DIY American Flag Tote Bag

May 30, 2016



thrifted, beach bag, patriotic, hand bag

DIY American Flag Tote Bag

Hi everyone,

I hope this Memorial Day finds you well and having a great time with family and friends as we remember the brave men and women who served and continue to serve this great nation. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

 Are you ready for a fun and inexpensive Patriotic DIY project?  Well lets get started!

This time of the year you can find all kinds of neat items with the American flag on it.  T-shirts, jewelry, home decor, outdoor decor and cute handbags to name a few.  This DIY American flag tote bag was inspired by a large wicker tote that I spotted at my local Marshalls.  The bag is $19.99, which is a great deal for a pretty tote. However, I thought it would be fun to try and make it myself.  I’ll take any excuse to figure out a way to combine my love of crafting and thrift store shopping!

Tote, Bag, American, Flag, Beach Bag

Inspiration bag at Marshalls.

Before we get to the details on how to make this bag, here are a few pics of the items you will need.

Beach bag, tote, DIY

Wicker tote bag

Paint, brushes, hole punch, vinyl, button and elastic band

DIY supplies: Paint, brushes, hole punch, vinyl, button and elastic band

DIY, supplies

American flag stencil and painters tape


Before I could get started, I set out to find a similar bag and came across a cute wicker tote at my local Value Village thrift store for only $3.99.  I loved how the bag was not too big and it had just the right amount of space to fit the American flag stencil.

The American flag stencil was purchased at my local Michaels craft store. I had all the other supplies except for the button and elastic band.  I purchased these two items from JoAnn Fabrics.

Once I had everything I needed, it took a little over an hour to create this cute American Flag tote for half the cost.  I apologize for not taking pictures of this process.  I have a habit of starting a project late at night and forgot to take a pic of the stencil taped to the bag.  Also, I had to improvise on a few things.  For example, I had to make my own stars out of vinyl using my star hole punch.  The stars on the American flag stencil from Michaels were just too small and didn’t give me the look that I needed.   So, I took a small piece of vinyl and hole punched four stars in a row, then placed them on the painted blue section and used a small paint brush to make the stars.

The material of the bag is also tricky to work with. You have to be patient and take your time when applying the paint otherwise the stencil will move around on you.  The stars gave me the most trouble until I pulled out my star hole punch and used vinyl instead of card stock.  The stickiness of the vinyl really helped with keeping the stars in place just long enough for me to paint. If you’re better at free hand then I would suggest trying to paint the stars that way rather than using a stencil.  I also found that using various sizes of paint brushes was easier and more detailed than using a stenciling brush when applying the paint.

The final step was adding a cute blue button to the bag so it would close.

After little set backs here and there, they all melted away when my youngest son came into the room and said “Mom, that looks awesome!”

I had a lot of fun recreating my own American flag tote bag and I love how it turned out. But, if you don’t want to hassle with stenciling on wicker, then I would suggest buying a plain canvas tote bag from your local craft store and stencil a flag on that.  It will be just as cute!

Project price break down:

  • Tote $3.99
  • Stencil reg. $10.99/$5.50 (I used a 50% off coupon)
  • Paint – already had
  • Button $4.95
  • Elastic $2.49
  • Brushes – already had
  • Star hole punch – already had
  • Painters tape – already had
  • Vinyl – already had

Total cost: $16.93 + tax

Here are a few more pics of the final project.

thrifted, beach bag, patriotic, hand bag

DIY American Flag Tote Bag

bag, beach, american, flag, diy

diy, flag, beach, tote

I hope this DIY project inspires you to make your own fun American flag tote bag that you can use for years to come!

Thanks so much for stopping by and feel free to leave me any questions or comments.

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