DIY custom kids totes, Graphic stock challenge

DIY custom kids totes, Graphic stock challenge

custom kids totes title

**This post is sponsored by Graphicstock but all opinions are my own**

We are in deep in the trenches of winter here in Wisconsin. For anyone lucky enough to not know how this is, let me paint the picture. The beautiful white and fluffy snow is now a slushy mess that is freaking cold! What was beautiful for a traditional White Christmas is now an annoying thing that happens too much. I grew up in San Diego, California and dreamed of living in a place where it snows. My kids are living that dream, and “that dream” means they have to schlep their snow gear to and from school. Seriously. My tiny 8, 6, and 4 year old have to bring snow pants, snow boots, snow mittens, hat, scarf, and a partridge in a pear tree to school every single day. If they do not have this gear at school they do not get to go outside at recess. Which I do appreciate, but it is a lot of work to get their gear to school. I have tried stuffing it into backpacks, which does not fit. I have put them in shopping bags, and then have them rip. I decided enough was enough and I was going to get some solid canvas totes for them to put it all in. Of course me being a Mommy and a DIY/crafting crazy person I could not leave it at a boring, plain old tote. Customize time!


I have some help for this little crafting endeavor, in the way of my Create & Share blogging group who all have wonderful projects to share. But also by the help of Graphicstock. They helped make this DIY custom kids totes, Graphic stock challenge happen. Let me explain what Graphicstock is, they are an image site. They are the Facebook of image sites, everyone is on Facebook and all of the images are on Graphicstock. I was not too sure what I would use this for and was so excited to see all of the options. From photography, illustrations, graphs, labels… it can go on. Once you become a member you get access to all of these graphics! I am just getting into printables and making things for my home or to give away here as free download . I have been using this site like crazy! The images I used came for these custom totes came from Graphic stock, I added my kids names to make them custom and they are ready to go! I have some goodies for you as far as free downloading of the image I created (minus my kid’s names) and a 7 day free trial! All of that information will be in a little bit, let me show you how I made these images first.

I selected what images I wanted to use for this. The plan was to have it represent each of my kids. I figured this would be done best with an image of kids and some kind of fun and bright patterns. I got just what I was looking for. Here and here is the image of the kids I chose . I decided to make something a little different for Nora, she is my book worm. Always with her head in a book. I found the perfect graphic for her with butterflies and a book, what more could a girl want?! Here is that image.  Like I said, I was wanting bright and fun patterns for my bright and fun kids. I found this and this for a great pattern to add to the totes.

orinting paper

I used the images from Graphicstock and became a legit graphic artist, I am claiming it. I used Canva which is a free online software, uploaded the images from Graphicstock and got to work customizing these. To pay for a custom tote with my kids name on it can get crazy pricey. I am able to go back and create even more custom things because I have the membership to graphicstock. Everyone is getting custom totes for Birthdays, just sayin. Once I had my images created I purchased some print and Iron fabric paper. It is in a standard paper size.

canvas tote bags

The ever important actual totes I purchased from Michaels craft store, they were $4 a piece! These are the large totes, because snow gar calls for a large.

printing out image

With my images edited and uploaded I set the iron fabric paper into my printer like I would any paper, make sure my printer cartridge was full and pressed print! I will admit I am at my Mother-in-laws house to do this project because I am a full fledged adult with a husband and three children who does not own an iron. We dry clean work specific clothes for Dale and I have not done too much crafting where an iron was needed. I am a converted previous iron owner because I was not aware that an iron can do so much more than get out wrinkles. You need an iron to finish this project, I am sure we are the only household without one so everyone is prepared (but me).

images printed

My images came out so pretty! The quality of the image blew me away, the colors are so vibrant. I am in love with these totes, so much that I am currently designing one for myself because I feel all left out of this customized tote situation. With the images printed I did have a small piece of trim to cut off. Using scissors and cutting off the excess paper.

cut images

With the trim cut off of the iron fabric paper I am ready to make this tote happen!

ironing bag

First, use the iron for actual ironing because these bags were really wrinkled. Behind the scenes secret, I am taking pictures with no hands! No, actually Dale is a tall man and can literally stand over me and get the shot. Thank goodness for tall husbands who are willing to photograph their wives and their blogging endeavors. My Mother-in-law did think it was funny we had to take so many pictures. This is what the people need!

placig image on bag

Place the graphic on the tote bag, situating it exactly where you want it to be.

putting iron sheet over image

I covered the graphic with iron pressing paper. This will act as a barrier between the image and the iron, protecting my precious customized graphic.

iron on corners

Push down, do not slide the iron along the image like you normally do when ironing fabric. This will make the image slide off and possibly becoming not centered.  I started in the corners and worked my way inwards.

pushing iron into image

Using some force and pushing down the iron for about 10 seconds in each spot. The graphic needs to be completely adhered to the tote so that there is no peeling.

check corners for peeling

Once I thought it was sufficiently pressed I let it cool down and then try to push up the edges and corners. This feels counter-productive to getting a project done, I tend to try to NOT wreck a project right away. But, I can guarantee my kids will peel and poke at this thing to their hearts content. I needed to test it out and see if more of it needed to be ironed again. If there is still edges coming up iron it again.

corner ironed down

The corners and edges were all secure! This DIY custom kids totes, Graphic stock challenge is now created and kid proof.

graphic stock

My kids were eager to take them home and fill them with their snow gear. Except for my sweet Caleb who was worried his snow stuff would ruin these new custom totes. I assured him it would be fine and he happily piled in all of the snow stuff. They like them so much they have decided in summer these will not be snow bags but simply bags. I will report it has been two weeks of having these toes go to and from school and there is not one edged peeled off and the images are still just as bright as they were when I printed them. The wetness of the snow gar does not affect this at all. My quest for simpler schlepping is complete!

