Oil Painting Tote Bag

Yep.  It was an oil painting.  Stretched canvas over a wooden frame.  This may not be everyones cup of tea and there may be varying degrees of opinion as to the appropriateness of cutting a painting off a frame and making a tote bag out of it.  But I really took to the idea after I was inspired by this article over at Design*Sponge.
Swarm, run by Leslie Oschmann in Amsterdam, looks amazing. 
I see these great, cheap, interesting, quirky, oil paintings at sales all the time.  They aren't master works but someone did take the time to make them.  When I can get them, especially this size, for $10 or less, I grab them up.  I have a handful more in the works.  I will show them to you as they are made.  I am trying different techniques with each to see what works best and highlights the painting.

Here is the pagoda oil painting after I cut it off the wood frame.  It was large but I decided to use the whole piece.
This is the vintage cotton toile I decided to use for the liner material.  I cut it out the exact same size as the painting.
This is the inside pocket, sewn right to the lining.
Here is the bag almost finished but needing a strap.
I still need to attach some kind of closure.  I am thinking of a magnetic snap on this one.  Then I want to try one with a zipper and then one with a drawstring or ties.
This is the painting, right sides together, side seam sewn up, adjusted so seam goes down the back of the tote, bottom sewn straight across, being turned right side out.
Oh, before turning right side out.
Close up of how I make the bag turn into more of a tall box, by giving it square corners.  You make the liner the exact same way, then attach them together.
I haven't got a close up of the strap but I choose a woven strap in blues.  It was just the right length to double it so I cut it in half to be able to have a tassel at each side and sewed the strap, doubled, to the edge of the bags.  I will try a few different strap methods in the next bags as well to see what works best, lasts, looks best.
Here is the back.  See how the side seams meet in the back.  I used the entire painting making the bag as I did.  And I am reusing the wooden frame the painting was stretched on in another project.
So the tote has already come in really handy for carrying all our towels, snacks, water, etc to the pool and the lake.  It is huge for a tote but it will be good for the library too.
I am testing this one out to see how durable it is and how long the painting lasts when in use like this.  I am now thinking I should have sprayed the painting with some kind of shellac, varnish, or top coat to help preserve the paint and make it more durable.  I need to go see what my options are at the hardware store tomorrow when I pick out paint for the Fireball.  I could spray it now but it may soak through to the liner fabric and be stinky or stain it. 
What do you think?

Off to drop Gus at his first day of work scooping icecream at The Fair,