Welcome to Atelier Kaori’s DIY lesson class! Today, we’re gonna DIY initial bag!

This is the most easiest way to personalize your garments, goods.


DIY Initial Bag

A initial bag is fashionable. But people has same bag when they has same initial.

And almost initial bags that sold are all similar design. So DIY initial bag and get more personalized one!


That’s economical, easy, and challengeable, interesting, and finally you would get very much satisfaction.

This is the easiest way you put on your initial on goods.


DIY Initial bag – Preparation

I go gym and I bought my gym bag at a store called “3 coins”.

If you live in Japan, you may seen people has the same bag thousand times…

Yes it was very cheap (about $3) and everybody have. And now getting rugged. So I want a new and more better one.

Now I’m gonna make my initial tote bag.


Materials for DIY initial bag…..


1.Initial Clipart You Want to Use

Needless to say, you need an initial clipart!

I am a cat craze, and made it for new bag. This cat’s model is Rug Doll. I have never had this cat ever so one of my dream cat.

I combined cat and my initial K. And Initial color is matching to bag’s color. 

Isn’t it cool??

This clipart doesn’t match for “gym” bag??? Ohhh….If it is true, I don’t care!

I made this initial motif with this very cute watercolor cat clipart

Fluffy Cat – Clipart from Atelier Kaori on Etsy

And striped paper is from

Striped Digital Paper #cool -Digital Paper from Atelier Kaori on Etsy

You can choice everything that capable to printing on the sheet. You can buy a clipart, or paint by yourself, or your pics are also nice.

Sadly the print sheet is very easy to peel, so illustrations must have background. Complicated cutting is not suitable.

I’ll show you bad example later.

At the first, print your clipart on usual copy paper, and check its size for the bag.



Those print sheets that I have showed, need higher heat (around 140°C, 240°F) to transfer to bag.

So bag must be bearable for iron heat, like 100% cotton or linen.

I bought a cotton canvas tote at Japanese most popular and reasonable cloths shop UNIQLO.

Very simple and reasonable (about $20), and has water proof coating at bottom.

I think flat and very simple bag as this tote bag is easy to iron on transfer.


 3.Print Sheet    

I bought this inkjet iron-on transfer sheets(left), including 2 A4 size sheets, about $9.

Very easy to use, and washable!

One of similar American products is

Avery InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers / Amazon

This is for dark colored products. If you want to transfer white or pale tone colored products,

you may choice this

Avery T-shirt Transfers for Inkjet Printers for light-colored / Amazon

This would be thinner rather than for dark colors.

I want this iron on transfer paper for light colored. But in Japan I could not find same thing anywhere…

I don’t know why… 🙁

And Avery home page is


If you cannot find their products links for amazon, check their homepage.

Avery has free design tools, templates, and tutorial videos. Check them out it would help you.


Don’t forget to read your print sheet’s information!

If it says different from what I say, do it along your sheet’s information.

And print sheet for “dark colored” contains a “paper”, but don’t throw it to trash!

You need it when fix a clipart on a bag with an iron.

(If you have for “light colored”, it doesn’t contain the paper. Fixing is a little bit different)


And, if you want to transfer for polyester clothes, you need to buy a print sheets for polyester. Not above.

Because polyester’s color would be run to the sheet when fixing it with iron heat.

So I recommend cotton or linen 100%. They are easy to handle.


And, before printing on the print sheet, do test printing on a paper.

Check the color and illustration’s shape, color,and size.


Tools for DIY initial bag

These are ordinary tools that everyone have. It’s handmade friendly!

1.Iron and some larger space

Needless to say, iron-on transfer sheet cannot be fixed without iron.

And then you need an iron board too.

but more larger and fixed place rather than iron board, like a dining table top is the best.

Because you need to push the transfer sheet with all of your weight.

If you do it on the desk, you should place some clothes to make a cushion like an iron board.

I use iron board, it was too small and shaken with my pressure.



2.Inkjet Printer  

You know inkjet print is easy to run with water. 

Formerly, iron-on transfer sheets were razor printer only. Not handmade friendly.  

But now, very oddly (for me) , print sheet can be printed with personal inkjet printer, and can be washed even! 

Very easy to do!


Mine is very old Canon inkjet printer (MP 460), 4 color inks. 6 colors is more better.

Check your printer’s ink type. Almost printers adopt dye ink.

If your printer adopt pigment ink,it’s not good to do this.

Finished preparation? Then let’s go to next page and put a sheet on the bag