DIY Embroidered Custom Photo Tote Bags

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

A couple weeks ago, during Earth Day weekend, I went around Venice and snapped some photos of the landscape, greenery, and of course the sunny blue sky. Today I’m sharing how I took the photos from my iPhone and turned them into colorful, reusable DIY gifts.

After snapping some photos, I edited them using my two favorite editing apps (Snapseed and A Color Story), then I air dropped them over to my computer and headed straight to Snapfish. I selected the Everyday Canvas Tote and in just a few clicks my photos were on the bags. To make my Venice canal photo feel more like a postcard, I used the text tool to add the word, “Venice” to my design. A few days later, my custom printed canvas tote bags arrived!

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

Although really cute on their own, I took the colorful totes and added a little texture to them by embellishing them with simple embroidery. This is a fun way to create a completely one-of-a-kind gift for your friends. If you want to create your own embroidered custom photo totes, check out the info below.

DIY Embroidered Custom Photo Tote Bag

Supplies

Everyday Canvas Tote
Embroidery floss
Needle
Scissors
Pencil

If you're new to embroidery here are 3 basic stitches to learn.

3 basic embroidery stitches

If you’re new to embroidery (I am!) here are 3 basic stitches that I used to embellish my gifts.

running stitch

This is the stitch I used to create the paper airplane trail. It’s probably the stitch you already know but didn’t know it had a name. Starting from the inside of the bag, push the needle through the fabric and then back into the fabric. It’s the classic over-under stitch.

backstitch

This is the stitch I used to create the word, “hola” and outline the paper airplane. This is similar to the running stitch except there are no gaps between stitches. To do this, start from the inside of the bag and sew one running stitch. Then, from the back, push the needle through the fabric, the about one stitch length from your last stitch. Then push the needle back down into the fabric close to the end of your first stitch.

French knot

My favorite stitch (probably because it resembles a polka dot)! There are a few ways to create French knots but the easiest way I found is by simply wrapping the thread twice around your needle and then inserting it back into the fabric, right next to where the needle came up through the fabric. Pull the thread tight as you do this to create tidy, even sized knots.

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

A canvas tote makes a great anytime gift because there are so many ways it can be used. Not to mention reusable gifts are always good for the earth! Below are my favorite ways to use and gift the totes.

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

take it on a picnic

Grab your picnic blanket, plates, cutlery, napkins and your favorite treats and you’re all set for a fun spring picnic. Create a tote with a photo of your friend’s favorite destination on it and gift it with all the picnic essentials. Don’t forget mini bottles of wine or a reusable tumbler.

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

Take it to the beach

Grab your sunnies, floppy hat, and beach towel because a fun tote makes the perfect beach or pool accessory. Snap a photo of the ocean, life guard stand or some palm trees and gift this tote with summer-time essentials. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

Learn how you can easily create your own custom photo tote bag with embroidery.

Get 60% off on Snapfish!

Yes, you read that right! You can make your own embroidered everyday totes with your favorite photos for 60% off. You can also get 60% off their photo travel tumbler too so you can get DIYing your own photo gifts today!

Enter the code SARAHHEARTS at checkout to get 60% off!

This post was created in partnership with Snapfish

Leave some love:

  1. GIRL, you are a genius! These totes are sooooooo pretty and such a clever idea to make a super custom vacation memento! (I’m avoiding the word “gift” because I would definitely keep this for myself!) Love love love!

    • Thanks Marlene! Haha I want to keep them too!

  2. I love love love this project! I cannot wait to try this.

  3. These turned out so gorgeous! I love how intense the color is, and the addition of the stitching just makes them so darn cute!

  4. This is such a fun idea! It’s totally customized. Pinning for sure!