All of the images for download have had my kid’s names removed. You can edit the image and add your kids own names or print as is and simply write in their names. Click on the link for the option to download and print the graphics I created. 

custom skateboarding tote bag

To download this image- Our house now a home skateboard image Our house now a home book image

book worm and butterfly custom tote

Our house now a home book image

kid flying kite custom tote

Our house now a home kite image

custom totes with graphic stock

When we were at my In-laws home a few of my nieces were there and were pretty envious of these bags. My one niece does figure skating and has already requested I make her a custom ice skating graphic tote. With my graphicstock images at the ready and my sick editing skills I got this. It does help that none of my extended family create any kind of images like this, so everything for them is “mind blown”. With nothing better to compare it to I am the graphic creating Queen. All bow down, or give me your orders and I will slave away to make them perfect…. either way works.

snowbag for kids

custom name tote

The patterns on these are so fun!

butterfly on tote

custom name totes for kids

I am loving this DIY custom kids totes, Graphic stock challenge because it helps minimize some stress with my kid’s snow gear. They also have cute totes to use for the whole year now, and I have a go-to gift for any kids in our lives. I was not aware how simple it can be to customize things and create them on your own, I always assumed I had to pay a company a whole lot of money to customize things. Everything in my home is going to be labeled, monogrammed or customized in some way. If you are wanting to customize everything in your home like me you can get started with a 7 day free trial to graphicstockYou can peruse, see what it is all about and create a few things to see how you like it. To claim that free trial you can go here.  Everyone gets a customized tote!

custom kids totes title

I am ready to stay inside, because “baby it’s cold outside”, cuddle up cozy, drink some warm coffee and plan to visit some of my favorite blogging friends to see what they made for this edition of the Create & share challenge. I hope you go and visit them to see what they came up. Just use it as inspiration for your own Graphicstock projects!


1. Old House To New Home ~ DIY Little Girls Room Tray

2. Shabby Grace Blog ~ Valentine’s Day Treat Bags

3. Creatively Homespun ~ DIY Valentine Love Decor

4. Refashionably Late ~ Library Book Storage

5. Casa Watkins ~ DIY Moroccan Dessert Plates

6. Tastefully Frugal ~ Be Mine Banner

7. Penny Love Projects ~ True Love Pillow

8. Green With Decor ~ St. Patrick’s Day Mason Jar Craft

9. Domicile 37 ~ Butterfly Entomology Clock

10. Up To Date Interiors ~ DIY Notebooks with GraphicStock

11. One Mile Home Style ~ Hand Embroidered Dandelion Wall Art

12. Uncookie Cutter ~ Rustic Americana Wall Art

13. Flourish and Knot ~ Whimsical Owl Art

15. Pocketful of Posies ~ Valentine’s Day Paper

16. The House Down The Lane ~ DIY Heart Candle Holders and Printable

17. The Twin Cedars ~ Rustic Wood Wall Art

20. Farmhouse 40 ~ Bird Canvas Wall Art

I am blown away with all of their talent and am wondering why I did not think of some of these. Luckily for me I am allowed to “copy” what they made. 






  1. This is such a fun idea, Emily! I can’t wait to make some for my nephews!

  2. Great idea to customize each bag based on an image for your children! AND, I totally feel you on the snow pants/hat/mitten dilemma! Man, it’s a lot of stuff – I love the idea to use canvas totes to corral all the stuff.

  3. These are so cute Emily! Your kids are blessed to have such a talented mother. Awesome idea and I’ve always wanted to try a transfer like this.

  4. These are so fun and you’re right, the colors are vibrant and rich!

  5. These are so cute, your kiddos are so lucky to have such a creative mom!

  6. I hear ya – Northern Michigan winters are rough too. Turned out great! What lucky little ones you have 🙂

  7. EMILY!!!!!! This is so cool, I need to do this with my kids church bags! Love it!

  8. Emily, these are unbelievable cute. I love this idea. I’m with you on the snow, it’s pretty at Christmas, then it’s a depressing mess! We haven’t had a snow this year, and I do always kind of hope for one. That’s it though ;). Nice work!

  9. Too cute Emily!!! I love this idea. Oh what fun it would be to make them as gifts and library bag totes, etc. Thanks for sharing and thanks for participating in the Create and Share this month! Pinning

  10. These are adorable and I bet your kids love having their own personalized tote! What fun graphics for each tote too!

  11. They turned out so beautiful and professional-looking! Great job! I bet your kids love them.

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