Make Your Own Tote Bag


I had so much fun making this easy-peasy tote bag. Wanna know the best part… it glows in the dark! This bag is the perfect size for library books, a quick grocery trip or a bunch of pretty vintage dresses. Have fun creating your own quirky tote! 


Here's how I did it… 1. Supplies needed: A large blank tote bag, fabric paint, a pencil and a small and medium size paint brush. 2. First sketch a design on paper. It can be funny, sweet or silly. Mine is inspired by The Wizard of Oz. Then, sketch your design directly onto your tote. 3. Paint all the solid parts of your tote with a medium size brush. 4. Start adding details with a smaller brush. The stripes on the tights were the post time consuming part for me. 5. Finish adding details. Let your paint dry completely between each section to avoid smudging. 6. Last, but not least, use some glow-in-the-dark fabric paint to paint over just one detail on your tote. I did the stripes on the tights. The glow paint goes on clear. Use two coats. My tote took about 2 hours (not counting dry time)… Have fun!


I love how these first few weeks of Autumn have me feeling super inspired to make project after project. What's your favorite season for creating? xo. elsie

  • Can’t stop praising this! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

  • hi! may i know what kind of paint do you use to paint the tote bag? does it seep through?

  • 苫小牧海上保安署によると、釣り客4人はいずれも登別市桜木町に住む釣り仲間で、死亡したのは自営業の中原和彦さん(64)と会社員の門田富夫さん(64)。行方不明は無職の菊池久男さん(65)。船長の沢田さんと、アルバイトの渡辺博文さん(67)は低体温症の症状があるが、命に別条はないという。

  • Where did you get the plain bag? I have a ton of these, but they all have some sort of design on them already.

  • So cute!!! I love it!!! Might have to try to make one myself!! 🙂

  • Where did you find your tote bag? I want one similar and all the blank ones I find are too small.

  • I really love your Blog! The D.I.Y.’s are just awesome. This tutorial is one of my absolute favourites. The bag is cute and reminds me somehow on Alice in Wonderland.

  • Super cute! I might have to make me another project bag to tote around just so I can do this DIY.

  • I think I’d have to agree that Autumn is one of the most creative time for me because I crochet a lot of warm scarves and blankets to keep us snug as a bug 🙂

    – Lois x

  • that’s cool, elsie. how on earth do you come up with all these projects? you are so creative–plus, that looks like hard work. I would probably end up with exhaustion if i tried doing half the stuff you do. you’re awesome!

  • This is SO darling, Elsie!

    Also, I LOVE you in red!

    Have a great day pretty lady! XO

  • I’m totally (no pun intended) with you on the whole creating, crafty, diy urge at this time of year. I’m very much like that also right now, with a long list of wishes but with only the favourites making it into reality due to time constrictions. Things will be better when M starts daycare… Anyways, a new tote-bag is on my list also and this was great inspiration for that – I’ve got a thing for stripedy socks too 🙂 Thank you Elsie for all your lovely inspiration. xo

  • I am completely in love with this. Like, IN LOVE! I have seen a few folks saying it would make a great Christmas present and I totally agree! Love it!


  • I love that it glows in the dark! Perfect for trick-or-treating with the little ones…or you know, by yourself

  • When it starts getting cold out, I start feeling like staying inside more, so I start crafting more! I just learned to crochet last year, and I’m trying to finish a *huge* project (a blanket for my mother in law) for Christmas. Here’s to hoping the fall temperatures keep me indoors and crocheting away.

  • This is such a cool idea – and just what I need for weekly library trips! Score again, Red Velvet crew!!

  • How adorable! Now I have to make a trip to hobby lobby… 🙂
    fall is definitely my most creative tine, its a slower time of year, I start knitting again and feel the need to bake and sew! Fall, to me, is the most cozy time of the year

  • What a cute idea! I’m going to have to make some myself. XO, RV

  • This is lovely! What a great way to restyle all my dull shopping bags!
    My favorite season to create must be summer! There are so much things going on the streets and in the shops and they are where I can look for inspiration. =D

  • wow! This is perfect! I love the idea of customizing my tote bags. I’ve tried painting them a couple of times. It’s so much fun!
    It’s good that you’re inspired again. Missed your DIY projects.
    My favorite season for creating is Winter (Autumn is usually like a little colder Summer for us) because it’s cold outside, I stay in with a hot beverage and brainstorm new ideas! 🙂

  • You’re a great painter & drawer, such a cute idea! I think I may try this with one of those many “green” grocery bags but cover w/ a diff fabric first.

  • You are SOOOO creative! Love your blog so much! You are such an inspiration and an original.

  • What a sweet idea! I love your version. I’ve been thinking about making a tote bag for myself, and I think I might do it this week! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Super cute idea! I saw some really cheap blank tote bags at our local craft store so I might do some designs on them as use them as gift bags this coming Christmas! Yay. Thanks!

  • Cool project Elsie! I’m going to feature it tomorrow on our FB! I work for the company that makes Scribbles (iLoveToCreate)!

  • Oh my gosh!! I love that sooo much! I collect Wizard of Oz things and this is one of the best I have ever seen!!! 😀

  • I always get really inspired in the autumn, as well. Even though I’ve been out of school for a while, it still feels like a new beginning! Plus, I really love autumn weather and produce!

    Such a cute idea–I had no idea there was such a thing as glow-in-the-dark paint. It reminds me of a haunted house book I had as a kid that had glow-in-the-dark pages! How cute would a glow-in-the-dark haunted house bag be for Halloween candy?!

  • What a good idea! I love fall, and winter, for DIYing. The colors and weather are inspiring for cozy-ing in and creating 🙂

  • I’ve been LOVIN’ your blog since the first time I found it! Thanks for putting some inspiration back into my life!

  • Love this! Such a cute idea, and your bag turned out beautifully! I’m so excited to make one! :]

  • Super-duper cute. The stockings remind me of my rag dolls. I’m definitely adding this to my fall projects list!

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