Craft Your Own Stylish Tote Bag w/ 6 Free Designs: The Ultimate All-Purpose Accessory for Beach, Groceries, Work, & Play!

Today I’m sharing a fabulous DIY tote bag that you’re going to love! I found these adorable bags on Amazon that I bought to give to my son’s teachers as an end of the year gift which you saw on Wednesday with the free printable gift tags. I promised to share the tutorial for making the actual bag along with several designs to use on the tote, so let’s get into it!

DIY tote bag featured image

DIY Tote Bag Supplies:

  • tote bag- I bought this 8 pack so that I could give one to each of my son’s 3 teachers, have one for myself, and sell the rest.
  • HTV and
  • iron and wax paper and
  • Cricut or
  • paint pen or acrylic paint with fabric medium or
  • printable vinyl
DIY tote bag supplies: tote bag, vinyl, scissors, wax paper, and scarf.

For personal use only. Feel free to download these free designs and print them or use on your Cricut projects for your own use at home. They are not for commercial use, not to be placed on items for sale. That helps me keep these printables, SVGs, and PNGs coming to you for free! Another note: you will not my logo overlay on your downloaded design. It is there to keep people from downloading the images straight from Google, or others from stealing them to use on their site. Thanks for understanding! Feel free to share this post for your friends and family to make their own projects with this design!

Download my free designs.

For my son’s teachers I created split monograms to place on their tote bags. I didn’t have time to made split monograms for A-Z, so I decided to make a few designs that can be used for anyone. In the future I may make 26 split monograms that you can use for free, but if they’re super easy to make if you would like to use one on your tote bag. Monograms and names are also cute on beach totes.

You can use these designs with or without a Cricut. If you’re using a cutting machine, download the first design, and if not, download the second one, the letter size design.

Print the design on printable vinyl or regular paper.

You can use these designs with or without a cutting machine. I used my Cricut to make my tote bags, but l will give you a quick rundown of one way to make them without one. One easier way than even the carbon copy method is to purchase printable vinyl. Then you just follow the instructions on the package to print my design on the vinyl and transfer with an iron.

Print the design that you would like to use on a regular piece of paper (not cardstock). Cut the excess paper from above and below the design. Scribble on the back of the letters with a pencil. Since you’re using this design on fabric, don’t scribble everywhere like you normally would when using the carbon copy method. Place the design on the fabric then trace it with a sharp pencil. Once the design is on the tote bag, fill it in with a paint pen. Ta-da! A DIY tote bag without a Cricut!

Or upload the image to Design Space.

I used my Cricut for my tote bags, so on the rest of this tutorial I will be showing you how I did that. If you need a tutorial for uploading the designs to Design Space, check out this tutorial where I show you how to upload my free rolled flower PNGs.

Cut the design on HTV, remembering to mirror it.

Cricut cutting gold vinyl word to place on my DIY bookmark.

There are a ton of reviews on the many, many different tote bags on Amazon that mention that you’re not able to use vinyl and a Cricut Easy Press on these bags. They show pictures of melted bags and melted vinyl and vinyl not sticking to the bags. Not true, my friends! You just have to know what to do!

Place some cardboard inside the bag. The inside has a sort of plastic lining so that you can use the bags for groceries and at the beach, so you don’t want that to melt. I used 6 cardboard Christmas clothing boxes.

Placing cardboard boxes inside the tote bag to keep the inside from melting.

Weed the design and place it on the center of the white section at the top of the tote bag.

Placing the split monogram design on the tote bag.

Set your iron to “linen.” I recommend using your iron and not your Cricut Press because of so many horror stories on Amazon reviews.

Place a piece of wax paper over the design and press the iron down hard over the vinyl for about 10 seconds. Check to see if it has completely transferred. If not, press down again where needed. Let the vinyl cool, then remove the adhesive backing.

Iron the scarf and place it on the DIY tote bag handle.

Turn your iron down to low heat, remove the scarf from its plastic packaging, and iron out the wrinkles.

Tie the scarf onto one of the DIY tote bag handles. On my teacher’s gifts I used the scarf to attach my gift tags. That required a bow since the scarves that came with my particular totes are long. If yours are short, just tie it in a cute knot.

DIY Tote Bag Video Tutorial

That’s it! Your DIY tote bag is complete!

I absolutely love these bags! Later today I will be making a bag for myself, so I will upload the pictures that one soon. I’m not sure if I’m going to use one of the designs that I uploaded or if I will use my initials. I will be making some to sell, so I will definitely be adding a picture of at least one DIY tote bag with the designs I added in this post.

Remember to pin the image below or share this post with the buttons on the left side of the page so you can find it when you’re ready to start your project! Also, follow me on Pinterest for new ideas added weekly! Be sure that you never miss a great tutorial for decor like wreaths, signs and other home decor, free printables, crafts, and other fun posts! Enter your email address below to be notified of new posts! Use the buttons below to follow me on social media for other great content.

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    6 thoughts on “Craft Your Own Stylish Tote Bag w/ 6 Free Designs: The Ultimate All-Purpose Accessory for Beach, Groceries, Work, & Play!

    1. Those turned out really nice! Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 115. Pinned.

    2. Beach Vibes would be my pick 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up at the #UnlimitedLinkParty 121. Pinned.

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