DIY Tote Bag: Chicago Neighborhood Map

Canvas tote bags are the new black. The environmentally conscious urban dweller would rather be caught dead than stroll out of Whole Foods without their reusable shopping bag.


The explosion of the tote bag market has brought some rad city map renderings on canvas. So you can represent where you were, are or want to be. Maptote has an awesome Chicago and Pittsburgh version.

As cool as they are, I wanted to make something more personalized as a gift for my mom. So I sketched a Chicago map of places my parents and I visited on their last visit to Chi-town.

Chicago Map Sketch

After I was happy with the image, I took the JPEG file to FedEx Kinko's and asked them to make it a transparency.


Then we took the transparency and exposed it to a screen in Rich's printing studio.


This is the almost-final result. I hated the straps on the original canvas bag, so I removed them and sewed something a little more stylish on.



  1. This is awesome. You are so talented. You should sell these things. Or make a Pittsburgh one. I'd buy it. :)

  2. Hi, A New Bloom!

    I just stumbled on your blog, and was so smitten, so I wanted to touch base about a potential way we could work together!

    My name is Suzy, and I work for The Brand Market, a new business recently launched in November by Anna Liesemeyer, blogger behind In Honor of Design. It’s a one-day workshop to give creative entrepreneurs what they need to help their brand stand out among the rest.

    At each workshop, we hope to give every attendee a swag bag of select goodies from shops we love and feel have a great example of excellent branding. We are seeking a few more sponsors for the upcoming Chicago workshop and thought these Chicago Totes are perfect totes for "housing" all of our other donated goods at our upcoming event.

    The workshop will take place on August 2nd, and we would need a total 25 totes donated for our amazing swag-bags.

    In return for being a Market Tote/Swag Bag sponsor, we can offer you the following:

    + Anna will be dedicating a post to feature the sites who contributed on IHOD {which receives 180,000+ unique page views per month}.
    + Sending shout outs through Studio DIY {our co-host} and The Brand Market’s social media channels {Facebook, Twitter, Instagram}, and we will be encouraging the attendees to do the same to ensure you lots of traffic.
    + You will receive a link on our website under "Sites We love."

    You can see a re-cap of the Atlanta, Raleigh, + NYC workshops here:

    Let me know what you think, and if this partnership is a possibility for you!
    I’ll follow-up within the coming days.

    Thank you so much for considering working with The Brand Market,

    Suzy Hachey

    Co-Operator: The Brand Market