DIY – Canvas Tote Bag

DIY Canvas Tote Bag - stamped -

I had no intention of doing a post on this project. Several reasons why.

The first being that I am pretty sure there are over a hundred tutorials on how to stamp a canvas tote bag online. I mean does the internet really need another? I have this long running joke that Pinterest would self implode if Mason Jar crafts were banned. I have a mason jar craft coming up by the way and the irony of that is not lost on me at all.

And the second is every week I do a lot of small projects like this one and other things around the house that I never would think would make for a good post. And then I see someone else do it and think maybe I made a mistake in my assumption.

In order to avoid that terrible assumption again, at the end of the day, I know I appreciate finding new inspirational photos of a finished product that I can use for something in my own home or life. So here it is.

I made the bag as a gift bag for my nieces birthday to put all her presents in. But it all started because we found these tote bags at our local dollar store and thought it would be a great idea to make some bags for our Grandma’s for Mother’s Day.

Which would have been so much more helpful had I actually posted this before Mother’s Day this year. So Birthday bag anyone?

canvas tote bag supplies -

PS – The reason I totally dropped the ball this year on posting about Mother’s Day because I was too busy well, being a mom.

And I can I just say that while fingerprint heart cards seemed like such an easy craft to do with your kids, mine ruined over 10 pieces of card stock just to try and get two of these cards made up. My 6 year old who is a master of using a glue gun said this drove her crazy. Don’t even ask.

Kids Mothers Day Card Craft - fingerprint hearts -

Back to the bags. The original intent was to fill the bag with flowers.

The girls painted them in their own way and we let them dry overnight.

Mothers Day Craft for kids- Canvas Tote Bag -

You know the fun catch is with flowers being put in a bag? Usually you need to keep the flowers hydrated on a boiling hot day so the recipient doesn’t take home a bag of dead wilted flowers. But any form of flowers with water containers or a ziplock bag filled with a soaked paper towel attached the bottom of the stems of the flowers, doesn’t make for a good combination when they’re placed inside a tote bag because the bag then gets soaked.

Normally this wouldn’t be an issue as it is after all a cloth bag.

Had we had the common sense to use fabric paint. Apparently I don’t read labels on my paint bottles and we used the non fabric paint ones and I realized that halfway into making them.

So if my mother in law and sister in law happen to read this, don’t wash the bags or everything will come off. As I take a bow (craft fail). Now I did try and heat seal the acrylic paint by ironing it so that *should* make the bags washable. But I wouldn’t chance it. I may just do one at one at home to test out if this really works and report back.

However for those of you who want to take a crack at making a stamped bag, it’s super easy.

JUST USE FABRIC PAINT if you want a washable bag.

Step 1 of stamping your canvas tote -

Take your foam brush and paint the back of your stamp vs dipping the stamp into the paint.

Use a foam brush to paint the back of your stamp -

Stamping a canvas tote bag -

How to make a personalized stamped canvas tote bag -

DIY Stamped Canvas Tote Bag -

And the most important step of all, if they have a sibling, make sure you make one for their birthday as well. Or else WW3 will surely ensue.

So my other niece has one waiting for her, for her birthday next month.



  • Reply
    May 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Oooo, I’m thinking bag for the pool or dance bag that my daughter can help make! And I have probably pinned 30 mason jar crafts but am still looking for just the right one for our deck this summer — so post away!

    • Reply
      May 15, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      LOL Mason Jars are an epidemic. Have you ever read some of the blog posts on the absolute hatred of them because of how they have taken over all of the weddings out there? It’s crazy. The post is actually an old one that I deleted a long time ago because it was all put together and shot terribly but I had a request for it so I am doing a re-do of sorts.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I love this bag!! I’ve tried stamping on a canvas bag with a fabric stamp pad, and it didn’t turn out how I hoped. The idea of paint on the stamp is so much better!! I’ll have to re-try it.

    What dollar store did you get these bags at?? Was the pack actually $1, or $3? Either way, great deal!!

    • Reply
      May 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      No word of a lie, Dollarama! The catch is not all of them have it. So I don’t know if it’s a fluke shipment or an upcoming shipment to all the stores. But definitely go check! If it saves me from having to sew one, I’m sold.

  • Reply
    Kathy Katschilo
    May 17, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I have to tell you that I cherish the gifts from my Granddaughters. I have already used the bags I received for Mother’s Day and I had several complements on them.

  • Reply
    Thalita @ The Learner Observer
    May 29, 2014 at 10:59 am

    These are too cute! I have to say that the stories you tell along with how you made the crafts is my favourite part of reading your blog.

  • Reply
    Jackie suomi
    July 12, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Reading your blogs have inspired me to get off my derrier and start a project I enjoy the comfortable way you present the directions! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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