If you want to become craftier but have yet to master all that goes with creating your own clothes and accessories, the best way to start is with DIY tote bags! It’s so easy and versatile as a basic tote is classic in shape and style, so you don’t even have to add too much if you prefer the minimalist aesthetic. Check out these 12 DIY tricks to have your own one of a kind tote!
#1 Add a Leather Handle
Go for a tote with removable handles so you can switch them up. There are plenty of these with metallic rimmed eyelets. Having black or brown leather handles as well as a chain option means you feel like you have a plethora of handbags instead of just the one.
#2 Add Fringe
You can purchase leather in any good haberdashery. All you need to do is punch a few holes along the front of the bag, wherever you want the fringe to start. Then pull the piece through until it hangs at the length you want and begin to layer up to create those waves of fringed material.
#3 Gold or Metallic Paint
Buy craft paint in your colour of choice, whether it’s gold, silver or bronze. Stencil out the design you want and begin the paint work! You can use painter’s tape to keep it precise.
#4 Ombré Tote
For this, all you will need is masking tape, a foam brush and two shades of paint. Get one shade in the tonal family you want for this bag, for instance deep pink, and then a lighter one to create the ombré effect, e.g. baby pink. Place the masking tape on the bag in the shape you want to leave on it, stripes are a favourite. Paint from the top of the bag in the bits not covered in tape, using more of the light paint at the beginning and adding in more colour as you move downwards.
#5 Pencil Eraser-Stamped Image
The pencil eraser trick looks far more impressive than it is in terms of skills required to achieve it. Gather freezer/tracing paper, a tote bag, an iron and craft or puff paints. Cut out the silhouette you want and iron it onto the bag, placing a layer on the inside too so it doesn’t leak. Using the eraser end of a pencil, dab paint in dots until the silhouette shape is filled out. Having two colours merge mid-design gives it more depth.
#6 Iron-On Slogan
Once you have iron-on transfer paper, this is so simple. Print off whatever slogan you want onto this paper and then iron it on – that’s all it takes!
#7 Neon Dots
If you follow the same steps as the pencil eraser DIY example you can make your own neon polka dot tote just as easily. Cover the inside of the bag to prevent transfer and begin dotting away wherever you feel seems right!
#8 Sequin Stripes
With the help of every DIY fashionista’s favourite tool, a glue gun, and sequins of your choice, you could easily design this swanky sequin stripe bag. Using masking tape, create straight line stripes and begin attaching sequins in the stripe format.
#9 Potato Print
Cut the potato into the Shape You Want and dip it into the paint, stamping it like a print onto the canvas. Leave to dry and there you have it: a handmade, homemade one of a kind bag!
#10 Stencil Number
Cut out whatever number (or letters if you prefer) on tracing paper to create stencils. Paint the shape left exposed. All you have left to do is wait for the paint to dry completely before taking it off to showcase your handiness.
#11 Colour Blocking
This one requires a bit of sewing skills. You’ll need two shades of fabric and another fabric for lining the inside of the bag. Mark out where you want one colour to begin and the other to end and pin the lines so you have direction while sewing.
This is virtually the same as the previous tip, except that you’ll need to add in another colour fabric so that when you turn the bag inside out, there’s a contrasting design rather than just a lining. Two bags are always better than one, or at least that’s what you’ll think when you see this little tote!