How To Make a Simple Tote Bag

Tote bags are perfect for on the go, or to take to the beach. They’re simple to make and you can choose from a variety of prints or solids. The cotton fabric used is durable enough to hold everyday items including heavier things such as books.

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Instructions

Step 1: Cutting the dimensions

First, cut off the selvage on both ends.  Fold the fabric over 16″ with the right sides facing each other.  Cut off the remaining fabric.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Cutting the dimensions

Step 2: Stitching The Sides

Starting from the bottom, back stitch and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Stop an inch and a half before the end and back stitch. Repeat this step for the other side.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Stitching the sides

Step 3: Finishings

To prevent the fabric from fraying, use the pinking shears and cut along both sides.  Turn the bag right side out.  Iron over 1/2 inch along the top.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Finishing's
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Finishing's
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Finishing's

Fold over 1″ and iron.  Stitch with a 1″ seam allowance along the top.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Finishing's
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Finishing's

Step 4: Adding the straps

With the remaining fabric, fold in half so the right sides are facing each other.  Take the ruler and measure two 20″ by 2.5″ straps with the fabric pen.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps

Cut out the two straps.  Pin along the sides of the straps.  Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance along the sides.  Don’t stitch the ends.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps

Turn the straps right side out and iron.  Fold the ends 1/4″ twice and stitch.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps

Place the strap 4″ in and 1″ deep on both sides.  Pin to the inside and stitch across the top and bottom.  Repeat this step for the other side and your tote bag is complete.

How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How To Make a Simple Tote Bag - Adding the straps
How to Make a Simple Tote Bag Finished
Q & A
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Browse 2 questions Browse 2 questions and 2 answers
can you give me directions to make this simple tote bag without pictures so I can print it?
A shopper on Jul 29, 2018
BEST ANSWER: We have a PDF you can download and print, but if you don't want images, here's just the text. You can copy and paste it into a text editor and print it.

Step 1: Cutting the dimensions
First, cut off the selvage on both ends. Fold the fabric over 16″ with the right sides facing each other. Cut off the remaining fabric.

Step 2: Stitching The Sides
Starting from the bottom, back stitch and sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Stop an inch and a half before the end and back stitch. Repeat this step for the other side.

Step 3: Finishings
To prevent the fabric from fraying, use the pinking shears and cut along both sides. Turn the bag right side out. Iron over 1/2 inch along the top. Fold over 1″ and iron. Stitch with a 1″ seam allowance along the top.

Step 4: Adding the straps
With the remaining fabric, fold in half so the right sides are facing each other. Take the ruler and measure two 20″ by 2.5″ straps with the fabric pen. Cut out the two straps. Pin along the sides of the straps. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance along the sides. Don’t stitch the ends. Turn the straps right side out and iron. Fold the ends 1/4″ twice and stitch.
Place the strap 4″ in and 1″ deep on both sides. Pin to the inside and stitch across the top and bottom. Repeat this step for the other side and your tote bag is complete.
What width is the fabric?
A shopper on Mar 26, 2018
BEST ANSWER: The fabric we used is 54 inches wide.