Scan copyright-free clip art from books or download it online or from a CD. Buy iron-on transfer paper for your tote; choose paper for light cotton fabrics and for dark cotton fabrics, depending on your project.
Print the images on transfer paper, following the manufacturer's instructions, and cut them out. Cut around the images cleanly (use a craft knife, for precision); avoid making jagged edges.
Arrange the images on the bag, face up, for a preview (keep in mind this is a mirror image of the final design). When you're ready to iron, place the images face down. Press on top of images, starting at the edges of each one and using even pressure so that the image doesn't slide; do not move the iron back and forth, or image will blur or pucker.
When iron-ons have cooled, remove the backing paper. Replace the bag's handles with equal lengths of colorful twill tape or cover them with ribbon, if desired.