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DIY Photo Tote For That Perfect Gift

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DIY Photo Tote For That Perfect Gift

DIY Photo Tote

By Contributing writer Laura.

A simple, inexpensive and practical gift for that person who has everything is this DIY Photo Tote.

As we head into Thanksgiving I will be seeing my Aunt who just turned 60 and is wheelchair bound.  As a matter of fact, this picture is one of the handful of times she actually stood in her entire life.  Since we have filled her assisted living facility room with pictures and canvases over the years, I though this would be a great gift.  I’m not even sure if she has ever seen this picture as I scanned it from my fathers pile of old photos.  This project is great for everyone from grandparents to school aged kids but in my case it is PERFECT so that my Aunt Janice can hang this from her wheelchair and remember this happy moment!

Supplies Needed:

Tote (or pillowcase, shirt, etc)

Lesley Rileys Transfer Artist Paper

Printer & Ink

Iron/Ironing pad or board


Step 1: Find the perfect image on your computer.  Place transfer paper so that the image prints on the white side.  Lesley Riley makes it easy and keeps the iron side purple!  If  you are using a picture that has writing,  you will need to reverse the picture before printing.  Print picture.

Step 2:  Place the image on the item. With an iron on a HOT setting, iron transfer paper purple side up onto item.  You will have to go over the paper many times with pressure.  In this project I used a rough texture bag which required more heat and more pressure.  This is not the PERFECT material for this project, a cotton bag would definitely transfer the photo much better.  I however love all things old and rustic looking!


Step 3: When you feel the paper is ready, peel an edge.  If the image has not “taken” you may want to iron a bit more, depends on the look you are going for!  You need to pull the paper up while it is still HOT, use tweezers if necessary. As you can see in the picture below, I left ALOT of ink on my transfer paper due to the texture of the tote~ consider a cotton material if this is not acceptable to you.


Step 4: You are done!  How easy was that!!! You can flip the item over and add another picture or pictures.  The best thing about this project is that the totes were (3) for $8.99 minus a Hobby Lobby Coupon and a small expense for the transfer paper (I buy in bulk).  This entire project/gift costs me maybe $2.50 after using my HL Coupon.  I am SURE she will love it and cherish it for years to come!  Lesley Riley suggests turning any items inside out to wash and to make sure you use plenty of heat while iron transfer so the garment/item is nice and set!  Lesley Riley also has FABULOUS tutorials on you tube~ LOTS of possibilities!!