Get ready for summer fun! The perfect tote can help you stay organized and bring items home from your summer adventures. Pack a picnic, go to the beach, check out the farmer’s market or attend a festival with your new tote from your local Goodwill NCW.

Check out these three DIY ideas that you can use to easily transform your thrifted find into your ideal tote, with items from Goodwill NCW.

upcycled summer rolling tote

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Rolling tote

Are you going to be doing a lot of walking? The rolling tote is a great way to lessen your load! You can recreate this look by strapping a sturdy cloth backpack or big basket to a shopping cart dolly. If you use a basket, try to find a tall one with a flat back.

Backpack tote

It’s easy to convert a stylish bag or basket into a backpack tote by adding backpack straps. Check out this video tutorial that demonstrates how to add back straps to a cloth bag with a little extra fabric, metal rectangles and sliders.

Want extra protection? Add a cinch cover to the top of your bag to prevent items from disappearing. Tune in to this video at 19:58 for instructions. Just be sure you measure out two pieces of fabric as wide as your bag.

For those who’d rather make a basket pack, all you need is a long basket that fits your back (tall/thin is best) and three leather belts. Watch these instructions at 48:08 to learn how to fit the straps to your pack.

upcycled summer backpack tote


upcycled hanging tote

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Hanging tote

If strollers or wheelchairs will be along on your outing, consider making your own hanging tote. Look for a bag at Goodwill NCW similar to the width of your stroller, with straps that already fit the handles. Otherwise, it’s easy to sew your own straps to a thrifted bag (start this video at 3:20).

There are chic accessories on the market to replace the long shoulder strap on a bag and make it easy to hang, including leather stroller straps, carabiners and clips. Just attach them through the D rings, pictured here.

Whether you find the perfect thrifted bag that’s ready to use at Goodwill NCW or you need to make some quick alterations, your tote is sure to be one-of-a-kind! Once you’re done with your tote project, you can be on your way.