How to Make a Tote Bag With a Printed Design

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to make a practical yet stylish accessory? Why not make a tote bag with a printed design? This budget-friendly DIY project allows you to customize your tote bag with any design you like, making it a unique and personal accessory that reflects your style. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making a tote bag with a printed design, so grab your materials and let’s get started.

Materials You Will Need

  • A plain tote bag
  • A digital image of your design
  • Transfer paper for fabric
  • Iron
  • Scissors

Step-by-Step Guide to Making a Tote Bag with a Printed Design

Choose Your Design

The first step in making a printed tote bag is to pick a design. It can be a photograph, a drawing, or a slogan – whatever you want! Keep in mind the color of the tote bag you are using, and make sure that the design will stand out.

Print Your Design

Once your design is ready, print it onto transfer paper for fabric. Remember to reverse the image if there is any text or if the design is directional. You can print your design at home or take it to a local print shop.

Cut Out Your Design

After printing your design on transfer paper, cut it out carefully with a pair of scissors. Make sure to leave a small margin around the design to avoid cutting into it.

Place the Design onto the Tote Bag

Lay the tote bag onto a flat surface and place the design on top of it with the transfer paper facing down. Ensure the design is positioned where you want it on the bag.

Iron the Design

Set your iron to the temperature recommended by the transfer paper’s instructions. Place a cloth or piece of paper over the transfer paper to protect both the design and the iron. Apply pressure and iron the design for the recommended amount of time, usually around 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Peel Off the Transfer Paper

After ironing the design, let it cool down for a few seconds, then gently peel off the transfer paper. If the design has not transferred completely, place the transfer paper back on the design and iron it again for a few more seconds.

Enjoy Your Customized Tote Bag

Congratulations, you have just made a customized tote bag with a printed design! Now you can use it for whatever purpose you desire, whether it’s for carrying groceries, books, or as a fashion statement.

ALSO READ: How to Make a Tote Bag With a Gusseted Bottom

Tips for Making a Tote Bag with a Printed Design

Image Credit: Amazon
  • Test the design on scrap fabric before transferring it to the tote bag to ensure the colors and quality are as desired.
  • Avoid using too much pressure while ironing, as it can damage the design or the tote bag.
  • Be sure to follow the transfer paper instructions carefully to avoid mishaps.
  • Consider using a high-quality tote bag made of a durable fabric, such as canvas, for a longer-lasting design.


By following this tutorial, you have learned all the necessary items and steps required to make a tote bag with a printed design. Whether for a special occasion, such as an anniversary, or just a fashion-statement accessory, printing the design on your customizable tote bag adds to its unique charm. 

Although this project may sound complex, it is relatively simple to complete once you familiarize yourself with the materials and process involved. With a little bit of practice, creating your own custom designs can become your favorite weekend moment! So grab your fabric paint and supplies and experiment with your one-of-a-kind DIY print!