Monogrammed Tote

I was flipping through a magazine last month and came across this cute project.

I couldn’t help but think it would make a great Christmas gift, especially since you can personalize it!
So I scooted on down to Hobby Lobby.
I got into a little trouble there…I always go in for one thing and come out with 32,143 other things.
Eventually I made it home with everything I needed for this project!
Let me share it with you.
This is the tote bag I bought…me&my BAG. It was the largest one I could find and it cost $4.99.
When I look at this I think: grocery bag, scrapbook supplies travel bag, overnight bag… there are so many possibilities.
Note: This picture does not show the bag fully opened…it’s much wider. You will see in a minute.

On the back, it has 2 handy dandy pockets, like this one.
I also picked up some paint.
This black acrylic paint was $1.00 at Hobby Lobby so I snatched it up real quick.
Next, I swung by the baking section where I found this large 4 pack of doilies for $1.99
I used this as my stencil.
{{I also picked up a real stencil that is so pretty and elegant…but that will be for another project, another day.}}
Then I used adhesive glue/tape to hold down the doily on the bag so nothing would move as I painted.
I secured the doily on the bag so that about 1/4 of the stencil was hanging off. Obviously I didn’t paint that part. I painted the tote with 3/4 of the stencil.
Once everything was secured and how I wanted it, I painted…
And I painted.
And dabbed, swirled and sponged my paintbrush along the stencil to help get the best design.
And then I looked up and saw that Duke was feeling a bit neglected.
So I stopped everything I was doing and sat down with him for a second…trying to make him stop looking at me with his big, brown, sad eyes.
Then I tried to take this picture but he wouldn’t even look at me. So dramatic. He was upset that I wasn’t paying him attention.
Back to the project.
I couldn’t decide which painting method seemed to work best. For the little holes, I had to load up my paintbrush with paint so it would go through and make a mark. For the larger sections, I just dabbed/sponged the brush so that it wouldn’t be overloaded with paint and mess up the design.
It really took about 20 minutes, either way.
So when I finished painting, I peeled back the stencil with TLC. 
Much to my surprise, the doily did really well.
I was a little worried at first.
I think the key is securing the stencil on really well and then being careful with how you apply the paint.
Not too shabby!
So this is super cute.
And you could definitely just leave it like this.
But I wanted to personalize it.
So I printed off the letter “S” in a HUGE font that I liked, cut it out, made a stencil with it, and painted the letter in the middle of the 3/4 circle.

I painted the outline of the “S” with black paint.

Let all the paint dry completely.

Once all the paint has dried, take your iron and press the design and the letter. This will help keep the paint on the bag should you want to wash it.

You can do so many different things with something like this. But this is the general idea.

Now you’re ready to give this as a personalized gift! Fill the tote with a few extra items and it’s a useful Christmas gift.

Here is what you will need:
  • a tote bag
  • acrylic paint {{color of your choice}}
  • 1 doily {{or just a regular stencil if you like}}
  •   adhesive glue or tape
  • an iron and ironing board
  • large letter stencil {{optional}}

Here is what you will need to do:
Step 1: 
 For your design: coat the rough underside of your stencil with adhesive (to keep it from moving) and press onto the bottom right hand corner of the tote. Leave 1/4 of the stencil hanging off the edge of the bag. Using your paintbrush, brush fabric paint over the stencil. Make sure not to paint outside the stencil’s edges.
Step 2: 
While the paint is still wet, peel off your stencil, starting from the bottom edge. Let dry completely.
Step 3: 
 For your monogram: type the letter in a word-processing document. I used Times New Roman 500-point size. Print this out. Make a stencil by cutting out the letter, use adhesive to secure it where you want it on the bag. Outline the letter lightly with a pencil. Remove the stencil and fill in the letter with paint. Let dry completely.
Step 4:
With your iron on high, press down on the design and the letter for about 20 to 30 seconds. This will set in the paint so it won’t come off when you wash the bag.
I linked up to:

Todays Creative Blog


  1. you finally got to make it! yay! it looks awesome :)

  2. Such a cute idea! I love it!

  3. this is YOUR blog!!! I LOVE it!!! You said you wanted to do one, and you did! You are REALLY good at this! Forget Ree-this is my new favorite!!!! :) I am so proud of you!!

  4. I stumbled upon your blog because you shared your camera strap project in the comments at Kevin & Amanda. I, too, saw this DIY in Woman’s World mag a few weeks ago and started off at the store to go out and get everything to do it. I couldn’t even find a cheap canvas bag to get started on it! SO I kind of put it out of my mind. Just the other day I was at a thift store and saw some doilies and bought them so I’m partially there! I’m glad you posted this cause it turned out GREAT and I totally want to do this now!! I’m going to see if my local Hobby Lobby has the canvas tote for $5!

  5. We must be reading the same magazine! I hope yours turns out great! They really are super cute and pretty easy! Thanks for checking out my blog!

  6. That’s beautiful! I love this idea and may have to try it myself…you’ve given me lots of ideas for quick gifts for friends! :)

  7. Love it! Hugs, Heidi

  8. Looks like you are very talented!!

    I’m blog hopping today and thought I would stop by your blog. Hope you will visit either or both of my blogs and say hello and follow (if you aren’t already a follower).

    Jessicas Lil Corner is my family blog at

    So Stylilized is where I am currently offering FREE custom blog designs at

    Have a VERY VERY blessed Tuesday!! :0)

  9. April, Heidi and Jessica,

    Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I hope yours turn out to be fabulous!


    Love your blog!

  10. I love the stencil, and I love the position on the bag. Nice job!

  11. Thank you, Christine! I am looking forward to checking out your blog!!

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  12. This really turned out cute! Love that you used a doily!

  13. Oh my goodness! I absolutely love this and need to make myself one ASAP! Thank you for sharing this over at Today’s Creative Blog. :)


  14. Thanks, Katie!!! I am loving your blog and photography!

  15. I have to tell you…I went to a GE sponsored thing in Kentucky last month and one of the cute GE employees and her mom made these for ALL of us! So fun!

  16. Char, that is awesome! How cute! What a special personalized gift, huh? :-) Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Have a lovely week!

  17. Suzanna says:

    This is so fun. I just found this project and your blog on pinterest. The bag I made turned out so cute. Your directions are great. Thanks for sharing!

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