Canvas tote bags

How monogramming turns a canvas tote bag into an unforgettable gift.

Shopping for the perfect gift – whatever the occasion – is never easy. If you just grab something off the store shelf with little thought, the recipient will probably be able to tell. And nothing's worse than a gift that's never used and ends up in the thrift store donation pile. Next time you need something special, consider a monogrammed canvas tote. Sturdy, practical and incredibly useful, they're made all the more special by a personal monogram.

For the bride and groom

Skip the toaster and give the special couple something different on their wedding day. A pair of matching totes embroidered with a clever monogram (like "Mr. and Mrs.," or "His and Hers") will make them smile. Fill them up with presents for their honeymoon, like sandals to wear at the beach resort, gear for a hiking adventure or gloves for their ski trip. Luxury items for the bath or kitchen work, too.

Tiny dancer

If your daughter takes dance lessons, give her a sturdy tote to hold all of her things, including her pointe shoes, leotard and leg warmers, and stop them from getting lost. Unlike a duffel bag, a tote stands perfectly upright thanks to its wide-felled seams, keeping its contents secure. She'll also feel extra special when she sees that it's embroidered with something like "ballerina" or "tap star."

A bag for bites

A roomy tote makes for a great shopping bag. It can be used over and over again, and won't fall apart when filled with heavy items. If you have a friend who likes exploring the farmer's market, give them a tote for all of their delicious finds. Have it embroidered with something they'll enjoy, like "foodie," "gourmand" or even "plant-powered" if they're a vegan or vegetarian. You can even tuck a few reusable mesh bags inside for buying things like green beans and cherries.

Bachelorette celebration

Are you taking a trip for your bachelorette party? Maybe you're heading to Hawaii or Las Vegas for one last celebration with the girls. Thank them for their love and support by giving each member of your wedding party a shoulder tote monogrammed with the role they'll play at your nuptials, such as "maid of honor" and "bridesmaid." Don't forget to add some treats, like chocolates and wine. Best of all, the bags will come in handy on the big day when everyone has makeup, shoes and other items to carry.

A bag for the babysitter

When your daughter becomes a pre-teen, she will probably embark on a rite of passage and become the neighborhood sitter. Give her a spacious tote emblazoned with the word "babysitter" so that she has something to take to all of her jobs. She can fill it with goodies for the kids along with anything she needs, like a book, sweater and snacks.

Treat the teacher

Your child's teacher works hard to give them a wonderful education, so thank them with a personalized zip-top canvas tote. You can have it monogrammed with their initials or name, or even something like "#1 teacher." Look for one with a water-resistant base and trim that will protect their things if the bag gets splashed or set down in a puddle (you never predict what will happen on the playground, after all) and fill it with things they'll love – a gift certificate to a nice restaurant is always a good choice!

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