Turning a Shoe Duster Into a Tote Bag!

Paola Gonzalez
by Paola Gonzalez
14 Materials
1 Hour

Follow along with this quick tutorial to learn how to turn a shoe duster into a tote bag!

This is the perfect project if you’re into upcycled fashion and unique pieces. Let’s begin!

Tools and materials:

  • Shoe duster
  • Denim pants
  • Seam ripper
  • Fabric scissors
  • Large safety pin
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Fabric for details
  • Fabric adhesive
  • Straight pins
  • Grommets
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Shoelace
  • Thread scissors
Creating straps

1. Create straps

Use a seam ripper to create flat sections of fabric.

Cut out 2 long rectangles that you will fold in half vertically, exterior sides inward, to create tubes which will become straps.

Sew along the vertical to close the tube. Then attach a large safety pin to the end and push it through the tube to reverse the fabric to the correct side. 

Creating straps

Sew a top stitch.

Creating straps

2. Create a liner

Use the larger areas of the jeans to create a lining for your upcycled tote bag.

Creating lining

3. Create a design

Create stencils on the computer to create your design.

Cutting design

4. Cut shapes from fabric

Cut the printed shapes, lay them on your fabric and cut them out with a rotary cutter or scissors.

Cutting shapes from fabric

5. Style and attach a pocket

Make your layout. I decided to add a scrap pocket.


Use fabric adhesive to attach the small pieces. I didn’t like the look of stitches on the terry cloth material.


Pin the pocket in place and then sew to attach.

Attaching pocket

6. Add a shoelace detail

The duster bag came with shoelaces, so in the spirit of upcycling, I added those too!

Make holes with an awl, hammer and grommets. Then run a shoelace through them.

Adding shoelace detail

7. Assemble the bag

Sew in the lining and reverse the bag. Then sew the final top stitches.

Assembling the bag

Cut all the loose threads.

Cutting loose threads

Turning a shoe duster into a tote bag!

Here’s the final look of this duster-turned-DIY-tote bag:

Duster-turned-DIY-tote bag

It’s cute and functional with a convenient pocket.

Duster-turned-DIY-tote bag

Next, learn how to   Mesh Your 2 Favorite Sweaters Into 1.

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Suggested materials:
  • Shoe duster
  • Denim pants
  • Seam ripper
See all materials

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