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How to Print your own Design on a Canvas tote bag, Step-by-step guide

Updated: Apr 9

Design Your Own Tote Bag; Create your own Artwork


a canvas tote bag with a personalized design of a portrait collage

(you can watch a video down below if you don't feel like reading)


This guide is tailored for beginners and those

without prior artistic experience. I'll walk you

through each step, on how create your own design and print it on a Tote Bag, showing you how to create

stunning artwork for designing a high-quality

tote bag. Whether it's an illustration, a photograph,

or a collage, you'll learn how to personalize

your tote Bag with ease. You will end up with

a High quality Tote bag that looks Trendy

and also Custom made.








Before we start, if you are not feeling very artsy, you can always commission an Artist to create a beautiful design, like these ones (shameless plug alert, the designs below are from my Etsy Shop:



(in case you are interested)



Custom Tote bag design with portraits of people and dogs
Personalized tote bag Photo
custom portrait illustration on a tote bag



Or you can go to Etsy or Fiverr and fine very affordable and talented Artist to create the design for you, Just make sure they send you the Transparent PNG file of the Artwork.



Let's begin!

Custom Photo on a canvas tote bag

Step 1: Choose the Photo you Want to Use.


I recommend a Close up, Like a Portrait style.


This is My Friend Lorena with her Dog Kenya







Step 2: Remove The background.

How to remove background on Iphone

Using an IPhone:


Open the Photo app.

Press and hold your finger on the

main figure in the photo for a few seconds.

The app will automatically extract

the main figure from the

background and generate a new

photo with a transparent background.

Save the edited photo to

your phone or computer for future use.





Using a MacBook


Do control click over the Photo,

A menu will open, go to quick Actions,

select Remove Background,

and Voila, in a few seconds you

will have a new file with a

transparent background.











If you're not an Apple user, I recommend checking out Photoroom. It's very user-friendly and you don't have to create an account. Just upload your file, let it remove the background, and download the finished image to your computer – it's that simple.





Step 3: Create the Design

Upload the Photo with the transparent background

To Canva.com. The Free version will be enough.

You will have to create an account if you don't have one.


Now the Fun begins. You can do anything you want but,

I will show you what I did in case you want to do the same design.








The first thing I did was to apply a subtle filter to the photo.

There are many options, I chose the "Whimsi" because

I liked the washed out colors….










Pressed flowers digital
Get these Free PNG Flowers

This is the free version of Canva, so you will 

have a limited amount of clipart to use, 

I used pressed flowers and mushrooms,

but I also added my own Flower ,

I will share the clip arts with you, in case

you want to use them, 

(These are png files with transparent

background that you can download)






Moving on; click on elements and narrow the search to flowers.

and if you want , you can also narrow it to Pressed flowers.

Let’s start placing the clipart, 

They will land on top of the photo, but you can re arrange

the layers by going to Position, then layers …

you will see all the layers and you can move them around

by grabbing the on the dotted area.

You get the Idea, now you can play around with

all the cliparts and try anything you like.










Ok, now, You can either add some Text,

or you can add some more flowers.

For the Text, I will show you how to add the

Retro text style that I used on the example





Go to the left side of the screen and click

on Text, and then add a text box, 

now, go to the text font, change it to “nectarine”

that’s the font that I used, 

But off course, you can pick any other free font available. 

Size up the font to make it fit the design











I copied and pasted the name 3 times,

one in black, one in white, and, on the 3d one,

I changed every single letter to a different color, 

Arrange the layers to make the colored one sit on top. 

You have to paint every single letter, to do so, click on "color"


and Canva will show you something really cool;

Here you can see the palette of the elements that you

already have on your design, this way, you can

choose the colors from there, and make everything Match


I used the same font for the & symbol,

but I will change it for the Dog name to make

the design more dynamic…



And Here we Go: we are done with the artwork.




Now we download the File. Canva offers to remove the background, but you would have to go Pro, an pay a subscription. The good news is that you don’t have to for 2 reasons,

You can do it the same way we remove the  background earlier in this Blog BUT, that step is not necessary in this case: Printful, the website that we are going to use to print the tote bag, wi’ll do it for you. But First follow the steps to download the File, you can use Jpeg.


Step 3: The Printing of the Tote Bag


When it comes to printing your tote bag, you have the option to go full DIY

and handle the entire process yourself. This involves purchasing blank tote bags, heat transfer paper, and ensuring you have access to a quality printer. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for guidance, So I won't be covering that here. Also you won't be saving as much money as you may think.

And Honestly It won't look as high Quality as the one printed on this Print on Demand Platform.




Let's Start: Go to Printful.com. Open a free account.

Search for Tote Bag and select this one: Eco Tote Bag Econscious

Create a Basic Order.

Select color Oyster.

Drag and Drop the design, it will upload automatically











It will show the white square, no worries;

go to the top and click on Remove the Background

Now, press continue and follow along













The instructions of the website to check out like you would in any other website.

At the time of this Blog, the cost is around 15 bucks plus shipping that's around 4 bucks, so for 20 dollars you get this cool and high quality bag, with aCustom made artwork printed on it….

It will make a really cool gift…





Watch The Step by Step Video Tutorial Here





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