DIY Monogrammed Market Tote

Today, we’re sharing how simple it is to make a DIY Monogrammed Market Tote you can take with you to the farmer’s market or use in lieu of plastic bags at your local grocery store!

Shortly before the new year began, my family and I were discussing our Word of the Year and goals we were excited to tackle.  As with many of our conversations, we started talking about a goal we could work to achieve as a family.

We tossed around several different ideas that a wide range of ages (almost 4 to almost 70) would be able to participate in, both together and independently, before finally settling on working to cut our use of plastics.

Ironically, I had just watched a documentary on how plastics are affecting the worlds bird and sea animal population.  Let me just tell you, it was haunting.  Not to be graphic, but after the birds die the park service does an autopsy to identify the cause of death. I was shocked at the number of random items, some of which we use daily, that were found in the stomachs of these birds.

Since then, we’ve been looking for plastic alternatives for everything from single use straws to sandwich bags to food storage containers.  I don’t expect us to be perfect.  I think we’re all pretty realistic about just how many every day products we use that are made from plastic.  That said, we know we could be doing more.

One of the easiest ways to limit the use of plastics is to stop bringing home plastic bags from the grocery store. So, we’ve been on the hunt for market totes and reusable grocery bags that suit our different lifestyles.  We literally created this version in just a few simple steps!

Here’s a look at all the supplies you’ll need and the steps to take in case you want to make one too…

DIY Monogrammed Market Tote Supplies:

  • Jute Market Tote (canvas would be good too)
  • Large Alphabet Letters
  • Fabric Craft Paint (choose your favorite color or one that complements your market tote)
  • Craft Paint Brush and/or Stencil Brush
  • Ruler
  • Permanent Marker (optional)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Piece of Cardboard (to protect the inside of your market tote from paint)
  • Tarp (to protect your surfaces)

DIY Monogrammed Market Tote Steps:

Step 1:We found this zippered jute tote with sturdy handles at Hobby Lobby.  It’s coated on the inside which should make cleaning up any spills super easy.

Step 2: We wanted to customize this DIY market tote a bit, so of course, we had to monogram it by using these large alphabet letters which you can find at your local craft supply store.

Step 3:Lay a tarp down to protect your surfaces from the fabric craft paint.

Step 4:Center your letter or full monogram in the middle of the market tote and secure in place with painter’s tape.  I’m making this one to go with my Mom’s other birthday gifts.

Step 5:Layer a piece of cardboard on the inside of the market tote to protect it against craft paint bleed through.

Step 6:Depending on the material of your stencils you can either brush the fabric craft paint in a circular motion directly onto the market tote

Step 7:OR you can carefully outline the letter with a permanent marker and fill in the letter with the fabric craft paint and a fine detail art brush.

Step 8:Allow the craft paint to dry completely on your DIY Market Tote. I’ve used several different craft paints now and some say allow to air dry 24 hours before “heat setting” the fabric paint with a dry iron using a pressing cloth. All that is to say, make sure you read the directions on the back of your craft paint bottle very carefully and follow all instructions when you’re doing this project.


Step 9: I mean, super simple but totally cute, right?

Now, I know some of you are probably busy moms and professionals, so you might not have time to create a DIY Market Tote like this, but you’re still interested in helping your family create small changes that make a big difference for the planet like reusable grocery bags.

Here are a few environmentally friendly ideas to consider from Amazon…Afffiliate links have been provided for your convenience. You can read our full disclosure policy here)

Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wraps (use in place of plastic wrap or sandwich bags)

Reusable Produce Bags (set of 12) (use in place of plastic produce bags at the grocery store)

Stainless Steel To-Go Mug (use in place of plastic water bottles and to-go cups) 

Organic Canvas & Jute Reusable Shopping Bags (use in place of plastic grocery bags)

Reusable/Foldable Grocery Bags (use in place of plastic grocery bags)

Glass Food Containers with Bamboo Lids (use in place of plastic or Styrofoam food storage containers)

Poo Poo Bags for Dogs (use in place of plastic grocery bags)

Stainless Steel Straws with Carrying Case & Brush (use in place of single use plastic straws)

Wide Mouth Ball Jars (just remember to weigh the jar before you fill it with bulk nuts, dried fruit or cereals)

I can’t wait to give this DIY Market Tote to my Mom this weekend and to see how our family progresses limiting and reducing our use of plastics throughout the year. It seems a bit overwhelming right now but as with any goal, small steps lead to big changes and we’re all up for the challenge.

