Monogrammed Canvas Totes

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We are spending time with my husband's family this week at the beach. I wanted to make everyone something special so I made these extra large personalized beach tote bags.

Beach shot

They are perfect for carrying all of our beach toys, towels and sunscreen down to the beach.

Group project shot

It's easy to keep everyone's things straight and they all look pretty cute together on the sand:

More project shots

I used two methods for these bags to give you a few options!

The first method I used is the freezer paper method. Freezer paper is typically used by butchers to wrap meat because it has a waxy finish on the inside and regular white paper on the outside.  It can be used as a fabric stencil because when the paper is heated the waxy side adheres to the fabric but doesn't leave any residue on it when removed.

Freezer Paper Monogram Method:

First, use an exacto knife and cut out the monogram letters into the freezer paper:

Cut letters from freezer paper

After the letters are cut out place the freezer paper stencil face down on the fabric, waxy side down.

Wax side down place on fabric

Iron the paper (cotton setting) so that it seals to the fabric.


If your paper rips at all or if you "overcut" any of your letters just use some scotch tape to fix it so ink doesn't flow through those areas:

Scotch tape to fix any of your mistakes

Take a paint brush and fabric paint...

Foam brush and textile paint

...and begin dabbing it onto the stencil.

Start painting

I usually do about 2 or 3 coats:

Do several coats

Once the paint has dried thoroughly.

Let the paint dry and peel paper

One-Time Paper Screen Print Method :

I used my Silhouette to cut out these initials. Or you can just use an Exacto knife.

Use a computer program

I used just regular 8.5" x 11" copy paper to cut out the letters:

Or just cut out by hand

Place the paper onto the bag:

Paper over fabric

Carefully place the screen on top of the paper:

Silk screen over paper

Put a small amount of screen printing ink or fabric paint on your screen and use a squeegee to pull the ink across the image (or I've used a credit card as well if you don't have an actual squeegee). Use enough pressure so the ink goes through the screen. You can touch up any light areas with a small fabric paint brush.

Ink up your screen and print

Lift up the screen (the paper will stick to the screen) and you'll have your finished monogram. Iron to set the paint/ink:

Paper lifts with the screen

A few of the finished bags!  They were filled with snacks, magazines, beach toys etc to greet everyone at the house when they showed up!

Group shot finished project

I made one special one for Boo using some of the artwork from our Spring nautical line:

Finished project 1

Just beachy.

Finished project 1

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