It doesn’t matter if you’re grocery shopping, going to the beach, or traveling on vacation. Everyone needs a good bag from time to time. That’s exactly why you can’t go wrong with custom bags!

There’s something special about a bag, whether it’s a backpack for school, a stylish tote for a wedding, or a new suitcase for an upcoming vacation. Are you ready to get designing? Here are all the tips and tricks you need to know.

Why Do You Need Custom Bags?

You’re probably not buying custom bags on a whim. Most of the time there’s a specific event or need for your order. It could be for any of the following:

  • Bridal party favors
  • Goodie bags
  • School giveaways
  • Fitness centers
  • Stores & shops
  • Travel companies
  • Sports leagues
  • Fundraisers
  • Trade shows
  • Summer camps

Bridal Party Favors

All the guys and gals in your bridal party deserve something nice as a “thank you” for being part of your big day. A reusable bag in your wedding colors makes for a thoughtful favor.

Goodie Bags

Are you hosting a baby shower or birthday party? Maybe your company is throwing a large soiree like a holiday party or award ceremony. Whatever the case, custom goodie bags are excellent handouts at the end of the event!

Schools

Notebooks, pens, rulers, folders, textbooks… there are a lot of supplies to carry. That’s where custom bags come in handy! They make excellent giveaways for elementary book fairs, high school pep rallies, or college orientation days.

Fitness Centers

Do you want to give something out to new sign-ups at your fitness center? A sporty bag is the perfect choice! Your clients can use it to carry their water bottles and towels every time they come in for a workout session.

Stores & Shops

A reusable tote helps cut down on the damage done to the planet from plastic bags. Print your store’s name on stylish bags that your customers will love carrying around on the weekends while they’re running errands!

Travel Companies

It’s time to go on that dream vacation! Your clients are going to want spacious suitcases or travel bags for all their essentials. Clip on a bright luggage tag for an extra special touch!

Sports Leagues

Whether it’s a baseball mitt, basketball, or knee pads and helmets, an athlete has a lot of equipment to bring to practices and games. Large bags are an excellent way for both players and coaches to be prepared for the season.

Fundraisers

People who visit a fundraiser need to be hands-free so they can engage in all of the activities and maybe even do some shopping. Hand out custom bags right at the entrance!

Trade Shows

Swag, swag, and more swag. That’s what trade shows are all about! A tote bag for all the attendees is an absolute must. Just don’t overfill it right away! You want the visitors to have plenty of room for everything they’d like to grab from the booths and displays.

Summer Camps

The tents are all set, the marshmallows are roasting, and it’s time for a fun adventure at your camp! Create a strong community right away by giving all the kids matching bags to use throughout the summer.

Of course, those aren’t the only reasons why you might need custom bags. They’re also great giveaways for community events like fairs and festivals, 5K runs and marathons, and as souvenirs at places like theme parks, museums, and resorts. The possibilities are endless!

Tips for Customizing Your Bags

Let’s get going on the fun part – adding your design! You want a bag that looks good and is well-loved by everyone who receives one.

Follow these tips to make that happen:

  1. Choose the right type of bag.
  2. Decide on a look.
  3. Go with a comfortable material.
  4. Pick the right color scheme.
  5. Stuff other items inside your bags.

Choose the Right Type of Bag

After you’ve figured out why you need bags, the next step is determining which style is best for you.

You can customize all of the following types of bags:

  • Backpacks
  • Drawstring bags
  • Lunch bags
  • Tote bags
  • Messenger bags
  • Shoe bags
  • Toiletry bags
  • Plastic bags
  • Duffel bags
  • Suitcases

Backpacks

It’s no surprise that backpacks are great for schools and colleges. They can be sold in the bookstore, or handed out during orientation day. Any outdoorsy company would also benefit from a stylish backpack!

Drawstring Bags

A drawstring bag is a more lightweight version of a backpack. They’re particularly great for child-friendly sports leagues, campgrounds, theme parks, and community events.

Lunch Bags

Mmm, it’s lunch time! Everybody loves a delicious meal, so everyone will love a good lunch bag. They’re especially great gifts for weight loss programs and company picnics!

Tote Bags

Do you manage a grocery store? You should have reusable tote bags for all your shoppers! They’re a great way to show off your store’s name and logo every time they’re carried.

Messenger Bags

A handy messenger bag has space for everything you need to store inside. Most of these bags have additional pockets for pens, folders, and your cell phone, so they’re an ideal gift for those with a long commute or frequent travelers.

Shoe Bags

If you have a golf outing planned, run a bowling league, or teach a yoga class, shoe bags are a great choice for you! There’s a designated space in the bag for sneakers or cleats, which makes them easier to carry and less likely to dirty up anything else in the bag.

Toiletry Bags

Do you work in the beauty industry? You can’t go wrong with stylish toiletry bags! Consider offering these as a freebie during a promotion. For example, spend $50 on makeup and receive a trendy bag as a gift with purchase!

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are excellent for bookstores, gift shops, and boutiques. You can get a bunch of these bags in bulk without spending an outrageous amount of your hard-earned money!

Duffel Bags

Dancers will carry duffel bags to the studio, athletes will bring them along to away games, and travelers like to use them instead of bulky suitcases for short trips. These versatile bags are wonderful gifts or giveaways for everyone!

