Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Quick Tote Refashion

Heres a quick little spring tote I whipped up during Mason's nap

You can make a few too! All you need is:
 a canvas tote mine is approx 15"x15"
Similar sized scrap of fabric
and a few cute buttons

I found these canvas totes at Michael's for $1 each a while back. I picked a few up figuring that saving me the time of sewing them together and making handles was worth a dollar alone. 

First you iron out your tote

 With bag inside out, line the side seams up in the center of your tote and iron flat, like so
Hard to explain, easy to do! : )

both corners of the bottom of the bag should be stacked 

Draw a line across the corners. I did a 4" line which will make the bottom of my bag 4". If you want the bottom to be wider make a longer line at the corner.

Sew along pencil lines on each corner. You should end up with something like this

Turn bag right side out and set aside. If you do not want to line your tote then you may skip the next few steps.
If you plan on adding a flower or other goodies to the outside of you bag sew them on now before adding the liner.

For the lining cut a piece of fabric to the width size as the tote. fold in half at bottom. My piece was 15"x 32" before I folded it in half. Fold the top edges over and press then fold over again and press to make a nice top seam.  If you want to add pockets to the inside of the bag sew them on before sewing the sides of the bag. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of that.
Stitch sides together  but leave the top alone for now

repeat the same corner technique as with the tote to make a 4" bottom to the liner

place the liner in your bag wrong sides together and top stitch the 2 together

Just like that you bag will be finished
I wanted to add a little extra ruffle, so I sewed 2 strips and added them to the tops of the handles

Ruffling is super easy just stitch your strip of fabric with very loose tension. I backstitch just a bit at the very beginning to make ruffling easier.
To ruffle the strip simply pull 1 of the 2 strings until desired ruffles are achieved!

I only added 1 pocket to the inside of my bag, but I did add a bit of ruffle to it :)

And just like that you take a $1 canvas tote and make a fabulous spring shopper

I use this fantastic tutorial to make my flowers, but beware, you'll be addicted and everything in your home will be covered in fabric flowers!

Peace is in the bag!


  1. So cute, Merrilee! Love the ruffle and flower accents!

  2. So cute! I love this idea! Super cute yellow lining is cute also!

  3. Love this tote. Love the flower accents and the yellow lining. Thanks for the tutorial!


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