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Homemade Tote Ideas

Totes have many uses from grocery shopping to carrying your craft supplies. This is a guide about homemade tote ideas.

Homemade Tote Ideas
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November 13, 2008 Flag
2 found this helpful

Christmas Tote BagThis is a Christmas tote bag made of quilting scraps. I made this tote bag from two squares of 30 by 30 inch material with batting in the middle. You then quilt them together and put a binding around the raw edges. It's like making a 30 by 30 quilt square or you can use the pre-quilted material, just add your binding.

You then lay face down, fold the two opposite corners to the middle, overlapping each other. This, you will see, will give you a square in the middle. Sew around the square in the middle, this will give you the inside pockets.

Then flip wrong sides together and sew up your sides. Take the bottom and sew 2 inches from the corner point across, this will give you a boxed bottom. Do this on each side. Then cut off point and discard. Make sure you zig zag across where you just cut. Turn this to the inside. You are now on the outside of your tote. Fold down your outside flaps, sew across the top of tote about a half inch.

You are now ready to make your handles. Cut matching material into 2 - 4 inch by how ever you long you want your handles to be. Fold the material, each side to the middle and press. Then fold once again and sew on each side of strap. Do this to both pieces of material. You should now have two straps ready to sew on your tote.

Measure 1 1/2 inches from the top corner of the tote, pin your strap in place making it a good inch down in the tote. Sew across the strap several times to secure. So this for both side of handle. You then take a piece of sew on velcro and sew at top between handles on both sides.

This is was not my original pattern but I have modified it to my own liking. The embroidery patterns used are from the free embroidery pattern section of sew forum and I take no credit for them, they are gifts from the wonderful digitizers there. I only embroidered them on to my tote bag. Oh, the inside pockets are at an odd angle but this is the way it is made. Don't worry, things will not fall out of the pockets as they are quite deep.

By Madeline from Jacksonville, Alabama


November 5, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

Quilted Tote BagI make cakes, make quilts, and now I decided to get into purses and totebags. I take the fabric and cut into squares, four squares any measure. I do the same thing with the inside lining. Sew the front and back together as well as the lining. Make the handles any length you like and sew it to the top of the purse or totebag.

You can add pockets in the inside or outside, simply cut a small square and stitch to the bag front or inside. You can also add embellishments and voila! Show it off as you wear your creation.

July 6, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

Embroidered tote.A tote makes a quick homemade present for anyone!



  1. Embroider or write your slogan or picture onto one of the rectangles of fabric, roughly in the centre.
  2. Turn over the top of both rectangles and sew to make a hem.
  3. Sew on two pieces of ribbon to the top for handles.
  4. Place the two rectangles right sides together and sew the remaining three sides.
  5. Voila!

By Beth from England


July 16, 2009 Flag
2 found this helpful

I am very good at making tote bags, but not very good at the handles. Any tips or instructions?

By peaceloveparise from MO

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July 22, 20090 found this helpful

Have you checked my tote bag directions? Daisy pattern fabric. It was posted in april-ish and there should be steps for it? Its super easy, just takes time to stitch. Write me if you are confused. good luck!

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July 22, 20091 found this helpful

Don''t bother turning the handles inside out. Sew them right the first time. Use wide strip and fold raw edges in pin and sew shut. I stagger seam as photo shows, but this comes with a price. I sometimes miss the under fabric and must seam rip. Best wishes. Here's the first step photo:

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July 24, 20090 found this helpful

If you plan to carry a lot, you can make the straps all the way around the bottom, using just a longer strip of fabric. If you lay the fabric of the bag down and pin the straps around the entire fabric and sew them when the fabric is flat.

You can even out the load with the extra support from the bottom.

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July 24, 20091 found this helpful

When I make handles, I fold the outer edge in to the center on both sides (the raw edges then meet). This is done down the lenth of the handle. Then the whole thing is folded in half, and stitched --close to the edge. Now all the raw edges are hidden, and you have a nice sturdy handle to sew onto your bag that is already right side out!

Pat in Michigan

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July 28, 20091 found this helpful

If you want a more sturdy handle with a little cushioning,here is the way I make handles for my nicer tote bags and for purses: Cut your fabric strips 4 inches by the length you want for a narrow handle(1 inch.)For a wider handle cut it 6 inches by the length you wish( 1 1/2 inches)Next you will need iron-on fusible fleece. This is not very thick but is dense. cut two strips for each handle a little shy of 7/8"wide for the narrow handle and 1 3/8 wide for the wide handle. Follow manufacturers directions and fuse a strip to wrong side of fabric on each outer side of your fabric strip.Next fold both sides to the center and press,fold in half and press. Edge stitch down both sides. I hope this helps.I also make the standard handles like the previous ladies described. Judy from Alabama

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April 29, 2009 Flag

Homemade Green ToteSince we are celebrating "going green" I thought I'd share yet another tote idea. I made these totes (5 in all) for our church fair last fall. Someone generously donated the denim fabric. I added the little green leaf applique before sewing the totes together. I used Aleen's fusible web and followed the directions and then cut out the leaf shape and fused it on. It worked great.

By Jan Lee from L.I. NY

August 11, 2007 Flag
0 found this helpful

Our church ministers to residents of a nearby nursing home. We are looking for a pattern for a tote bag with compartments that can be placed between the box springs and mattress.

Betty from Mesa, AZ

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August 15, 20070 found this helpful

Or are you looking for the cute ones I've seen that attach to a walker so they can carry things with them without using their hands?

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August 15, 20070 found this helpful

I took some quilted fabric (bargain table at fabric store). Use quilt binding for a neat edge. Make pockets to fit remotes, cell phone, pens or note pad etc. One larger pocket could be for a magazine ot TV schedule. I used peel & stick velcro to attach ... Put one side on the box spring or even on the bed skirt. Match the other side to the back of the pocket holder. If you use a flat pice of quilted fabric with the pockets attached it will hang down beside the bed within easy reach with no bulges.

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September 27, 20070 found this helpful

Use two placemats: Fold one almost in half (3/4) and sew this to the other placement. Now you have two pockets, sew vertical strips to create pockets for glasses,tissues etc. The long end of the placemat gets tucked between the mattress and box springs. Hope this makes sense to you.

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November 18, 20070 found this helpful

This website has tons of patterns for things such as walker totes, bed organizers, etc. I hope it helps others as it helps me alot!

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February 10, 20080 found this helpful

Can I get a denim school bag pattern roughly 1 foot tall and 9 inches wide?

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May 16, 2011 Flag
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We all try to "go green" and one good way is by using tote bags instead of plastic. Depending on what kind of bag you choose, most can be purchased for $1.00. Totes can be used in many ways and I decorated these for my two daughters in law for Mother's Day.

Another version of the My Peeps Tote

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November 12, 2007 Flag

Did you know you can recycle Tyvek into a waterproof and durable lining for fabric projects. Tyvek can be found in jumpsuits/coveralls for industry work. This type of Tyvek is very soft and fabric-like. You can also recycle Tyvek from mailing envelopes.

outside and closeup of writing inside

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December 6, 2006 Flag
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I'd like to make tote bags with fringe from some blanket material and old suede jackets I have. I've never made one. Can someone help?

Karen from Ontario, Canada

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February 19, 20090 found this helpful

I love the place mat idea! I like to use my old beautiful sweaters. Or patchworks from the pieces of favorite embellishments from worn out jeans or shirts. I hate to get rid of pretty decorations.

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