whether it be for beach essentials, school supplies, or even an overnight bag, this bag is about to make packing a lot more fun!

What you need//

  • plain canvas tote bag (Walmart $5.22, JoAnn Fabrics 3 large totes $10.99, Michaels $7.49)

  • iron

  • acrylic paint or fabric paint (this allows you to wash it)

  • paint brush

  • tape (masking tape, electrical tape or painter’s tape)


Monogram (optional)

  • computer

  • scissors or X-Acto knife

  • tape

  • card-stock paper



  1. Be sure to lay out a trash bag or splat mat so that you don’t get any paint where it shouldn’t be.  Also, you may want to be sure to keep your household pets in another room… unless you want to decorate with a few paw prints.

  2. If making your own monogram, this website will make it really easy.  Mark and Graham's monogram maker allows you to select your letters, font, and color to create your personalized monogram.

  3. Once you’ve made and printed your monogram on card-stock paper, carefully cut it out with scissors or an X-Acto knife to create a stencil.  Remember to be careful when using sharp objects… some actual good advice we have heard from our mothers!

  4. Iron your bag before to be sure you have a smooth surface.

  5. Place the monogram in the desired location.  Tape it down to help it to stay in place.

  6. Be sure to put lots of pressure on the monogram while painting so that you can make a straighter line.

  7. If you wish, you could paint a second color to outline the monogram.  This will give it a little pop!  Be sure that the first color has had time to dry.

  8. Now, you are ready to add the stripes.  There are a lot of different ways you could go with this.  If you want super straight lines, use painter’s tape.  Also, press down on the tape to ensure no gaps; however, if you want a more free form, rope like, effect, you can use electrical tape or masking tape.  This lets a little paint seep in now and then.

  9. Place the tape in your desired locations.  To create a pattern, just place the tape closer together, then further apart, repeat until you have covered the bag.

  10. Paint between the tape lines.

  11. Let the bag dry completely.  Then, you can peel off the tape.

  12. You may add a little bow to add a little pizazz.  Other ideas would be to attach your favorite pins or buttons.  Really the ideas are only limited by your imagination!

  13. Now you have a cute bag that is ready to hold all of your goodies! :)