monogrammed tote bag

by Amy on 30 November 2010

some of you know that we spent thanksgiving week in lovely seaside, florida, where we had perfect weather, sunny skies, gorgeous sunsets, + fantastic food + wine. i had been wanting to make myself a monogrammed tote (based on an idea from woman’s day) + this trip to the beach was the perfect excuse for it.

i am so pleased with how this turned out. i think it’s so chic + charming, + it made me feel a bit more fashionable when hauling things down the beach. it is the perfect size for two oversized beach towels, sunscreen, + some beach reads, + it also perfectly fit the fixings for our beachside champagne brunch one morning. give this a try – it would be a wonderful gift for a mother, sister, or friend this upcoming holiday season!

monogrammed tote bag


tote bag
doily (i used a 12” wilton’s round doily from michael’s)
spray adhesive
fabric paint (you can choose any color, though i used black)


spray back of doily with spray adhesive + press on to bag in the lower right corner (or wherever you like). i only sprayed the adhesive in the middle/center part of the doily, not the detailed edges, + that was sufficient to secure it. using fabric paint, paint over the doily holes, then remove doily before paint dries.

once paint has completely dried, paint initial in the center of the doily design. you can use a stencil, or freehand it. i find freehanding a bit easier than using a stencil, so that’s what i opted for, but either technique should work. once the monogram has dried, iron over the design to set it (or follow the setting instructions provided on the fabric paint).

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sheri November 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

The tote turned out SO cute! I’ve been waiting for you to post the picture :) It’s definitely on my list of gifts to make for holiday gifts this year. Thank you for sharing!

2 Beth November 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

I am so NOT crafty, but I think this is something I could actually do!! The free handing it, not so much. But definitely can handle a stencil.

Now, a question from the crafting newbie- where do I find the tote bags? And approximately how long did it take you to make it? I want to make a slew of these for family for Xmas so want to be sure I schedule appropriately!

3 amy November 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

i’m so glad to hear that you are going to try this! i just added slightly more detailed instructions to the post to help. =)
1. i got my tote bags off of ebay because i wanted to buy a bunch (to make as gifts, too.) i’ll email you the exact seller’s name once i look it up.
2. i’d say it took about 20-30 minutes to paint the doily details, a few hours to let it dry, then about 20 minutes to freehand the initial, + another few hours to let that dry. you could definitely complete the project in one weekend day, even with all the drying.

let me know how they turn out!

4 amy November 30, 2010 at 11:36 am

i just added more detailed instructions so that should help when you make them. can’t wait to see how they turn out! i’m pretty pleased with it, i have to admit. =)

5 kaira November 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Love this bag, it has inspired a whole new set of ideas for the holidays!
Amy thank you for this blog, very inspiring, keep up the fabulous work, much appreciated.

6 amy November 30, 2010 at 4:54 pm

kaira, thank you so much! i’m so glad you like the idea + i can’t wait to hear how it goes. send pics when you’re all done if you like! i always love to see how readers’ recipes + crafts turn out.

7 Krista (kristastes) December 2, 2010 at 3:55 pm

This idea is awesome!! I am doing a homemade holiday gift idea post next week – do you mind if I link you and this idea?

8 amy December 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm

i don’t mind at all! in fact, i’m flattered. =)

9 Elise November 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

I would love to know where you got the tote bags too I love this idea and I would like to make them for the holidays too!

10 amy November 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm

hi Elise! i purchased them off of ebay – the seller who sold them to me isn’t on there anymore. but, the title of the item was ‘heavyweight oversized canvas tote bag.’ i’m sure you can find something similar on ebay – they cost about $9 each, but you’d probably be able to find cheaper ones if you look around for the best deal, either on ebay or just online in general. =)

11 Victoria May 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I love the monogram. I shared this on my blog today:

12 amy May 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Thank you Victoria!

13 Kait August 24, 2013 at 9:48 am

Hello!! This is super! Can you tell me if you used the spray adhesive for the doily? And then you peeled the doily pattern off after painting? The adhesive didn’t leave a sticky residue??

14 amy August 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Hi Kait! The spray adhesive didn’t leave a residue at all, so yes, I sprayed the center of the doily, stuck in on, painted over it, then peeled the doily off. Hope that helps!

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