How to Embellish a Canvas Tote Bag


I don’t pay a lot of attention to Klout, the website that gives people scores based on their influence (as of this writing I’m at 63, though I don’t really know what that means). But one cool thing about Klout is Perks, which are sometimes given to people for being awesome in the hope that you’ll share about them on social media.

Once I got cat food our cat wouldn’t eat. Then there was the yogurt one I forgot to go buy.

But for Mother’s Day they did a cool promotion with a bunch of Fair Trade companies, which included this great prAna tote. canvas tote bag painting

It’s lovely just the way it is, but I thought it might be fun to embellish it a bit.

And it was just the sort of project I needed to help me through my creative slump. embellish a canvas tote bag

Painting on Canvas

First I got some acrylic paint (Americana in Holiday Green) and a sort of angled paint brush and I painted one of the trees. tree painted on canvas tote bag

Originally I thought I was going to paint a different tree’s trunk, but I went ahead and painted the same tree instead. (That color is Chocolate Milk.)

There are snowflakes on the tote, so I added beads to the tips of one of them. embellished tote bag

Simple stuff that didn’t take long or require much skill or creativity, but it gives the bag a much more unique look. I made still add some more touches, but I like it the way it is, too.

The girl wants to paint the other side for me. We’ll see.

How to Embellish a Canvas Tote Bag

If you’re starting with more of a blank canvas (ha!), you might want to start with a stencil or a stamp that can impart a large image or a series of images on your bag. Or if you have a bag with a design on it you can embellish it like I did.

Here’s a rundown of some ideas you can try to embellish your own bag:

  • paint on it
  • try embroidery stitches
  • add on some beads
  • sew or glue on fabric
  • draw with a permanent marker or paint pen
  • knit or crochet a motif and sew it down

Have you ever personalized a bag like this before? I’d love to hear what you did!

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