Homemade Tote Ideas

November 13, 2008

This 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

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November 5, 2007

I make cakes, make quilts, and now I decided to get into purses and totebags.

Quilted Tote Bag

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July 6, 2007

A tote makes a quick homemade present for anyone! Embroider or write your slogan or picture onto one of the rectangles of fabric, roughly in the centre. Turn over the top of both rectangles and sew to make a hem.

Embroidered tote.

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April 29, 2009

Since 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.

Homemade Green Tote

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May 16, 2011

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

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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14 Questions

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August 11, 2007

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


August 14, 20070 found this helpful

I'm not sure what you want. A tote bag to carry or an organizer to place between the mattress & springs for the residents to use? For the organizer, decide what size pockets they need (the size of puzzle books, paper backs, remote, their bible, glasses, writing tablet, pencils, etc.). Sew the pocket and leave about 8 inches at the top. Put a pocket across the top to slide a dowel rod in. The dowel rod can be inserted between the mattress and springs and let the pockets hang down the sides within reach of the residents. The pockets can be in a strip or you can make several different sizes so the organizer can be customized for each individual. They can also be slid off the dowel rod and laundered. These are handy for anyone confined to bed for any length of time.

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By (Guest Post)
August 15, 20070 found this helpful

You can make two pocket type holders and attach them to a strip of material that runs the width of your mattress. Remove the mattress and place this on the box spring.
There was a wonderful pattern for this in Family Fun magazine a while back. They have a website, perhaps you could find it there.

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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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By kitty (Guest Post)
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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By (Guest Post)
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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December 6, 2006

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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January 31, 2017

Use strips of plastic grocery bags to make this sturdy crochet tote. This is a page about making a tote bag from recycled plastic bags.

photo of an ecofriendly tote

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December 26, 2016

This is a page about making a tote bag from a dog food bag. Use the woven fabric from bulk pet food to make sturdy totes.

finished tote made from a dog food bag

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July 4, 2018

Old jeans can find new purpose via many recycled projects. Here is a link to making a tote bag from retired jeans. This is a page about making a recycled denim tote bag.

Recycled Denim Tote with pocket

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June 2, 2017

Once your tote bag is made the last step it to craft the handles. For some crafts this step can be more difficult. This is a page about making tote bag handles.

Tote Bag Handles

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