If you want to find out more about how plastics area affecting the oceans and wildlife, check out this post from the National Park Service. Read this post on the Be Straw Free Campaign if you’re ready to start small and limit or reduce your use of plastic straws. A big shout out to my fellow Floridians in Fort Myers for helping to lead the way when it comes to reducing single use plastic straws!

Do you have any tips on how we can go plastic free at the grocery store? We’d love to hear about them!

See you guys back here tomorrow. We’re getting ready head out for our annual birthday celebration trip, but I’ll share scenes from our week, what’s on our menu, and all of our favorite things from around the web. Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. Pat Schwartze says:

    I’ve been using mesh bags for a few months now for my produce. The stores don’t mind and I’ve actually been thanked for bringing my own bags!
    May I ask where Crowned Goat is located. What is,and. I live in Fort Myers and would like to know if you are in the same area.. just curious.
    I love this blog!

    1. That is so exciting to hear, Pat, thanks so much for letting us know about your experience with the mesh produce bags. We are excited to use them too. I haven’t been able to find any bags for the meat section yet so let us know if you come across any. We’re located just outside of Jacksonville in North Florida. You live in such a beautiful area. I swear you guys have the side of Florida with the prettiest water! Hope your weekend is a happy one, CoCo

  2. This tote is really cute. I can’t believe how easy to was to make too. I usually use those cloth bags they give out for free at various events my husband attends but I love would to have a matching set that I could “grab and go” to the grocery store and not feel like I am a walking advertisement. Thanks for the additional resources too

    1. Oh my gosh, Sarah, I know exactly what you mean! I have so many of those too. I’m glad you like this tote. It was super easy to make and you can monogram it anyway you want or even add additional graphics. Just make sure your stencils are good quality and sturdy and you’ll be good to go. Hugs, CoCo

  3. I hope your Mom didnt read this post today, Coco. That bag is great. Thanks for the gentle nudge to be more aware of what we’re using and consuming this year. I needed it.

    1. Aww you’re sweet to think of that, Bonnie, thank you! I told her that post was coming up and she loved the bag. She’s pretty easy to shop for so I’m glad she’s excited to use it. You are more than welcome for the information. I can’t believe how long I’ve been an uninformed consumer too, it’s crazy. Let’s hold each other accountable, ok? Hugs, CoCo

  4. Love this Coco, I’ll be making one too.

    1. That’s awesome Jess! Can’t wait to see how it turns out. Hugs, CoCo

  5. CoCo – OMG – this tote bag is cute, cute, cute! The Bees have and use the bee reusable food wraps…and love them! Thanks so much for bringing awareness to this ongoing issue! Much love!

  6. Love this tote CoCo. It is sad how much we as consumers use. I have been setting items on the counter before I throw them away and coming up with new ways to use items so they do not end up in the landfill. I wish we could go back to the days of using glass, and having glass recycling centers. I recall as a child being so excited for some reason to get to go and drop off our glass. It was something I really enjoyed, I think the biggest reason was because I was such a curious child and I wanted to see what they were doing, ha! I would carry this as a purse too… I decided a few years ago the expensive designer bags weren’t my thing anymore, and tend to pick out what my sister calls odd creations to carry. LOL! Have a wonderful week!

  7. What a neat and wonderful idea to use and make as a gift./
    I visited you via Tuesday Turn About #200 Party Celebration
    If you are not already part of SSPS, this is a personal invite to hop over and come and share your posts with us at Senior Salon Pit Stop, every Monday to Saturday.
    See my entries: 124+125 and then navigate to the bottom of my page for the Senior Salon Pit Stop linkup, we hope to meet you there virtually.

  8. I LOVE This project, CoCo!!! What an amazing idea and so easy!! I 1000% percent agree with you on taking care of the environment!! Anything re-usable is the way to go. Pinned! Thanks so much for sharing at Home Imagined this week, friend!

  9. Hi CoCo – Here in NY, plastic bags from grocery stores have been banned. So we are all forced to bring “reusable” bags to the grocery store or pay for using paper bags. I love this idea because you could create a series of bags for your Mom. Even if you monogrammed numbers on the canvas bags to identify them. Thanks for sharing another great idea on the Home Imagined link party.

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