15 Ways to Reuse Canvas Bags

Published On January 8, 2015

Canvas is in. The canvas tote bag, whether handmade or bought, has a versatility all of its own. It’s the trend setter this summer, don’t be seen without one! Forget formal accessories, the natural, recycled look is here. It’s time to get upcycled. Canvas totes are so easy to throw over your shoulder, and when not in use they can simply be rolled up or folded to fit nicely into your pocket. If you need more than one, throw a few extra into the tote and pull them out as and when required. You never know what your day may bring.

There are so many uses and no doubt you can always add more to the list. Here are a few:

Beach day

A handy way to carry your swimwear, sunscreen, towel, book, and bottle of water. That’s all you need for a day in the sun.

Shopping trips

As much as possible, use sustainable bags rather than plastic. Take a few along to the supermarket and use them to carry your shopping home.

Carry-on luggage

This is all you need at the airport and when you travel. A handy way to carry the small things on the plane – your ticket, a book, jumper, and maybe a few sweets!


No need to lug books around. Use your canvas tote for the books and magazines you borrow and return from the library.

Replace your handbag

This summer, choose a more relaxed and casual look. Replace your handbag with a canvas bag that’s light and easily fits your wallet, keys, sunglasses, and a few obligatory tissues.

Plastic bag storage

Simply hang a canvas bag in the kitchen to collect all those plastic bags from the supermarket for re-use. Bring recycling to the fore.

Car storage

Use a canvas bag for all the odd bits and pieces that you have lying in the car. Throw them all in a tote and keep it in the back seat, boot, or dashboard of your car.

Farmers market

Use natural to buy natural. It might get a little dirty, however that lived in and used look adds a special charm to the bag, too. Use your canvas tote to carry fruit, herbs, and vegies home from the farmers market.

Hobby tote

Do you knit, play scrabble, or like crossword puzzles? Use your canvas tote to keep all your hobby materials together. When you are ready for some fun, you know exactly where to go.

Kid’s toys

A great place to store your children’s toys is in a tote. Each child can have one of their own that they use at home or when away. Teach children to put away their own toys in the bag, and let them enjoy the fun of having their own bag of toys to take with them when travelling or going on play dates.

First aid kit

Create your own kit with some antiseptic, band aids, bandages, scissors, and a fire blanket.

Christmas decorations

Trying to find where you’ve put the Christmas decorations every year gets tiring. Use a canvas tote for all your Christmas decorations so that they’re kept in one spot. If you want to add some creative flair, you can even sew some festive designs onto the front of the bag.

You can also use a canvas tote instead of a Christmas stocking. Fill it to the brim with presents. The bag is another gift in itself.


Take a tote with you for all the goodies you and the children buy at the Easter show. You can also use it for any sporting event, festival, or conference you attend. Canvas bags are perfect for holding the unexpected items you end up with.


When you have a pile of clothes that you want to donate to charity, the tote is an easy way to store and carry them. You might want to give the bag away as part of the donation too!


Canvas totes make for an easy way to sort your recycling. Hang one for papers, another for plastic, one for tin, and finally one for glass.