01 of 09
Learn How to Make a Tote Bag Using This Pattern
Check out this free tote bag pattern. Follow these directions and learn how to sew your own easy tote bags. It is so easy everyone can help.
While younger kids might not be able to sew a tote bag using a sewing machine, you can sew it for them and they can have fun decorating it with scrap felt, ribbon, and other basic craft supplies! Search through your craft supplies an use your imagination.
Let's begin.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Gathering The Supplies for the Easy Tote Bag Pattern
Before you start this easy tote bag project it is easiest to gather together all of the supplies. For this project you will need:
- 1/2 Yard of Fabric or Felt (should be approximately 18" x 36")
- Sewing Machine
- Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat
- Straight Pins
If you do not have a rotary cutter and cutting mat you can carefully use a pair of scissors!
You will also want some basic craft items to decorate your bag. My preferences are felt scraps and ribbon, but you can use any supplies you... want. You will also want some craft glue to attach your decorations!
Now we can start making the bag.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
Cut Your Fabric or Felt for Your Tote Bag
Start out by cutting your fabric or felt for your tote bag. You will need 3 pieces:
- Cut one piece that is 12" x 30"
- Cut two pieces that each measure 4" x 18"
All of these sizes are approximate. In fact, once you get the hang of making these easy tote bags, you may want to adjust the size to suit your needs!
The easiest way to cut out these pieces is to fold your 18" x 36" piece of fabric or felt in half so it is 18" x 18" and lay it on your cutting mat and cut a piece 12" x... 36" and then trim it down to 30". Then cut a 4" strip and then cut it in half to make two 4" x 18" pieces.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
How to Sew the Sides of the Tote Bag
To sew the sides of your tote bag, fold your 12" x 30" piece of felt in half so it is 12" x 15". Sew up each side, using about a 1/2" seam allowance. Your tote bag will now have two sewn sides, directly across from each other. It will also have a folded edge and an open edge directly across from each other.
While I used a contrasting color of thread in these pictures just so the seam shows up better, I would suggest using a thread that matches the color of your felt!Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Mark the Tote Bag Bottom
Now we are going to 'box' the bottom of the tote bag. This will make a flat bottom on the tote bag so it can sit on a table similar to a paper bag.
Start off by centering on of the side seams so it lines up with the bottom, center fold. Pinch it together and lay it on your work surface. Use pins to hold it together.
Use a ruler and measure up 1 1/2" from the point of the fabric and draw a line. The line should measure 3" long with 1 1/2" of fabric on either side of the seam.
Repeat this for the... other side of the tote bag.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
Sew and Trim the Tote Bag Bottom
To complete the box bottom of the tote bag, sew along each line you drew. Lock stitch (sew back and forth) when you start and when you finish sewing.
Trim the threads and then cut off the points, leaving about 1/2" of fabric.
Turn your tote bag right side out. Now you can see how the bottom edge of the bag now looks more like a box.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
How to Construct the Tote Bag Handles
To make the tote bag handles, fold both 4" x 18" piece of fabric or felt in half. Sew up the long edge of each piece, leaving about a 1/2" seam allowance.
Turn the handles right side out. This is easy to do by attaching a safety pin to one open end and feeding it through the tube until it comes out the other end. The fabric gets pulled through the tube along with the safety pin!
Once your tote bag handles are right side out, top stitch up each long side, about 1/8th of an inch from each edge. I... also top stitched down the center. While this helps to hold the hand flat, it is more decorative so you can skip it if you like.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
Attach the Handles to the Tote Bag
Lay the tote bag on it's side. At the top edge of the tote bag, measure in 2" from each seam. Mark these spots with a straight pin. Line up the outside edge of one end of a handle with one of the straight pins. Hold the end of the handle so it lines up with the top edge of the tote bag and pin in place. Pin the other end of the handle in place next to the other straight pin using this same method. Make sure the side of the handle with the seam is facing up at this point.
Repeat this on the other... side of the tote bag for the other handle.
Using a 1/2-inch seam allowance, stitch around the top edge of the bag to secure the handles in place.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Finishing the Tote Bag
To finish your tote bag, fold about 1 1/2" of the top edge of the bag into the tote bag, folding the handles up and out of the bag. Pin the handles to keep then in place.
Sew two seams along the top edge of the tote bag to hold the fold and the handle ends in place. Sew the first seam in about 1/4-inch from the edge and sew the second seam about 1-inch down from the top edge.
Trim the threads and your easy tote bag is now done. Now you can decorate it however you like!