$12 DIY- Summer Straw Tote

Hello West Main Followers,

I am so excited to share today’s post with you!  No sewing required, takes minimal time, very little money, and it’s the perfect way to upgrade your summer accessory game.

Work has me traveling throughout the week with a quick 2 days at home before heading out for another traveling week.  With so little down time at home, I haven’t had the change to start, or finish, any home decor projects.

What I did have time for was whipping up a fun summer tote bag that came together so quick it was ready to use when I left Sunday for my work week in New Mexico.

If you haven’t been following summer fashion, the “it” bag for the summer season is a straw tote.  The variety is endless, ranging from neutral earthy tones to bright punchy colors adorned with pom poms or tassel fringe.  Below are a few of my favorites I have been eyeing…Splurge3Splurge1Splurge2While I have been known to spend wayyy more than I should on a handbag, I find it hard to spend much on a seasonal bag that will be used only 3, maybe 4 months of the year.

Lucky for me, a close friend was cleaning out closets in preparation for a move and dropped off this cute straw tote.  She knows I love flamingoes, and thought I would love the hot pink, flamingo dotted interior.plainbaglinerIt is the perfect size to carry as an everyday bag, or a small beach tote.  I couldn’t wait to jazz it up with some color and inspiration from the beautiful bags I have been seeing in stores and online.

The best part of this project is how simple and inexpensive it is.  Minus paint drying time, I spent about 2 hours completing the tote.  Total cost was a whopping $12!  Now remember I was given the straw bag to start with which helped keep the cost down, but you can find an inexpensive one like mine quite easily.  I would suggest starting at resale shops or a craft store like JoAnn’s or Michaels.

Ready to tackle this DIY on your own?  Below is a supplies list and a step by step tutorial with pictures to guide you through the process!

$12 DIY- Summer Straw Tote Tutorial

Supplies you will need:

  • Plain straw tote of your choosing
  • 1 can spray paint in your color choice
  • 1 can clear sealer spray paint (optional)
  • Painters tape & plastic grocery bag
  • 1 yard pom pom trim (Measurement will vary depending on the size of your tote.  Take the bag with you when buying trim and wrap it around the top to ensure you  buy enough.)
  • 1 tube E-6000 glue (Works SO much better than fabric glue!)
  • 6-8 mini binder clips
  • Fabric scissors
  • Any additional pom poms or tassels you wish to adorn your tote with.

Step 1:  Decide how tall the painted stripe should be across the bottom of your tote.   Using painters tape, tape off a line where the paint will stop.tapeline

Step 2:  To ensure spray paint does not end up anywhere on the upper portion of your tote, insert the top half the your tote into a disposable grocery bag.  For the record, Meijer is not a sponsor of this post, it just happened to be the first grocery bag I could find.  🙂

Once your tote is inside the grocery bag, use the painters tape to secure the grocery bag to the painter’s tape line already placed.  This will protect the upper portion of the tote from excess paint.topcover

Step 3: I placed my tote on a post which allowed me to paint an even coat on all sides. I recommend two light coats and allow plenty of dry time between coats.

*Optional Step* Because I am really hard on purses, I chose to apply a spray on acrylic clear coat sealer once my paint dried. The sealer will protect the paint job and keep it looking bright and shiny throughout it’s use in the summer sun.paintingstick

Step 4:  Because the DIY professionals of Pinterest do not share enough of these DIY mishaps, Step 4 is a lesson in what NOT to do.  If you are propping your tote on a post to paint evenly, do not let it sit unattended on a breezy day.  I walked away for a second only to turn and see my freshly painted tote lying on the ground, with a coat of grass clippings embedded in the paint.

If this happens, pick out all the pieces you can, then let the paint dry.  The smaller clippings come right off with a hair dryer set to cool.

Hopefully you can learn from my mistake and skip this step!grass

Step 5: Once the painted portion of your tote has dried, it is on to adding your trim!  I just loved this multi color pom pom trim I found at Hobby Lobby.  In regards to fun trims and notions, Hobby Lobby has become my go to.  Their selection updates every couple of weeks and they have a much wider variety than many of the other craft stores I frequently shop.

In this step you will need your trim, fabric scissors, a few binder clips(minis work best), and a tube of E-6000 glue.  If you have never used E-6000 glue, your crafting game is about to change for the better!  This is hands down the best glue I have found for crafting and DIY. It dries quickly, dries clear, and holds up far longer than any hot glue or fabric glue I have used in the past.suppliesStarting at the back side of the purse, place a few beads of glue across 1″ of the opening edge of your tote.  Place one end of your trim onto the glue and press firmly.  Next place a binder clip on the glued down trim.  Repeat this process along the entire edge of the tote opening.  My binder clips are too close in the picture below– spacing them every 4-5″ is plenty to firmly secure the trim.

When you reach your starting point, overlap the trim so that your last edge glues down on top of the trim where you started.  The overlap gives a cleaner finish than trying to make the edges meet up.  If you have excess trim, cut closely to the finished edge.  Here I place a little glue on my fingertip and dab it onto the cut edge to prevent any fraying.trimming

The glue will dry within an hour, and your new summer tote is complete!  finishedproductIMG_3069

For those of you DIYers up to the challenge, I would love to see photos of your own summer straw tote creations!  Please share comments below or email me photos of your finished product!


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