45+ Free Tote Bag Patterns & Tutorials: {Sewing}

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For some, tote bags may not be symbols of high fashion but they sure are handy and if you sew them yourself, you can make them as high-fashion as you like! Here are lots of ideas for making your own…many are very simple in design and easy to make while others offer a few crafty design features. Lots to choose from in this bunch!

Quick Note: If you’re wanting something to use for groceries, you’ll find some goodies in the list below that will do the job but make sure to also check out this collection that I put together (a must-see list that features free sewing, knitting and crochet patterns).

wkdesigner.wordpress.com

wkdesigner.wordpress.com

Ruffled: Made of soft cotton with a cascade of ruffles. This is one of my favorites!

Easy: This is unlined and uses french seams to create a nice, neat inside with no exposed seams.

needleandspatula.com

needleandspatula.com

sewmamasew.com

sewmamasew.com

Reversible Bucket Style: Sweet design with a flower embellished button for the closure, use a different print for the inside so you can alternate looks (reversible).

Scrunch Style: Lined and a leather belt (with buckle) is used for the strap, each side is gathered first before assembling.

naechic.blogspot.ca

naechic.blogspot.ca

placetobloom.blogspot.ca

placetobloom.blogspot.ca

Fold-Over: You’ll need material for the exterior, lining and scraps for pocket, double fold bias tape, medium weight fusible interfacing, cotton webbing and grommets.

Secretary: Nice and big and measures 15″ x 14″ so it’s large enough to carry a laptop, files and whatever else you like.

sewsweetness.com

sewsweetness.com

sew4home.com

sew4home.com

Ruffly Ribbon Handles & Ties: A simple lined, box-bottom style, featuring fun double-ruffle ribbon accents. This is lined and has a small inner pocket.

Braided Handle: Made with a sturdy cotton duck canvas, features a clean tear drop shape and side snaps…so simple yet gorgeous.

purlbee.com

purlbee.com

gluegunannie.com

gluegunannie.com

Compact: Folds up neatly into its own little pocket and is the perfect size to fit into a bike basket and to pick up groceries from the farmers market or corner store.

Denim: Cut up old jeans to make this, nice & sturdy.

craftingagreenworld.com

craftingagreenworld.com

projectsbyjess.blogspot.ca

projectsbyjess.blogspot.ca

School: Nice ‘n big with a button & strap closure. Handles can be made with same material or just use nylon strapping.

Freezer Paper Designs: Stencil any design you like using freezer paper and paint (no tutorial for the tote itself).

zitzmanfam.blogspot.ca

zitzmanfam.blogspot.ca

cicadadaydream.blogspot.ca

cicadadaydream.blogspot.ca

Fat Quarter: Uses every bit of a fat quarter to make this, make sure the piece is squared and true.

Library: Whether you like things scrappy or streamlined, this is ready to go when you are. Take it to the library or to the park, it’s big enough for all the essentials.

noodle-head.com

noodle-head.com

bhg.com

bhg.com

Simple Six Pocket: Surprisingly easy to make and cleverly incorporates outer pockets for everyday necessities.

Basic Booty: Unlined and made from jeans or other pants.

thelongestyear.typepad.com

thelongestyear.typepad.com

boredandcrafty.com

boredandcrafty.com

Piano Style: Fun design and perfect gift idea for piano students.

The Weekender: Here is a fun choice in a cotton waxcloth outer with leatherette base and trim, perfect for the do-it-yourselfer.

wkdesigner.wordpress.com

wkdesigner.wordpress.com

twinkleandtwine.com

twinkleandtwine.com

Gorgeous Lined Handbag: Made with medium weight wool suiting, upholstery vinyl, lining, muslin, Peltex and covered buttons.

Dishtowel: This is made from a dishtowel and is lightweight enough for your little reader, but sturdy enough to carry a small stash of library books.

ihavetosay.typepad.com

ihavetosay.typepad.com

lazygirldesigns.com

lazygirldesigns.com

1 Yard, 1 Hour: Make this quick and simple project in about an hour from one yard of material. A lightweight material such as quilter’s cotton is recommended.

Two Kates: Nice for holding and carrying project supplies.

katedaviesdesigns.com

katedaviesdesigns.com

whatsthatgonnabe.blogspot.ca

whatsthatgonnabe.blogspot.ca

Summery: Made with two coordinating rectangular dishcloths and a yard of webbing (twill tape style).

Sweet Sac: Based on a project found in a Japanese craft book with added patchwork and yo-yo embellishments.

kristinlaflamme.com

kristinlaflamme.com

creativekismet.com

creativekismet.com

Made With A Pillowcase: They are super easy and quick to make, involving only straight line stitching. Made with a thrifted pillowcase.

