Decorate Your Own Canvas Bag


Here is a tutorial for how to decorate your own canvas bag, making it unique to keep or to give away as a gift. My 8-year-old daughter wanted to learn to sew, so she was excited to start this activity.

You will need a plain canvas bag, which you can buy at any craft supply store. You will also need a needle and thread, fabric scissors, and some scraps of cloth. Design your own scene, using the scraps of cloth. If you don’t want to sew, you can use fabric glue and be finished in about 5 or 10 minutes. Otherwise you can pin the pieces in place, one by one, layer by layer like we did.


First my daughter wanted to sew a sky onto the whole scene as a backdrop. I ironed a rectangle of blue patterned cloth, folding down the 4 edges and ironing them. I pinned the blue cloth onto the canvas bag. My daughter sewed the cloth onto the bag.

She wanted to add a green meadow, so we added some green. After ironing the cloth and folding down the 3 straight sides, we pinned and sewed the green hill.


Next we wanted some trees for a forest. You could use some green felt, cutting out trees. (If you use felt for everything, you will never need to iron or hem, because felt doesn’t become unravelled. This makes it perfect for the finishing touches to decorate your own canvas bag.)

One short-cut is to get patches at a craft supply store. You can sew these on, iron them on, or just use fabric glue to attach them. We found a tree, some birds, and some flowers. My daughter arranged them on the canvas bag and glued them down with fabric glue.

When you decorate your own canvas bag, it will look something like this:



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10 Responses to “Decorate Your Own Canvas Bag”

  1. Shecki says:

    That turned out really cute! I always see those tote blanks and wonder what to do with them besides ’80s puff paint.

    • Susan says:

      Younger kids can always use puff paint or regular fabric paint to decorate a bag. But once kids have the ability to sew, the canvas bag can look way more beautiful with sewing on it!

  2. KG says:

    That is so pretty and so creative!!

    I absolutely love it!!
    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’ll do it someday!

  3. Anna says:

    These are so cute! I can totally see little kids loving their handmade bags.

    • Susan says:

      Kids love to make high-quality gifts for the people they love. When their feeble efforts result in something beautiful, they feel good about themselves.

  4. gift bags says:

    These are SO lovely. I just created two of them to keep presents for my relatives. They converted out so excellent. Thank you for the template!

  5. channon says:

    She did a wonderful job! This would be a fun project for the kids. We need some bags for library books 🙂

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