How to Sew a Mini Bag With Scrunchie Handles & a Chain Strap

Villamor Twins
by Villamor Twins
10 Materials
1 Hour

This DIY tote bag has ruching that makes it look really unique. It’s got a handle and a shoulder strap so you can wear it however you want, and plenty of room inside for all your essentials.

You’ll want to take this DIY tote bag with you for shopping, socializing, and pretty much everywhere you go!

Tools and materials:

  • Main tote bag fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Extra fabric for thickness
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailor’s wax
  • Scissors
  • Sling chain
  • Sewing pins
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle or sewing machine
Making the bag pattern

1. Make your tote bag pattern

Mark and cut a rectangle of main tote bag fabric measuring 14 x 18 inches.

Tote bag pattern pieces

Cut the same size rectangle from your other two fabrics.

Assembling the bag

2. Assemble your tote bag

Now stack the three rectangles with the main tote bag fabric at the top, the extra fabric that will add thickness in the middle, and the lining fabric at the bottom.

Pin all three layers together.

Sewing a straight stitch

Sew a straight stitch along both long edges of the fabric.

Bag handle pieces

3. Make tote bag handles

Cut out two 10 x 3-inch rectangles from your handle fabric.

Long and short handle pieces

Now cut out two 26 x 4-inch rectangles from the same fabric for the handle ruching tunnel.

Now you have two long and two shorter handle pieces.

Pinning the bag handles, ready to sew

Fold each piece in half lengthwise and pin. Then sew a straight stitch along the long open edge of each piece.

Ironing the bag handles flat

Turn all four handle pieces right-side out. Iron the handle pieces flat.

How to sew a bag strap

Attach a pin to one end of a short handle piece and insert that piece inside a long ruching piece. Repeat with the other handle and ruching piece.

Attaching the handles to the bag

4. Attach the handles to your tote bag

Turn your tote bag right-side out. Fold both the bottom and top edges of the tote bag rectangle to the inside, and pin your handles between the outer fabric and lining layers, with one handle on each end of the bag.

How to make a small tote bag

Sew a straight stitch across both short edges of the tote bag, enclosing the handles between the outer fabric and lining fabric.

Making the sides of the bag

5. Make the sides of your tote bag

On the back of your bag (the lining side), mark 2½ inches in from both sides.

Pinning the side pieces

Fold both sides in at that 2½-inch mark and pin them in place.

Sewing the side pieces

Sew both folded edges near the fold.

Lining facing out

Open the folded sides and fold the bag in half, with the lining side facing out, so that both handles are now at the top. Pin and sew both side seams.

Making the tote bag box bottom

6. Make the tote bag box-bottom

Measure 2 inches from the bottom on both sides of the front and back of your bag. Make a line from the side seam to about two-thirds of the way to the fold seam. When you turn your bag sideways now, you will see a triangular corner with your markings as the bottom of the triangle.

Sew the bottom corners of the bag along the base of that triangle.

Now turn your bag right-side out and push out the sides and the bottom corners.

Adding a sling chain to the bag

7. Add a sling chain

Cut out two 2 x 2½-inch rectangles of your main tote bag fabric. Fold each rectangle in half and sew along the open edges, leaving one short edge open.

Loops for the chain

Turn the two small rectangles right-side out and sew up the gaps. Fold one rectangle in half widthwise and place it on the outside of your tote bag on the side seam. 

Let the folded edge of the chain loop extend above your bag a little. Sew the chain loop to your tote bag along the lower short edge. 

Repeat with the other small rectangle for a second chain loop on the other side of your tote bag.

Hooking a chain strap onto the chain loops

Hook your chain strap onto the chain loops.

How to sew a mini bag with a scrunchie strap

How to sew a mini bag with scrunchie handles

You can carry your tote bag by the scrunchie handle.

DIY scrunchie bag

Or, you can use the chain strap to make it a cross-body tote bag. Whichever way you decide to wear your new DIY tote bag, you’ll find it so handy and very stylish! 

Make one for yourself and leave a comment to let us know how you liked this small tote bag tutorial.

Suggested materials:
  • Main tote bag fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Extra fabric for thickness
See all materials

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