Create Your Own Beach Tote
With the summer months fast approaching, the time for beach trips, picnics, and outdoor markets is on the way! But with the summer heat comes a whole new slew of summer essentials, such as sunblock, water bottles, and sun hats. This tote can be used for not only those much-anticipated beach days but also for any outdoor outings – making this crafty carry-all a must-have essential too!
- Blank tote bag
- Heat-transfer vinyl
- Digital Product: Summer Bundle Graphic
- Measuring tape
- Teflon sheet
- Weeding tools
- Cricut cutting machine (or other)
- Cricut EasyPress and mat
Let’s Get Crafting!
Cricut Design Space
To begin this project, you’ll first need to create your tote bag template. Go ahead and open up Design Space, and then insert a square shape from the Shapes Library. If you have a standard tote bag, you can just take the width and height measurements, but if your tote has a bit of an awkward shape to it, then you can simply take the measurements of the area that you are planning on decorating.
Unlock the square and change the dimensions to that of your tote (or of your working area). I used a basic blank tote from Walmart, so my template is 12.75” x 13.25”. You can also change the color of the template to reflect a color that is similar to your tote; doing so will give you a better idea of how the design will look on your completed project. If you want to make it double-sided as I did, duplicate the template so that you have two shapes.
Now you can download and extract the Summer Bundle Graphic from over at Creative Fabrica. I find that not only are the quotes in this bundle absolutely perfect for summer crafting – but the graphics are easily color customizable and Cricut cuts them beautifully!
You will now need to choose two of the designs within this bundle so that you can make your tote reversible like mine. Of course, this is optional, but I love the idea of having a “beachy” side and a “shopping” side so that it converts to a more versatile tote for multiple uses.
Once you have decided on the two designs that you want to use, just upload them to Design Space and insert the SVG’s onto your canvas.
Next, resize the designs to fit your template nicely, keeping in mind where your handles are located on the actual bag. Feel free to place the designs anywhere on the tote, and any size, but I wanted my design to fit most of the canvas area – so I resized it, and then aligned it to the center.
At this point, you can adjust the colors of the SVG’s to better suit your bag if necessary. As my tote bag has a yellowish hue to it, I decided to change the banner color to orange which gives me a better preview of the pattern HTV I used on the tote – but obviously, this will depend on what vinyl colors you have on hand! This can easily be done by selecting each component of the design on the layers panel to the right of your canvas.
After you have finished making your adjustments, you can get ready to cut! Because you are layering HTV, the same techniques that you normally use for adhesive vinyl do not apply. You will be layering the HTV piece by piece, so you can just hit that “Make It” button, and Design Space will automatically sort your colors on the coordinating mats. Don’t forget to MIRROR! You will need to ensure that each mat is mirrored. Also, remember to change your material settings if you are using different types of vinyl.
When you have cut and weeded all your HTV designs, you can now pre-heat your EasyPress to the appropriate temperature and time for your fabric. I am using a 100% cotton tote, so for my patterned vinyl on cotton canvas material, my settings are 340 degrees for 30 seconds, however, because I am layering on top of it, I only pressed the banner for 12 seconds – just enough time to get it to stick.
The temperature will change when I apply my everyday HTV layers. Just make sure you adjust your settings accordingly as well.
When you are ready to go, first pre-heat your tote for a few seconds to remove any excess moisture and wrinkles then allow it to cool slightly. I recommend piecing your entire design together first so that you have a good idea of where everything goes.
Next, remove all but your first layer, and again, only press just long enough to get it to stick to the fabric. Allow it to cool a little, then remove the mask. Now you can add your next layer, then replace the used mask over the first layer for added protection. Then just before you press, cover everything with a Teflon sheet for even more protection against excess heat. Press for the remaining duration.
If you have multiple layers, then only press each layer just long enough to get it to stick – on the last layer press for a little bit of a longer time – about 5-10 seconds longer. Just remember to always reuse the mask from the previous layers to protect the already pressed vinyl.
- 👉 Overheating Tip: If you are still nervous about burning your fabric and/or vinyl, you can press in timed intervals – so first try a few seconds, lift, test, and press again if necessary.
Use your vinyl-type recommendations for either a cool or warm peel, and then carefully remove the Teflon sheet and all masks. Repeat the exact same process for the other side.
Voila! Now you have a unique and versatile tote bag that you can bring with you everywhere this summer! I know this will be very handy for my camping vacations.
Don’t be surprised if you get asked where you bought it 😉
Happy Summer Everyone! 🌞🌻
Keep on Crafting! 💖