Oh don’t we love tote bags! Here at Lime, we all have a full collection of those handy fabric bags that not only help you save the planet by avoiding single use plastics (bonus points if they are upcycled!) – but also look extra stylish and let you express your creativity. So we thought… why not propose a DIY! Yes you heard this right! We are going to take you through some simple steps to create your very own tote bag – isn’t that sweet? We thought so too! So, without further adoe, here are our 7 steps to create your fantastic tote bag!

Overview of Materials

To create your tote bag you will need:

  • A sewing machine
  • Spare fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Cotton webbing (for handles 60 cm in length)
Tote bag DIY Materials

Step 1

Moving forward with your choice of fabric, we’ll need to measure a rectangle of 40  cm (height) by 33 cm (width). This is of course customizable but for this tutorial we’re keeping it big enough to fit an A4 book into.

Tote Process Illustration 01
Tote Process Illustration 02

Step 2

You should have 4 pieces of fabric in total, 2 for the outer and 2 for the inner. Moving onto sewing! This part is pretty straightforward, sew along the edges to create a pocket leaving about a 1 cm hemline. Simple right? Buckle up because it gets a little tricky on the next steps if you want to create that rectangular base at the bottom of your bag.

If not, you can skip out on step 3 and 4 and move straight to step 5-

Tote Process Illustration 03

Step 3

Here is that additional step for attaining that crisp bottom on your tote bag. If you’re up for the challenge, there is some slight origami folding involved, but I promise it’s not as hard as it looks. Flatten out the base and it will start to form triangular corners which, you can iron out and then sew down to make your life a little easier.

Tote Process Illustration 04
Step 3

Step 4

Once you have done it to both fabrics you will have this. Now you want to flip it right side out and admire your perseverance for a minute or two.

Step 4
Step 5 - right side

Step 5

Moving on, we are going to take the beige canvas in my case (inner fabric) and put that into the blue (outer fabric). Like so.

Step 5 - Tote bag DIY
Step 6

Step 6

To the handles! While you can opt to sew pieces of fabric to make your own handles I went ahead and purchased mine from the dollar store or your nearest craft supply store. Its relatively cheap and strong enough so you won’t have to worry about your bag straps tearing off. You want to place the webbing for the handles between the inner and outer fabric and pin it in place and check to see how well the length of it is for you.
(Mine was about 60 cm)

Once they are placed in, you just have to topstitch all the way around the top of the bag and sew the handles in place!

Step 7-1 - Tote bag DIY
Step 6-2 - Tote bag DIY
Step 6-3 - Tote bag DIY

Step 7

You are all done! And now you only need to take it out in a trip to the grocers or to the library!

Step 7 - tote bag DIY
Step 7-1 - Tote bag DIY

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