Easy: Basic instructions provided.

catcancook.com

catcancook.com

sewprimkhris.blogspot.ca

sewprimkhris.blogspot.ca

With Outer Pocket: This one’s a little different to make, you sew one lining to one outer fabric and then stitch them all together after putting on pockets and handles.

Dress Stitchery: Features embroidered dress designs across the middle.

amelieandatticus.blogspot.ca

amelieandatticus.blogspot.ca

ashleyannphotography.com

ashleyannphotography.com

Doily Canvas: Shows how to use a paper doily and paint to decorate a plain canvas bag.

Dish Towel: Quick & easy and uses four dish towels for the material.

annamariahorner.blogspot.ca

annamariahorner.blogspot.ca

maribelmade.com

maribelmade.com

DIY Reversible: Easy-to-make and features a shoulder strap and inner pocket. Image file download for pattern pieces (not to size but use as reference).

Eva: Simple yet versatile and you can customize it any number of ways (several examples shown on page).

vivatveritas.blogspot.ca

vivatveritas.blogspot.ca

mypatchwork.wordpress.com

mypatchwork.wordpress.com

Charm Square: Made with 16 charms across and around the top, contrasting fabric for the bottom and a gathered strip in between.

Spring: Made with a set of tea towels, belting, fusible fleece interfacing and coordinating piping.

homemadebyjill.blogspot.ca

homemadebyjill.blogspot.ca

sewmamasew.com

sewmamasew.com

Wallet Style: Nice! This roomy version folds up into a small zipped wallet, template download available (via pdf).

Market Purse: Lined with an inner pocket, open top (with magnetic snap) and a shoulder strap.

fabricworm.blogspot.ca

fabricworm.blogspot.ca

craftynest.com

craftynest.com

Made With A Tank Top: The best kind of tank tops to use for this project are ones that have front and back necklines that are the same height—or very close.

Gathered: This is lined and has webbing straps and ruffles, a gathered body and 2″ grommets to run the straps through, magnetic snap closure.

bumblebeebliss.com

bumblebeebliss.com

bromeliadliving.com

bromeliadliving.com

Doily Makeover: Uses a ready made canvas bag, logos are covered then a doily is attached over top.

Mickey Design: Cover a plain canvas tote with Mickey Mouse shapes cut from assorted prints.

family.go.com

family.go.com

elsiemarley.com

elsiemarley.com

Post Office: Convenient for hauling parcels, this is made with heavy duty material, interfacing and thread to match.

Pleats: Features preppy pleats and a sweet curved top edge.

u-handbag.typepad.com

u-handbag.typepad.com

bagntell.wordpress.com

bagntell.wordpress.com

Utility: The most functional yet basic design.

Outer Pockets: Has four outer pockets (two on each side) and can be made with complimentary fabrics.

twoflychicks.blogspot.ca

twoflychicks.blogspot.ca

myevaforeva.blogspot.ca

myevaforeva.blogspot.ca

Leather Satchel: You can use repurposed leather for this, simple stitching involved.

With Pockets: Make this any size you like with a piece of main fabric, a piece for accent, lining and straps, fat quarter for pockets, ric rac and pellon.

mycottoncreations.blogspot.ca

mycottoncreations.blogspot.ca

megantada.blogspot.ca

megantada.blogspot.ca

Weekender: Extra-large in size, made with canvas, accent fabric and lining. Zips closed.

Leather & Canvas Satchel: You’ll need a scrap of leather, heavy weight canvas (about a yard), and basic supplies.

delightfuldozen.com

delightfuldozen.com

maycieafterfive.com

maycieafterfive.com

Bucket: Lined, drawstring closure and twill tape is attached for a carrying strap.

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Published: April 19, 2007
Updated: October 23, 2012

What Readers Are Saying:
5 Comments to “45+ Free Tote Bag Patterns & Tutorials: {Sewing}”
  1. AnneKD says:

    Thanks for the pictures and descriptions! I was just thinking yesterday about making a tote bag for myself. The pictures help with deciding which one to make.

  2. Mimi says:

    This is awesome!! I see about 10 totes that I want to make.

  3. Patty says:

    I have to say this could not have come at a more perfect time I have been looking for some easy to do gifts for the kiddos and my daughter and these are perfect. not having a lot of time I need things I can sit down and do in an afternoon.

  4. deena says:

    Thank you! This comes at the perfect time.
    I was just thinking last night that I needed to make some totes for myself and my daughter.

  5. Alice says:

    Thanks for the photos…great inspiration! Have been making totes for years; made them for groceries long before it was fashionable! So easy; so versatile; so useful. Love using up my scrap pieces on one section at least…makes me think I’m getting something for almost nothing. Sewing is very relaxing as you are so focused. With these easy bags, you have a finished product as well.


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