Being Creative with Canvas and Burlap Tote Bags

Tote bags come in all shapes and sizes and are used to carry precious items, groceries, art materials, towels for the pool or even library books.  Handmade totes of the past were pretty simple square shaped with small handles and they did just what they needed to do and no more.  Totes of today come in all shapes, sizes, materials, designs, colors, etc.  The color and style may be all that is needed or adding a screen print design can set your art or brand out in the market.  

Today’s makers are looking for clever surfaces to put their art upon and a tote bag is the perfect surface.  Whether hand painting one tote at a time like this amazing tote Crew Member Vicki Ross created. Creating art you can wear like a tote or backpack is a fun way to show off your creative style.  When you carry around your art, it is a conversation piece for sure, almost a billboard for finding others with your same passion, design style and your creativity.  Here are a few great totes we thought you might enjoy to inspire you to put your art on something you can carry around and see what happens.

painted tote bag

Here is a video that Vicki has on Youtube with all the details on how to paint a cool tote like this.  You can choose one of the Canvas Corp Printed Panels as a background which is a perfect surface to create your design on.  To see the entire collection of printed panels visit the Canvas Corp Brands Shop.  The pant panels can be sewn or glued onto totes, framed or cut and turned into a mini tote.  The black and white art is perfect for coloring in or you can paint right on top.  No rules, your art your way.  Vicki created her art with the Canvas Corp French Market Tote which is available in a range of different options including all canvas, all burlap, ivory burlap and canvas and denim and burlap.  This flat tote with long handles is ideal for painting, screen printing, crafting or monogramming and is the perfect size for groceries, books, magazines, art supplies and more.  

Here is a version of the French Market Tote we did for Renegade Craft Fair with their logo.  The style looks great and the logo looks like a million bucks on this stylish tote bag.  The size shape and design can vary depending on your brand and what the tote needs to hold.  You can choose the handles, the fabric, the design and the construction of the bag to get the look you are going for.  Canvas Corp Brands offers wholesale screen printing, which is a great way to spread your brand, art and design around a bit.  Use them as give away totes or sell them, depending on what works for you.  

canvas corp burlap tote

What defines a tote bag? An object that opens to hold things and comes with or without a handle?  Well we think any cute item from drawstring totes to canvas backpacks and from heavy duty bags to simple treat bags all count.  With or without handles, worn on shoulders or back, or left on the table for party treat bags.  Size, shape, and design are up to you.  

custom totes and screenprintingWhen one thinks printed tote bags, there is a tendency to think printed logo or premium tote, but tote bags and aprons are great surfaces to show off what you have to say, your art and your brand in a different way.  Consider creating a custom tote and finding a fun font or saying that your customers will love.  You might have an Etsy Shop that is all about balloons, why not design a special Balloon Tote or a saying that makes you want to soar.  The minimum order is 50 pieces which makes it doable for a business of any size.  

Be Creative Every Day Tote

Crew Member, Sue Eldred, created this so simple tote that says just what she wanted it to say, this is a great idea for a wedding party, teacher/coach gifts or maybe even a book club.



The totes are made with 100% cotton or 100% jute fabrics which means they are all natural and can be ironed on, painted easily and screen printed on with ease.  You can visit Sue’s blog for more details – “I’d rather be thrifting” bag


Crew Member, Beth Watson, shows us another great use for a tote bag – make it a gift.  Her custom designed tote for Teacher Appreciation is ready to be filled with classroom supplies, snacks or other goodies.  This is the perfect end of the school year or start the year right with a tote bag full.  We will guarantee you that your teachers will carry this one around.  To see all the details visit Beth’s Blog


Use them as they are, paint them, monogram them, screen print them, tie dye them, add photo art, iron-on and so much more.  To see the entire selection of totes and bags from Canvas Corp, you will also find a full collection of aprons, pillows, home decor pieces, stockings and more that can all be personalized the same way.  

Canvas Corp Brands is the prefect resource for Maker’s, Etsy Shop Owners, Designers, Educators, Screen Printers, Monogram artists and more.  To sign up for a wholesale account send in your application today – Canvas Corp Brands Wholesale Application 

To request custom sewn items fill out this application – Custom Cut & Sew and for a screen print quote on custom or stock items Screen Print Quote Form

So many ways to be creative, why not duplicate your art and share it with more.  If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about your idea, call us today 866.376.9961 or email us at

Be Creative!!!!



Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Being Creative with Canvas and Burlap Tote Bags' have 2 comments

  1. June 6, 2016 @ 9:16 am ava gavloski

    Very creative….


  2. June 8, 2016 @ 9:32 am barb macaskill

    TOTE-ally in love with Vicki’s gorgeous bicycle tote! Absolutely stunning! TFS!


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.