With the increasing popularity of reusable shopping bags (it’s about time), a stylish minimalist canvas tote is practically as much of a staple as a comfy t-shirt. From groceries to carry-on luggage, a good canvas tote can hold all of the necessities while looking like a well thought out accessory.
So what’s the key to making the perfect canvas tote bag? Don’t make it ordinary! Nearly everyone is familiar with the generic canvas tote we have all gotten so accustomed to. With its thin and unreinforced straps, its gusset-less bottom, and its limiting capacity, the generic canvas tote is an affordable bag that only somewhat meets people’s needs. With a lovely, simplistic design, and perhaps a few added features, a reimagined canvas tote can make the perfect go-to accessory that fits nearly everyone’s needs.
So let’s talk about how we can put our own spin on the typical tote bag in order for it to better fit our own needs. As handy as they are, I often find that all of my important bits tend to end up at the very bottom, tangled amongst the receipts and collection of hair ties. Wouldn’t a small pocket or a loop for our keys be great? While we are making improvements, I personally would love thicker and sturdier handles that don’t resemble skinny little strained bra straps after fourteen hours of use. Let’s beef those bad boys up! Aside from these two definite needs, a nice gusseted bottom would really seal the deal for me.
Can you think of anything else you can change with the traditional tote bag to make it a must-have? Aside from key features like we discussed above, you can further improve the design with unique fabrics, added details, premium straps, and even closures- such as zippers, buckles, or magnetic snaps. Remember, the glory of the canvas tote is that while it is such a useful accessory, it is simple enough to be the perfect addition to a multitude of styles. Let’s keep it simple by adding just a few of the above improvements.
FOR THIS TUTORIAL YOU WILL NEED:
1 yard canvas fabric (get two ½ yards if you want a mismatched lining)
¼ yard faux leather (with at least 44” width)
Leather punch tool (if you are feeling dicey, a sharp poking tool will do)
Tip: Aim for rivets with a length just a bit longer than the thickness of your faux leather when doubled over. The rivets are used to attach the straps to the body of the bag and will need to go through two layers of faux leather as well as two layers of canvas.
Watch the video below for the full tutorial as well as tips and tricks for photographing, marketing, and shipping your canvas tote bags. Stick around until the end for a breakdown of the three P’s- price, profit, and popularity.
Feeling inspired to create, but perhaps looking for a different project? Check out our list of craft tutorials for some inspiration!