Community: How to Customize Your Bag at Home

Community: How to Customize Your Bag at Home

By Shea + Raan Parton

Photos by Dana H., Zachary G., Ivana C.

We recently held an event in which Shinah Chang from Crooked Calligraphy hand-rendered custom phrases onto limited-edition market bags. We loved seeing how much people enjoyed getting their personalized words handwritten, and while that particular calligraphy bag is not (currently) available, we wanted to let you know how you can make your own Handwritten Custom Market Bag at home. After all, we believe that you value long-lasting products with a unique personality, and a bag you yourself wrote on is about as personalized as you can get. So read on!



  • (1) Get Your Bag & Waterproof Fabric Markers: First, you’ll want to start off with a blank $58 USD Market Bag {Apolis Shop link} along with some long-lasting, waterproof fabric markers — we recommend these Sharpie “Stained” brush markers {Amazon Shop link}.
  • (2) Practice Makes Perfect, It's Permanent: Once you’re ready, you can draw your design out on paper to find the look you want. Try different variations so that you can find a final design you feel absolutely confident about before you start, since it's impossible to remove the marker once it's on the bag. 
  • (3) Use Chalk on Bag & Cardboard Inside Bag: Next, use a piece of chalk to lightly sketch the design onto the bag itself. We'd recommend putting a piece of stiff cardboard in the bag to give you a nice smooth surface to write on. If you want to learn calligraphy from the featured artist below - go here to get her online tutorial or sign up for an in-person workshop.
  • (4) Game Time, Ink the Bag: Then, ink the final design onto the bag using your new Sharpie "Stained" brush permanent marker; be careful not to smudge the lettering right after the ink has been applied, as it takes a few minutes to dry. 
  • (5) Remove Chalk: Once the ink is dried, you can remove the chalk residue from the bag by scrubbing lightly with a damp rag. It’s that simple.  



Not only does this result in a truly one-of-a-kind carryall for your everyday life, it can also make for a fantastic personalized gift. Whether you’re surprising a mom with a bag featuring an original drawing from her child, or giving a friend a bag which you’ve decorated with a phrase you both appreciate, this is a thoughtful gift that also helps provide fair wages and job benefits to the moms in Bangladesh who craft each bag.

We’re seriously stoked to see what creative designs people come up with, so we’d love it if you’d tag @apolis on Instagram and share your unique customization! Below are some images of handwritten customization inspiration thanks to actress and activist Sophia Bush as well as Shinah Chang from Crooked Calligraphy.