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How To Make A Personalized Tote Bag For Profit

Updated on February 21, 2013

Personalized Tote Bag

I've been in the tote bag industry for about two years now, and I have to say, it can be a lucrative business with great side income. The idea of making Tote bags came to me one day when I was out looking for a particular tote bag with various jazz artist displayed on them, such as Billie Holiday and Miles Davis. I searched all over the place, I even looked for hours on the internet, when I couldn't find the items, I decided to make my very own personalized tote bag . At first I made the bag for myself, after wearing it to the grocery store and places like Barnes and Nobles, Starbucks, etc, my personalized tote bag was getting a lot of attention. People would stop me and say, "hey, where did you get that bag". When I told people I made It myself, they would then go on to proceed to ask me, if I could make them a tote bag, and how much would I charge. Well that started me thinking, maybe I should sale my home made totes for profit. I love being creative and making beautiful things, I have turned a hobby into steady side income and you can do the same as well, here are things you will need to get stared in making a personalized tote bag for profit.

A Picture or image: You can use a picture that you have taken your self, or you can use your very own art work, or you can find an image on the web, remember you want to look for pictures that are freely licensed or public domain or fair use. Note that some older pictures are free to use because there were no copy right laws for pictures or images in the early 1900s . If you have friends with talent, artist, painters or drawers have them do a twist on an image you may already have your heart set on. Make sure the picture is 400 megapixel or larger, this will make it easier to blow the picture up to at least a 11 X 8 or bigger, anything smaller will blurr, and the picture will have bad quality. You will need software like Picasa 3 , this a free download , this software makes it easy to scan and resize pictures easily. A Printer/scanner with colored and black ink: You will need a printer with scanner option, to scan the photo into your computer so it can be printed on Iron on paper, HP has iron-on paper and can be purchased at Target and other stores, there are also some off brand iron- on paper that are cheaper, but remember, you want to make a good quality bag, do not shoot for the cheap stuff first. You will also need a warm iron , do not get the iron to hot, this will result in holes in your image and will destroy the design, I had to learn that the hard way. Peel the image off the iron-on paper, place it on your bag, place the protector film over it, which comes with the iron-on paper and glide the warm iron over it, keep doing it until your image is secure to the bag.


Tote Bags and designs

You Will need to buy blank tote bags , they can be purchased from Johann Fabrics ,Hobby Lobby or Walmart store's . There are also lots of internet sites that sale blank tote bags, make sure the Tote bag is good quality, Usually 100% cotton are the best, one blank tote bag should run you about $1-$2 dollars, sometimes hobby lobby has sales, and you can buy 5 tote bags for about $3 dollars. Buying on the internet in large quantities can save you money as well. Make sure your tote is about 15w X 15L or bigger . Buy different colors for variety, everyone does not want a tan bag. Add beautiful colorful jewels and studs to your bag to make them pop, also add fabric glitter where needed. I'm a big lace fan, so I tend to add lace to my bags, as shown in the Billie holiday in red above, with black lace bottom and gold studs surrounding the flower in her hair. I also love colorful jewels, which I placed on the lining of the out side of the blue bag and also around the flower in her hair, showed here to this picture. To get the jewels and studs on the bag, you will need a jeweler or bedazzler which can be purchased online or at Hobby Lobby stores.


Advertising And Marketing

Now that your bag is finished you want to sale it. Think of a name for your line of bags, the name for my line of bags is called Jazz Bags , the name of my company is called 3 free spirits, so my label is Jazz bags by 3 free spirits . Think of something catchy and unique be different. Wear your own product, this is a great and free way to advertise your own personalized tote bag, Wear them to your kids soccer practice, other moms will inquire and want to know where you got the bag from. Wear them to work, the grocery store,etc. Business cards , have a business card ready and available for inquiries about your bag, Cheap business cards, can be bought online at Vistiprints for a good price. Online marketing, i s the best and free site to post your beautiful bags. The site is a marketplace for homemade and hand crafted products to sale, set up an online store with esty and sale your products, esty takes a small percentage of each sale for using there site, this site will allow you to take credit cards through pay pal. Tips for esty , only sale products you have already made, trying to make products when people request them, can become time consuming and expensive, make the product first, post it, sale it. Some times depending on how much detail you have put into a bag, and depending on size, these bags can be sold anywhere from $30-$100 dollars. My first sale on Esty didn't happen overnight, it toke about 6 months to make my first sale, but after that, orders have been coming in steadily and around Christmas time, I was actually swamped!! If you love being creative and want to start a small side business,then I hope this blog has helped and gives you some great idea's for your very own personalized tote bag for profit venture.

Reminder list Of Things You Will Need

A Picture, 400 mega pixels or better
Printer With Internet Access
Tote Bags and Jewels
Iron On Sheets
Computer/ LapTop
You can use a picture that you have taken yourself
Make sure you have black Ink
Blank Tote Bags
Hp Iron on sheets
Software like Picasa 3, it's free
Find a picture that is freely licensed
Make sure You have colored Ink
size 15w by 15L or bigger
warm iron
You can use a picture that is public domain, free copyrights
Cotton Canvas
all color totes


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    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 5 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      Yes there wonderful bags, ;-) thank you

    • rainpurplewine profile image

      Elizabeth 5 years ago from ATLANTA,Ga is a great website. These are impressive bags. I will be sure to look for them on that site.