Tote Bag Design Ideas

Tote bags are a fashionable addition to your outfit, and there are a dozen reasons why you should have them around you. From storing purchased items in the grocery store to carrying some extra learning tools for summer school, tote bags do come in handy for almost every situation.

Everything we use for our daily lives requires a collection of handy tote bags. Why not learn the art of designing your personal and fashionable tote bag? Later in this article, you will learn from different tote bag ideas that will help you start customizing canvas tote bags in no time.

What is a Tote Bag Used For?

If you asked a mom who is always on the go, a tote bag could be useful for storing kid items like toys, snacks, hand sanitizers, baby wipes, or even raiment change. Speaking generally, outdoor activities are almost unpredictable and you may need to go out with some extras.

Tote bags help you keep these extra items so you don’t have to feel disorganized. While you can store items like your cell phone, house or car keys, laptop, medications, e.t.c. in tote bags, they can also be used as fashion trends.

Depending on the size of the tote bag that you have, you can store almost any item in it.

How to Transform Plain Tote Bags to Become Fashionable

Do you have a design idea in your head but are not sure how to translate it into a real tote bag? If you just got a plain canvas tote bag and you’re planning to spruce it up a little bit, the good news is that you do not require any professional skill to achieve that. This section will walk you through ways through which you can beautify tote bags.

Below are ways that you can fashion a plain canvas tote bag and make it more presentable for an outing or as a gift.

Fabric Paints

You can design a plain tote bag using fabric Paints or markers. Depending on the result you want to achieve, this can be used in tandem with stencils.

Iron-on Transfer Paper

Another impressive way to add an indelible print to your plain tote bag is to make use of iron-on transfer paper. It promises amazing output for any design.


If you’re a dye lover, you’ll appreciate the tie-dye method of designing your tote bag. You can play with different due colors to get the desired result.

Vinyl Transfer

Vinyl transfer from the circuit machine is a good way to personalize a plain tote bag.

There are other ways to transform a plain tote bag into a custom-made one. However, you’ll need to flip the creativity switch on to personalize any canvas tote bag.

The Best Fabrics for Making Tote Bags

Tote bag design can be a fun project to embark on. They can be made into different sizes and shapes, from different materials to serve unique purposes.

Durable fabrics like twill, denim, upholstery, and drapery are some of the best materials for designing a tote bag. Since a lot of tote bags may not require frequent cleaning, upholstery and drapery are good choices to go for.

If you are gunning for durable tote bag material, nylon and faux leather vinyl are the fabric for the job. If you’re planning to have a nice tote bag lining, then cotton is the way to go.

It is recommended that you use a stabilizer or interfacing when giving structure to the tote bag. Also, the use of interfacing depends on the style and fabric of the bag. Lightweight fabrics will require more stiff interfacing compared to heavy fabrics.

Best Tote Bag Ideas

Here are some amazing tote bag ideas to help you start designing your plain bags. These ideas are merely for inspiration and do not have to look exactly like your design result

Eat Local DIY Tote Bag

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Here’s a bag that demonstrates your support and love for farming society. The Eat Local tote bag design is good for shopping for fresh vegetables and fruits from the grocery store. This tote bag design makes local shopping more memorable and fun.

Also, this bag is the perfect design choice when shopping around the market. To have some additional country style, you can go ahead and glue a paisley trim to the straps of the bag.

Book Lover Tote Bag

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Here’s an opportunity to add that lovely vinyl to your plain tote bag. This “Book Lover” tote bag design is a great choice for carrying books. If you like visiting the library, you will need a tote bag design like this to not only help with conveying your books but to also write your favorite book quote on it.

DIY Pool Tote Bag

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Speaking of DIY tote bag designs, the pool tote bag is one that you will love to have in your collection. During summer, everyone wants to spend a lot of time around the pool. You need a bag that will contain your outdoor essentials and still match the event.

DIY Color Block Geometric Tote

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A DIY color geometric tote bag is a simple and fashionable design idea. You can play with different color palettes depending on how versed you are with them. However, it is crucial to maintain simple layouts and also avoid too flashy colors.

Cat Rainbow Watercolor Tote Bag

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Pull out the drawer and put your watercolor painting skills to work with this outstanding tote bag design idea. You can transform your plain tote bag into this appealing cat rainbow design. Just like the “Book Lover” tote bag, art lovers can use this bag to convey their art supplies in grand style.

Girls Tote Bag

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The “Girls” is a design inspiration for DIY projects. You can work your way around the primary color to get your taste. To get the best result, you will need a cotton canvas.


Tote bags have had their place in fashion and lifestyle from way back. They have always proven to be useful in different life situations. From travel to shopping or business trips, you can never go wrong with a complimentary tote bag.

We believe that this article has helped you to build your conviction in starting tote bag customization. You can go over the design ideas again to have a look at some of the inspirations that your local community will appreciate.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make designs on tote bags?

You can make designs on your plain tote bags by first of all settling for a suitable fabric and then deciding on which design method works best for you. It could be vinyl transfer, tie-dye, iron-on transfer, e.t.c… whatever works best for your DIY project.

Are tote bags limited to certain occasions?

No. What limits your use of a tote bag is the wrong sense of compatibility. You can have multiple totes for several occasions. A color block geometry tote bag can easily pass for an official meeting while a DIY pool tote bag won’t. It boils down to your sense of compatibility with the event.

Why are tote bags important?

Day by day, people continue to forgo single-use bags for more durable and reusable ones. In that regard, tote bags have been appreciated more to be one of the most popular reusable bags.

What makes a custom tote bag unique?

Custom tote bags are unique in the sense that they give you a sense of personalization. Most people are tired of having the regular print or fabric on their totes, so they want something that resonates with them. In this sense, custom totes are way more unique than regular fashion bags.

Rachel Tate

Rachel Tate

Passionate about interior design and helping readers find design inspiration. Head of content in Define Bottle Since and love writing about interior design ideas.

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