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Ideas for Decorating Canvas Tote Bags

Amruta Deshpande
Want a fashion accessory that is affordable and never out of fashion? Go for the incredibly versatile tote.
Tote bags are in vogue this season. In fact, tote bags have been a fashion accessory for a while now. They are extensively liked by women as they are spacious, eco-friendly, and most importantly, they are all over the fashion runway. Totes are functional yet chic, and are no longer used as a gym bag or shopping bag. They are great for brunch or the beach.

Design Your Own Canvas Tote Bag

The idea of creating personalized tote bags has inspired many people to get creative and artistic. Canvas bags are mostly used as they are inexpensive and readily available in the craft stores. All you need to do is to, get the bag of your choice and let your creative juice flow. Here are some simple and easy ways to decorate your very own canvas tote.

Simply Ruffles

Take a simple colored canvas bag of the desired size. Then, with some pretty, bright fabric, sew some ruffles horizontally across the width of the bag. If you are feeling adventurous, you can make a crushed ruffled tote. However, if ruffles are difficult for you to make, then just buy some ruffled fabric and sew it to the canvas.

Transferable Ink

Use transferable ink to make cute designs on your tote. All you need to do is to paint your desired pattern or design in paper and place it on the canvas. Iron the paper to get the ink transferred to the fabric.

Button It Up!

Yes, just get buttons of different colors and sizes, and glue them to the fabric. Make sure to use good fabric glue that can hold the buttons in place. You can make patterns like leaves or trees. Use the buttons as leaves and make branches with fabric paint.

Inspired By Nature

Make a nature-themed bag by using fabric paint and leaves that you can find in your backyard. Look for leaves that are sturdy and with veins for the texture. Paint their underside with green fabric paint and press it against the canvas. Let the tote dry overnight and iron it inside out.

Raid Your Kitchen!

Take vegetables like king trumpet mushrooms, okra, baby corns, bell peppers and cut them in half. Dip them in vegetable dye, and press them against the bottom of the canvas bag. You can also carve interesting designs on a half-cut potato and put dye on it. Then, press it on the bag. Use bright colors like yellow, blue and green to give the bag a more playful look.

Glam It With Sequins

Glitter is in, and you can glam up your simple canvas tote by just adding some sequins. Stick them with glue or sew them for a clean look. Some patterns that are in vogue are, spectacles, little sparrows, cats, starfish and seashells. You can also try making something funny like mustaches of different types.

Needle Your Way Out

Enjoy sewing? Make an embroidered bag. Start by making simple designs. Make a sketch of the design and then sew it by hand or use a sewing machine. Appliqué is another way to prettify plain canvas totes. You can also make geometric designs by sewing different fabrics of varied colors.

Spray Away

This can be done by using stencils or just your hands. However, spray paint can be messy and you have to be extra careful if you want an intricate design. Make sure to keep a waxed paper inside the bag so that the color does not spread to the other side of the bag.

Badge It All The Way

If you are a collector of badges or just find them amusing, pin some to your plain canvas tote. Choose badges in different sizes and with some funny messages. Not only will they get noticed, but also are good conversation starters.
Now all you need is a perfect blend of your creative and artistic skills. So, pick up a bag from the local craft store, and decorate it the way you like!