Quick and Easy: DIY Tote Bag

Rosa Padilla
by Rosa Padilla
4 Materials
1 Hour

This is my first attempt at making a simple tote bag and I was so surprised with how easy it is to make. They are so functional and fashionable, I know you are going to love this bag as much as I do!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
How to make a DIY tote bag

Draw up your pattern 

See in the image above, the pattern that I drew up for this bag. The body of the bag will be 18 inches long and 16 inches wide. The bottom will be smaller as pictured above and is folded in half to create two matching ends. Next, make sure you cut out your pocket pieces (nine inches wide by 18 inches long) and straps too (three inches wide by 27 inches long)!

Easy DIY tote bag

Cut out your fabric 

Grab your fabric and lay it out, folded in half. Then, use a tape measure to find your measurements and mark off where you are going to cut. Next, grab a pair of scissors and cut out your fabric (remember to leave one inch of seam allowance for stitching). 

Basic DIY tote bag

Stitch the sides 

Once the body of your bag is cut out, pin the sides together. Stitch the sides. After that, cut off any excess from the back layer, fold the seam allowance from the top layer over so that it’s covering the raw edges, and stitch again. 

Make a DIY tote bag

Stitch the corners 

Fold the bag inside out and stitch the bottom corners. You’ll want to stitch them straight across so that you create a boxy sort of look. This will give you a sturdy bottom to your bag. 

How to make a tote bag

Make your pocket 

Cut out your pocket pieces, fold over the two side edges and the bottom edge and pin them down. Then, fold your bottom over so it reaches the halfway point and sew the sides. This will create your pocket. Next, align the top edge of your pocket with the top edge of your bag, and double-fold the seam allowance over. Pin that down all around the bag and sew. 

Easy tote bag

Make your straps 

Finally, use that tape measure one last time to measure and cut out your two strap pieces. Fold over the rough edges and then fold the strap in half and pin it down. Do this down both straps and then sew them shut. 

Simple tote bag

Attach the straps  

Pin your straps to your bag (about an inch and a half down) and sew them down by stitching a small box shape on the edge. Repeat this on both sides and your bag is complete! 

Basic tote bag

Your easy tote bag is now basically a blank canvas! Tie-dye it, paint it, or keep it solid; the choice is yours. I went for some fun tie-dye! If you made yours into any artistic creation, I’d love to see it! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
See all materials

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