Make a canvas summer tote bag for the pool that will totally stand out! It’s easy to customize a store-bought canvas bag with HTV vinyl, your Cricut or Silhouette, and some DIY yarn tassels. Thank you to Expressions Vinyl for sponsoring this post!
I am that mom at the pool. The mom with a bag and cooler, towels, pool noodles, googles, floaties, snacks and drinks all in tow. Along with 5 kids! We usually have a pool day at least once a week during the summer, and I decided I needed to simplify my pool items down to one bag. I just found these awesome huge canvas tote bags at Walmart, and the inside lining is waterproof so I knew it would be the perfect solution! Here is what the tote bag looked like before I customized it:
Totally cute on its own, but I wanted to add some vinyl because I knew it could be even cuter! After tossing around some different ideas for what to put on the bag, I finally decided to just own it and declare myself a POOL MOM. I created a cut file with 2 layers, one color behind the main text, to kind of create a shadow effect and help the white letters “pop” on the busy pattern of the bag. If you are using a solid colored tote bag or just wanted the single layer, you could do that and it would still look great.
How to customize a canvas tote bag with vinyl
- Canvas Tote Bag (mine was recently purchased at Walmart)
- Heat Transfer Vinyl (mine is from Expressions Vinyl) – I used the Easyweed Heat Transfer Vinyl in White, Rose Gold, and Electric Vinyl in Teal.
- Electronic Cutting Machine (I use a Cricut Maker)
- Weeding tool
- Iron or Cricut EasyPress
Start with a simple design:
- Create a text design and the duplicate the letters in a larger font for a layered “shadow” look
- In order to get the layers to cut the way you’ve designed them, make sure to “attach” the layers together for each color of vinyl you will cut. So I attached the white ones together, then the blue, then the pink. You can find my POOL MOM cut file here, and the layers are all attached for you!
- Before you cut it out, make sure you mirror each layer if you are using HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl.
- Once each color is cut, place the bottom layer of the design, in this case the Teal and Rose Gold layers, on the bag where you want them to go.
- Use your iron to adhere the HTV, or if you have a Cricut EasyPress, they are awesome! I set mine to the recommended heat setting for Canvas, 340 degrees, and set the timer for 30 seconds. Then I just pressed down with medium pressure for 30 seconds, and then did another 15 seconds on the back of the bag. If you don’t have an EasyPress, just turn your iron to the high setting for Cotton, NO STEAM, and use about the same time (30 seconds) to evenly press on each layer. Peel up when the vinyl is still warm.
- Repeat this process with the top layer of the design (in this case, the white letters.)
- In less than 10 minutes, you’ve created a custom summer tote bag!
Summer Tote Bag for the Pool
I love the way the the layered text makes the lettering look 3D! I also added some DIY yarn tassels for an extra pop of color. The bag is so big, I can fit all the pool day essentials! Let me know if you use the cut file and I’d love for you to PIN the image below: