DIY Monogrammed Tote

If you follow me on Instagram, earlier this week you probably saw me post about this easy peasy DIY tote.

Monogrammed Tote

I was inspired by this tutorial I found while browsing Pinterest one day, and decided it looked easy enough to do. The tutorial also got me thinking about a DIY t-shirt idea, but it requires me to use a sewing machine. Not only to I not have a sewing machine, but I have no idea how to use one. I have plenty of friends who I can call on to help me, but it will take just a bit more planning on my part than being able to sneak in a quick craft during nap time.

Anyway, here is how you can make your own monogrammed tote!

Oh, also, I should probably mention that you can do this all for under $10. If you already have fabric paint and brushes at home, it is even less expensive! I love being crafty for cheap, y’all.

What you’ll need:
Doilies (I used 10 inch because that worked best with the size of my tote, but you can use whatever size you’d like)
A tote (This one was about $3 at Walmart)
Paint brushes (No special kind! Whatever works)
Fabric paint(s) in the color of your choosing
An X-acto knife or cuticle scissors (Just something to cut out the stencil you make)
A pencil (for tracing)

What You Need

Preparing the doily:
I went on and found a really pretty font I liked (I think it was called Monogram KK?) and traced it onto my doily. If Walmart hadn’t been sold out of every single x-acto knife they carry I would have then cut the stencil out using that, but instead I used a cuticle scissors and it worked just fine.


Note: Make sure you have the letters traced on straight and aligned with the way you want the doily pattern to lay. I may or may not have needed to do this twice to get it just right. Haha I also may or may not be a complete Type A perfectionist…so maybe you won’t be quite as crazy as I am.

The How To:
I ironed my tote to make sure it was laying flat and there were no wrinkles or ridges from where it had been folded. You don’t want bumps or an uneven pattern! The tutorial I had read said something about a spray on adhesive that I could use to help position the doily without allowing it to move around, but I didn’t have anything like that. I just laid mine down and was really careful while paining. Once I started to put the fabric paint on, it didn’t move around much.

I painted small sections at a time, making sure to dab the paint on more than using long brush strokes. The doily is after all, just paper, and I didn’t want it to tear or to move and ruin the pattern. I did the outside perimeter first and then worked on the letters in the center.


Once everything was painted in, I carefully picked up the doily and saw my almost finished work. I had to finish the swirls of the letters by hand because I wasn’t able to cut out such a skinny section using cuticle scissors. I just eye balled it to finish the letters.

I took a step back to look at the finished product, and I’m not gonna lie to you guys…I loved it. I even did a little dance. You can ask my husband. He was laughing at me, haha.


Tote with outfit

There you go! The fabric paint I used said to let it dry for at least four hours, and since I did this just before going to bed it had plenty of time to dry overnight. I’m sure you could spray some kind of scotchguard protector on the bag to help it to become more stain resistant, but I didn’t have anything like that nor did I want to wait longer to use it, so I didn’t do anything else to it.

Some tips:
Tip one: Don’t use a white bag like I did. I only picked this one because it was only a few bucks on the shelf at Walmart and I figured if my DIY was a complete disaster at least I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of money. But it did turn out well, and now I wish I would have used a nicer bag. Oh well! This was simple enough to do…I’ll probably end up doing it again in the future.

Tip two: Make sure you use fabric paint. I would hate for you to finish your project, eventually wash the bag, and see your design disappear or get ruined.

Tip three: Be sure to put something–like a piece of paper or cardboard–inside the tote to make sure the paint doesn’t bleed through and stain the back of your tote! Luckily this didn’t happen to me but I’ve had this issue with fabric paint before, and it can ruin a whole project!

Okay, I think that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and can go get creative monogramming things of your own! If you do, tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome creations!

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13 thoughts on “DIY Monogrammed Tote

  1. Look at you!! That’s a great bag. Thanks for sharing. Seems simple enough but so cute. Thanks for linking up to What You Wish WEdnesday. Come back tomorrow.

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