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Waxed Canvas Tote Bags: The Waterproof Sails Of Today

In the 17th century, British sailors used oiled canvas for their sails. People would then use pieces of those sails as waterproof clothing to stay warm and cozy. Today, we make waxed canvas using waxes such as:

  • Paraffin wax
  • Hybrid paraffin-fluorocarbon wax
  • Natural beeswax

Waxed canvas tote bags are waterproof, pleasantly textured, and supple to the touch. You can use them for your business or carry them to your school, work, business trips, and more!

But why use waxed canvas bags? Let’s review their features.

Features Of Waxed Canvas Tote Bags

Here, we will see how waxed canvas tote bags combine the elements of canvas and all things waxy.


Canvas is a strong, woven fabric. When you layer it with wax, it becomes even more resistant to wear and tear. You can use these bags for heavy-duty items without worrying about them tearing open.


Because of the waxy surface, these bags are waterproof. However, the degree of water resistance does not extend to the contact with wet surfaces. And that too, for a long time. For example, if you take these bags out for a swim, they will start to leak. But if you go to an outdoor concert and it starts raining, your waxed canvas tote bag will be safe.



One of the reasons why waxed canvas tote bags are popular in the fashion world is because of their long life. They go on to live for years and age like a fine wine! Every time you wax them, the scuffs, marks, and creases add to the personality of the bags.

Eco-friendly And Cruelty-free

Waxed canvas tote bags have a lower production impact on the environment. Especially in comparison to other vegan leather substitutes. The production of paraffin wax generates minimal amounts of chemical toxins.

How To DIY Wax Your Canvas Tote Bags


Waxing canvas bags is a simple DIY project. You will need:

  • Beeswax
  • Paraffin wax
  • Jar or tin can
  • Stove
  • Pan
  • Hairdryer
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring cup
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper bag
  • Popsicle stick

Follow these steps:

  1. Place your beeswax bar on a sturdy surface. Break it into smaller chunks using a screwdriver or any other blunt tool. Take out your ½ measure cup and fill it up with the beeswax pieces.
  2. Break the paraffin wax bar in the same way as the beeswax and measure out ½ cup.
  3. Take both waxes in a jar and place the jar in a pan filled with water. Let the waxes melt at medium heat with occasional stirring with a popsicle stick. Avoid using a glass jar because it can crack if it touches the bottom of the heated pan.
  4. Dip the tip of your paintbrush in the melted wax and brush it over the canvas bag in a thin layer. Note: maintain the temperature and liquid state of your wax by keeping the jar in the pan of warm water.
  5. First, cover the front side and then the back. Next, coat the bottom and the sides.
  6. Turn on your hairdryer and set it up at maximum heat. Hold it two inches above the bag and watch the wax melt and soak into the canvas.
  7. Keep going until all the wax chunks disappear. If they don’t, just scrape the remnants off of the canvas bag.

Take these precautions before attempting to wax your canvas bag:

  • Be diligent while dealing with the hot wax. If you spill it over yourself, it will burn your skin and hurt a lot.
  • If you’re not familiar with the usage of blunt tools, get someone experienced to help you break the wax bars.
  • While running the hairdryer, make sure that you’re not standing in water barefoot. Contact with water while using an electric appliance makes you vulnerable to electrocution.
  • If the colour is a concern for you, test the process out on a spare piece of the canvas first. Your white will become off-white. Set the beeswax to paraffin ratio accordingly. More beeswax will change the colour more.

Types Of Waxed Canvas Tote Bags In The Market

There are many types of waxed canvas tote bags at shops and e-stores. Here are my top three picks:

  • Waxed canvas shopping tote bag
  • Waxed canvas travel tote bag
  • Waxed canvas lunch tote bag

Waxed Canvas Shopping Tote Bag


The waxed canvas shopping tote bag has long, strong handles with double stitching. You can carry books, groceries, and lunch in this heavy-duty bag. It makes for a decent gift as well.

The waxed canvas shopping tote bag is easy to clean because of the waxy surface. It is stain and dirt-resistant. You can use a wet cloth or sponge to clean it up and let it dry. You can also take this bag out in the blazing sun or under the rainy clouds; it will not lose its colour.

When it comes to space, this bag can carry items of up to 60 lbs as it is 17.5 inches tall, 12 inches in length, and 6 inches in width. If you prefer any other size with reliable stitching, visit custom solutions.

Waxed Canvas Travel Tote Bag


Wudon’s travel tote, made of waxed canvas, has a snap closure. Simple and easy! The leather handles on this tote are soft and comfortable. They are 10.5 inches in length, perfect for the elbow! So you can easily carry the bag over your shoulder.

Whether it’s a business trip, play date, or weekend getaway, you need a bag that can carry all your essentials. Surprisingly this travel tote is huge, as it’s 17.3 inches in length, 14.8 inches in height, and 6.7 inches in width. It is spacious, with two front pockets for daily use and a zipper pocket inside for your keys or credit cards. Here is what you can carry in your travel tote:

  • Laptop
  • iPad
  • Phone
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Planner
  • Umbrella
  • Lunch bag
  • Sweater
  • Sunglasses

If you wish to get the same bag but with different dimensions or colours, you can visit custom solutions!

Waxed Canvas Lunch Tote Bag


If you love food as much as I do, you’d also want a lunch bag that is durable but also classy. The waxed canvas lunch bag checks all the boxes! Because the fabric base is of canvas fabric, the bag doesn’t tear open. The stylish top grain leather strap makes it easy for you to carry the lunch bag.

The premium quality stitching on this bag helps it stand upright on its own! The waxed canvas lunch bag is waterproof, so it’s easy to wipe out food stains with a damp cloth.

When it comes to the size, this bag is 8.75 x 5.9 inches wide and 14.5 inches tall when unrolled! The only con of the waxed canvas lunch bag is that the snaps are hard to close. So if you want the same bag with a buckle closure instead, visit custom solutions!


Waxed canvas tote bags are strong and water-proof. They release the least amount of toxic chemicals during production. Therefore, they are safe for the environment. Because you can wax these bags over and over again, they age beautifully. People carry them as travel bags, lunch bags, and grocery bags. They also wrap these timeless bags as gifts for their friends and families.

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