How to Design Your Own Gym Bag

Written by kim evans
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How to Design Your Own Gym Bag
Customise your gym bag (shopping bags image by Kirubeshwaran from

A gym bag is a necessity for someone who plays a sport or goes to the gym or pool on a regular basis. While there are numerous commercial options for a gym bag, a custom-designed bag can keep your things in the order that you want, fit the particular locker that you use and tell the world a bit about you and your fitness activities.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plain tote bag
  • Permanent markers
  • Sport specific embellishments
  • Gym lock
  • Optional: Iron on decals, beads, jewels

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    Choosing a bag

  1. 1

    Determine what type of bag you will need for the gym. Most lockers at a gym are less than 18 inches across, so make sure your bag will fit into a standard locker. If you use your bag for swimming, a waterproof section is ideal for wet swimsuits after a swim. If you go to the gym before work, a bag that accommodates shower items and toiletries works well. Unadorned bags can be purchased at big box stores or online. A backpack works well as a gym bag, as does a messenger bag.

    How to Design Your Own Gym Bag
    Backpacks can be used as a gym bag. (backpack image by Galyna Andrushko from
  2. 2

    Using the permanent markers, write your name on the inside of the bag. On the outside of the bag, draw a design of your choosing. You could draw a picture of your sport, or write the name of your school or favourite sports team. You could even just draw random designs on the bag, such as squiggles or lines in bright colours. A gym bag does not have to be about sports, it can just be a nice looking bag.

    How to Design Your Own Gym Bag
    Use markers to embellish the bag. (colourful markers #3 image by Adam Borkowski from
  3. 3

    Add some permanent features to your bag. Small key chains or other objects can be added to the handles of the bag. The swim company TYR makes water toys called "Aqua Posse" that have a clip on the end to attach to a bag. A pair of tiny fins or goggles, a running shoe or miniature hand weight are fun things to put on your gym bag. Also attach your lock to your bag so that you will have it when you need it.

    How to Design Your Own Gym Bag
    Personalise your bag. (Clef et Porte Clef image by Paty Cullen Wingrove from
  4. 4

    Add optional embellishments. If you want to make your bag sparkle, add craft jewels or beads. Since this is a gym bag that will get heavy duty, sew these items onto the bag so that they don't come off in the wash, or get knocked off in the locker. Iron on decals work well, but make sure the material of the bag will allow a decal to adhere.

    How to Design Your Own Gym Bag
    Add a decal. (sport image by haruspex from

Tips and warnings

  • When choosing things to put on your gym bag, remember that the bag will be set on the floor, get dirty and then be washed many times. Markers should be permanent ink, decals or embellishments should be sewn on so that they do not fall off, and anything else should be removed to clean the bag. Be creative. A gym bag can be anything that you want it to be.

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