Suitcases

A hotel, travel agency, or an airline can’t go wrong promoting their services with custom suitcases. This type of bag usually has a higher price tag, but is a good item to sell or offer as a grand prize in a contest.

Decide on a Look

Now it’s time to decide on the right look for your bags. For the most part, a bridesmaid is going to want something more stylish than a grocery store shopper. An athlete is looking for something a bit sportier than a beauty store. You get the idea.

Be inspired by any of these styles!

Go with a Comfortable Material

Aside from the style, you also need to pay attention to the fabric used to make the bag. You want to get the most bang for your buck, which means you should go with a durable, yet comfortable material.

Canvas

Canvas is often regarded as a good outdoor fabric, which is why it’s used to make patio furniture and drapes. This also makes it an excellent material for bags as it’s durable, sturdy, and can withstand a little rain or cold weather.

Cotton

Soft, fluffy cotton is one of the most common materials for bags. It’s naturally made and harvested, which is better for the planet in the long run. Plus, it’s insanely comfortable and won’t weigh down on your back or shoulders!

Jute

If you want an au naturale look, you can’t go wrong with jute! Next to cotton, it’s the second most used vegetable fiber on the planet. It’s naturally made and highly breathable, making it comfortable to carry all day long!

Leather

Do you want a classy looking bag? Faux or authentic leather is the way to go! You’ll get that stylish high-end look without having to worry about your bag ripping or tearing after repeated use.

PVC

Flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to bags made from PVC. You have plenty of space inside for everything you need, whether it’s books, clothes, office supplies, or other odds and ends.

Microfiber

You’ll hear some people swear that microfiber feels just like velvet! It’s a soft, yet durable material that holds its color well. Choose microfiber if you want your bags to stay vibrant, even if they’re often exposed to the sun.

Polyester

Polyester is highly adaptable, which means it can meet different size and strength needs. Typically, it contains some kind of cotton blend that makes it more durable, but it’s also a tough, lightweight material on its own.

Polypropylene

Attention all mess makers – polypropylene is the fabric for you! This strong material doesn’t stain easily or absorb any moisture. You also don’t have to worry about destroying these bags, which is especially great if you spend a lot of time in rugged terrains.

Denim

You wear denim on your jeans, but how about on your bags? A vibrant blue denim creates a classic, timeless look that is also insanely resilient. It’s no surprise that denim is another fabric that’s made using cotton.

Style should never trump substance! It’s important that you customize bags that are built for performance and will last for years. You can’t go wrong with one of the fabrics listed above.

Pick the Right Color Scheme

Here’s the secret to ordering custom bags in bulk: Stick with one ink color. You usually get charged extra for every additional color you use in your design, so it’s better to keep it simple.

Try any of these color combinations!


Bright Bag & Dark Ink

Dark Bag & Light Ink

White Bag & Dark Ink

Black Bag & White Ink

Monochrome

You don’t have to use a bunch of ink colors in your printed design to create an eye-catching look. Bags come in every color in the rainbow. In fact, there are even rainbow options! Get your pop of color from the bag, all without spending extra on colorful inks.

Now let’s say you absolutely need a colorful design, whether it’s because you have a super colorful logo or you just have a particular vision in mind. If that’s the case, try to find bags that use full color printing. All of the ink colors are included in the price, so you’re not limited to sticking with just one.

Stuff Other Items Inside Your Bags

Back in the day, people went nuts over the little prizes inside of cereal boxes. You can bring that same excitement to your bags by throwing a few bonus gifts inside.

Try any of the following:

Apparel

Stick with lightweight pieces like hats, windproof jackets, or t-shirts.

Drinkware

Fit a water bottle or tumbler in a mesh side pocket that’s specifically designed for drinkware.

Sunglasses

Choose a trendy pair with frames that match the color of your bags.

Kitchenware

Pair your kitchenware with snacks like bags of chips, trail mix, or everyone’s favorite, chocolate!

Toys

Plush stuffed animals, fidget spinners, and yo-yos are all lightweight extras to throw into the bags at kid-friendly events.

Home Décor

Everyone has different taste, so stick with universal items that are always well-loved like mini plants or soft blankets.

How Do You Personalize a Bag?

If you’ve ever received a bag as a gift that’s kind of plain and boring, you can spruce it up right at home with a few good craft supplies! No screen printing company required.

Use any of the following to personalize your bags:

Fabric Markers

You can decorate plain canvas or cotton bags with fabric markers. Grab stencils if you want to create specific images or do it free-hand if you’re a good artist!

Gems & Stickers

Most craft stores have aisles upon aisles of stick-on gems, flowers, and letters. You can grab a bunch of supplies for less than $10 and make your bags look brand new!

Decals

Get your iron ready and carefully add decals and badges onto your bags. This is an easy way to add flair and is also a good way to create an edgy look.

Pins or Keychains

Add a few keychains to the handles or pins to the front of your bags. You can mix-and-match as many as you want, showing off your favorite movies or latest vacation spots!

The DIY ideas featured here are particularly great if you want to breathe new life into old bags. You’ll get a ton of compliments and a chance to exercise your creativity!

The Bottom Line

A cool look and a little bit of ink can turn your bags from zeroes to heroes! Bags can be little billboards for your company or excellent gifts for your parties and events. Get to designing!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.