Easy DIY project turns your canvas bag into a fashionable zebra print tote

Nov 30, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. ET
Image: Erin Francois/SheKnows

Tote bags are handy for everything from hauling groceries to toting warm weather gear in the winter. But just because they're functional doesn't mean they have to boring, right?

When it comes to style, animal prints like zebra and leopard are neutrals in my book because they work with so many different looks. So why not add a bit of gilded animal print to those boring totes? Ten bucks + one hour is all you need.

Zebra print tote project
Image: Teresa Condella, Image provided by Erin Francois/SheKnows

fashionable zebra print tote
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

More: DIY a chic oversized tote from a rug

fashionable zebra print tote
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images


fashionable zebra print tote: Materials
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

  • Plain white canvas tote bag
  • Metallic gold fabric paint
  • Small paint brush such as a 1/8-inch brush
  • Metallic gold paint pen, fine point
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Iron


Step 1.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 1
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Pull the tote out of its packaging, and run a hot iron over it to work out any creases.

Step 2.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 2
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Next, draw a vertical pencil line straight down the center of the front of the tote.

Step 3.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 3
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Then find a zebra pattern image online to use as your inspiration guide, or use my bag's pattern as the guide. Begin at the top of the bag, and begin freehand drawing the zebra pattern using your inspiration image as the guide. Work your way down to the bottom of the bag until the entire face of the bag is covered in zebra stripes. The beauty of zebra stripes is that they're very organic and irregular so you really can't mess it up!

Step 4.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 4
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Outline your pencil stripes from Step 3 with the metallic gold paint pen, including the center vertical line. This step should go relatively quick, as it's just tracing!

Step 5.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 5
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Paint inside the gold pen lines with metallic gold paint. Add a bit of irregularity to the center vertical line too with a little paint. Give the paint about 10 minutes to dry.

Step 6.

fashionable zebra print tote: Step 6
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images

Last but not least, add a stripe to the tote handles. Start by outlining the stripe with the paint pen, and then fill in with gold paint. Allow to dry and tote away!

fashionable zebra print tote: Finished
Image: Erin Francois/Getty Images