Beach tote from old paintings

March 22, 2014

So, I guess I don’t have enough to do with organising the house for Eugenia to take over while I’m in Mexico, and besides, I’m not leaving till this afternoon and I needed an excuse to spend more time with my flowers, I decided to make myself a beach tote to take to Mexico with me.


Now I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and finally got around to it. I have a collection of old paintings. Either ones I’ve painted which I no longer love, or thrift shop finds, (because I get some idea or other in my head). In this case, because, as usual I have very little idea of what I’m doing or how it’s going to turn out, I used two thrift shop finds and leather straps from a thrift shop purse, (which was bought for the straps and purse was recycled.)

Total cost: seriously under $10.

Ran the paintings past C and we both liked a West Coast mountain one and a rich Mexican colours one. A sort of yin-yang balance.

040 copy copy

I’m sure you all know that my sewing skills are very limited by now, but a basic tote pattern is easy as pie and there are loads of how-tos out there. I winged it somewhat. No paper pattern, very few straight lines, and my wonderful little Bernina sewing machine chugged away straining a little to get thru the thicker parts of the canvas, but I managed.

C and I took turns sewing the handles back on by hand. The wonderful thing about re-purposing leather is that someone probably already made convenient holes in it for you. 😀

044 copy copy

And, so here you are, our wonderful new beach tote is all ready.

048 copy copy

I’m glad I used cheap thrift store paintings because all paintings aren’t made the same and all canvas isn’t the same either.

The thick, chalky “Mexican” side is sturdier canvas and a better quality of paint and didn’t peel or crack, (although some of the heavy bits did break off), but the “West Coast” side was probably painted with thin acrylics and maybe not a great quality, and in the turning right side out, a lot of the paint powdered and fell off.

047 copy copy

Not that that bothers us in the slightest. We love the well used/aged/loved to death look, and want this tote to show its wear and tear.

Next stop: THE BEACH! 😀

C model

Ok, one more shot of those amazing flowers before we go. 😀

033 copy copy

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Christie March 22, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    What a great tote! Have a wonderful time on your trip!!

    • Reply Veronica March 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Thank you so much Christie. I totally plan on it. 😀

  • Reply woolf March 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    terrific! i hope you are lying on the beach there, as i’m freezin’ my sunday b** off here… ;)))
    thxs for your word on how kids can be a pain… seriously? 33? and still troubled? oh dearie…..

    • Reply Veronica March 23, 2014 at 5:14 pm

      Oh I will, believe me. Well, to tell the truth, Jonathan isn’t the handful he once was…but still a worry. 😀

  • Reply diane March 23, 2014 at 3:10 am

    What a great idea! You will have to experiment with this idea a bit more so paint won’t fall off and I’ll bet you could even sell some… as if you aren’t already busy enough.. xox Have fun soaking up that Mexican sunshine!

    • Reply Veronica March 23, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you so much Diane. I think that oil paintings will probably grip the canvas better that acrylics. But honestly, this is so dead easy to make that anyone can do it. 😀

  • Reply dawnsrays March 23, 2014 at 3:24 am

    What an eye-popping, original bag!! woman, you are amazing!!
    Have a great time in Mexico !! yay for vacations WOOPIE

    • Reply Veronica March 23, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Aw, thank you sweetie. 😀

  • Reply slpuckett March 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    Yay! I saw you working on this on Facebook, and I’m excited it turned out awesome for you!

    • Reply Veronica March 25, 2014 at 12:31 am

      It’s a good one, isn’t it? 😀

  • Reply daryledelstein March 24, 2014 at 6:23 am

    you are SO clever … if you want to preserve the crumbling side i think there’s some fixative you can sort of brush on a light form of shellac …

    • Reply Veronica March 25, 2014 at 12:30 am

      Thank you so much Daryl. I don’t think I’ll bother with any preservation tries; it’s just so easy to make another one when I get sick of this one. 😀

  • Reply Sara v March 24, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Have a wonderful beach trip!! You are so clever using painting canvas for those bags–I love them!! 🙂

    • Reply Veronica March 25, 2014 at 12:28 am

      Oh thank you so much Sara. 🙂

  • Reply Renee March 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    Wow, wonderful idea for using old canvases! Beautiful flowers and tote! Enjoy your trip!

  • Leave a Reply