5 Cool Ways to Personalize a Plain Tote Bag

Here's the thing: there shouldn't be anything plain about your tote bag. No matter if you've sewn one yourself or bought one at the store, there are a ton of ways you can make it match your style.

1. Hand Embroider That Bag

Whether you're embroidering your favorite novels or a witty saying, you can make a tote your own with a needle and floss . Use stitches that create beautiful lettering , or embroider your own handwriting for an extra personal touch.

Show off your love of books — and devotion to book club — with a bag toting all of your favorite reads. It’s one of those fun projects you can add to as you cross books off your list. Keep your embroidery materials nearby and you can even stitch new titles while discussing the latest read!

2. Appliqué With Scraps

No need to buy any supplies — you can personalize a bag just by digging through your scrap pile. Whether you create your own design or download our template for a dolled-up look, it's sure to stand out in a crowd.

Fresh, fun, scrappy — there's so much to love about this tiny tote bag. Whether you're jumping straight to the appliqué on a store-bought bag or sewing your own from canvas, this bag is just what you need for your next girls' night out.

3. Add Some Block Print Power

Design any fabric print with block printing , from florals to geometric shapes and anything in between. It's an easy way to customize a bag so it's 100 percent uniquely you.

Ready to print your own custom fabric for sewing? Artist and author Jen Hewett walks you through the best types of fabrics to use, the best carving blocks for beginners, and the included class designs, along with tips for creating your own designs.

4. Make a Monogram

Embellish your tote with Y-O-U ... or whatever initials you have. You can keep it traditional or go all out with wild and crazy fonts — either way, there'll be no mistaking which bag belongs to you.

I simply adore monograms and was so thrilled that when they made a comeback a few years ago, their popularity sustained itself with creative peoples finding new and interesting ways to infuse them into anything and everything from jewelry to glassware. I feel that monograms add a sort of classic feel to the item or items they can be found on. I especially love the look of a monogram on a handbag or tote, so I decided to make my own!

5. Paint With Stencils

Grab some stencils (or make your own) and load up that paint brush. This is a fun, totally easy craft for any maker looking to add some extra pizzazz.

Got more canvas tote bags than you know what to do with? Rather than let them pile up in the closet, give 'em new life with a stencil and paint.

February 06, 2020
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5 Cool Ways to Personalize a Plain Tote Bag