DIY Library Tote Bag

Know those crafts that you set out to make that are supposed to be painfully easy? This is one of them. However, when I went to make it, everything that could go wrong, did. I went to print the picture from my printer, and ran out of ink. Then I ordered a new cartridge off of Amazon (the same refurbished ones we always get), and of course it didn't work. So I went to Target yesterday to get a new cartridge, and thankfully that one worked. However, I only had three pieces of iron on paper. The first one got wasted by the dead ink cartridge. Then I went to print a second one, and Jay swiped it from the printer right when it came out, and the ink was still wet and smeared all over. I finally got the picture printed off on the final sheet I had, but this easy project definitely turned into a labor of love for me. 

I've been wanting to get Jay a bag for the library for a while now. Whenever we go our library has baskets that we can use, buy Jay insists on carrying it all over and ends up hurting himself, and others with it because its awkwardly way too big for him to carry. And then there's the fact that when we leave I'm carrying Em, holding his hand, and some how stuffing 20 books into random places in my diaper bag. I decided it was time to spend the $5 and make him a bag to make the whole library experience easier on everyone.

White Canvas Tote Bag- $.99 at Michael's


Go into Go to the design tab, and then click the 8x10 option. Create the design of your choice, I did my son's name inside one of the star overlays. Stretch it to as big as it will fit on the page, and then add the name. Save it to your desktop in the highest quality option.

Open Microsoft Word, or in my case, Open Office. You'll go insert > Picture > From File- and then insert the picture that you saved to your desktop. On the picture tool bar that will pop up click the flip horizontally option. You want your picture to be backwards when it prints out so that when you iron it on it will be flipped to the right way... shown in the picture above this text. 

This is the picture from round two of doing this with the new ink cartridge, but either before or after you flip the image, stretch it so that it fits the entire page on your computer screen. See the difference between the image on this picture, and the one above. 

Be sure to follow the directions for printing on your iron-on paper. Each one is a little different. But once your image is printed, you're ready to iron!

Flip the paper image side down on your tote bag, and then iron according to your packages instructions.

Then peel it off and you'll be done! Mine didn't come out as vibrant as I was originally planning, because I left the iron on too long and the page got stuck to the tote bag a little bit, but I actually really like the distressed/faded look of this one quite a bit!


  1. Oh how cute! and surprisingly easy!

  2. So fun! I want to do something like this for my girl!

  3. What a cute easy idea for birthday presents for kids, etc! A customized bag is a perfect way to "wrap" a present...thank you!

    <3 Haley @

  4. Too cute! I'd love to make something like this for my nieces. They are obsessed with library time!

    xo Rachel

  5. This is such a great idea! I think I want to do this for all of my bridesmaids! So fun!
    Kristin xx

  6. That's such a cool DIY idea! That design looks awesome on the bag!


    Something About That

  7. I know a DIY project something like this... it's make your own shopping bag- but it would work for this too. Take an old T-Shirt and go from there! lol you'll have to google -> "make your own shopping/grocery bag out of a t-shirt." (or something along those lines) if you're interested in doing one like that! :) Sorry I don't know the exact instructions to post here.