Make Your Own Custom Canvas Tote Bags with a Cricut Machine
If you're looking to take your DIY tote bag to the next level, adding some personalized touches with a Cricut machine can help you create a unique and stylish accessory. With a Cricut machine, you can easily cut out custom designs, text, or patterns to add to your tote bag, making it truly one-of-a-kind. In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to make your own DIY tote bag with a Cricut machine, from selecting the right fabric and design to cutting and attaching your personalized elements.
What do you need?
Cricut Explore Air 2
Cricut EasyPress Mat
Cricut EasyPress 2
Tote Bags in the Boys’ Preferred Colors
Cricut Everyday Iron-On Vinyl in White
Cricut Cutting Mat
Design for Bag (You can see my design in Cricut Design Space here.)
What do you have to do?
Step 1: Create your design
In search of a glove design, I perused the library and finally settled on a pair that caught my eye. Next, I took measurements of the gloves and resized them to my desired dimensions, which came out to be approximately 9 inches in width and 6.7 inches in height.
Next I wanted add the boys’ names. To give the design a little bit of interest, I decided I wanted to cut their names out of the gloves.So I typed out “Caleb” first and chose a font I liked, Cricut Alphabet. Initially, the letters were more spread out than I wanted, so I adjusted the “Letter Space” option to 0. Since I knew I was going to be putting the name over the glove and black would make it impossible to see, I changed the color of “Caleb” using the little square under “Linetype.”
Next it was time to position the name exactly where I wanted it. I dragged it up over the glove and used the arrows in the lower right corner of the text box to change the size. I also used the rounded arrow in the upper right corner of the text box to rotate the text to the angle I wanted.
Step 2: Cut the design
- When my design is finalized, it’s now time to cut it out! I push the green “Make It” button in the upper right corner of the screen and am taken to the “Prepare” screen.
- ***THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.*** When you are doing an iron-on project, you MUST remember to mirror your design using the “Mirror” button on the Prepare screen. If you don’t mirror the design during this step, your final design will end up backwards on your surface, and that is not what we want!
- After you’ve mirrored your design, you can click the green “Continue” button.
- To prepare our iron-on vinyl, we’ll want to put it on the cutting mat with the plastic side DOWN. The matte, less shiny side of the vinyl should be facing up.
- Once the vinyl is on the mat, we can load it into the Cricut using the double arrow button on the machine.
When the screen prompts you, press the button with the Cricut logo on the machine. (It will be blinking.) Then let the machine cut away!
When the cutting is finished, hit the double arrow button again to release the mat from the machine.
Step 3: Weed your design
“Weeding” the design just means removing any of the vinyl that you will not want to iron on to your surface. I usually start at the top left corner and peel away the vinyl toward the bottom right corner. After the bigger pieces of vinyl are removed, the weeding tool (with the little hook) is helpful for taking out any of the smaller pieces in the design.
Step 4: Iron on the design to create your custom canvas tote bag
While my design is being cut, I heat up my Cricut EasyPress to 290 degrees. I usually work on the floor in my office, so I use the Cricut EasyPress Mat to protect the floor from the heat of the press.
I place my bag on top of my EasyPress Mat and then run the EasyPress over the bag for 5-10 seconds to warm up my surface a little bit.
Then I place my design in the center of the bag, using a ruler to figure out my spacing if necessary. (You’ll notice that the bag looks somewhat discolored from the heat press. If this happens to you, don’t panic! As soon as the bag cools down, it will return to its normal color.)
Once my design is in place, I place the EasyPress over the design and tap the button with the Cricut logo to start the 30-second countdown timer. As the timer is counting down, I apply light pressure to the EasyPress.
When I’ve pressed for 30 seconds on the front of my design, I flip the bag over. I press for 15 seconds on the back of the bag just to solidify the design a little bit more. I can then peel away the plastic backing, and my design is adhered to my bag!
Step 5: Enjoy your custom canvas tote bags
That’s all there is to it! The bags are now ready to go, and all of our jujitsu gear can stay organized and out of the way. Yippee!
The Cricut EasyPress has made a MASSIVE difference in my ability to do iron-on projects. When I was using a standard iron, I used to avoid anything with iron-on vinyl because it seemed to take forever and it was hard to get the vinyl to adhere.
I usually create DIY canvas tote bags this way, and I hope it helps you in your own creations. With the right fabric, measurements, and personalized touches, you can make a practical and stylish accessory that reflects your unique style. So why not give it a try and start making your own canvas tote bag today