How to make your own tote bags

Tote bags are very useful for carrying your lunch or books, especially if you want to leave your brief case or overstuffed book bag at home. Tote bags are easy to make, but as they are inexpensive and readily available at many craft stores, you may just want to buy a tote bag and decorate it to suit your mood and personality. If you want to make and decorate your tote bag, you should select a very sturdy fabric.

Heavy cotton or canvas is a good fabric to use for your tote bag. You want your bag to stand up to inclement weather. If you decide to lay down your tote bag on a bench, you don’t want the dirt to get on the contents. Most fabric stores carry heavy fabric, and you can select whichever weight suits your needs. Upholstery fabric may be too heavy, and it may be difficult to find upholstery fabric that doesn’t already have a pattern. Keep this in mind when you are in the fabric store.

After you have bought your fabric, cut out a square, rectangle or circle. The shape should be just a little bit larger than the size of your finished product. You need to leave enough fabric for a strap. Consider this when you are buying and cutting out your bag. If you decide to make a circular tote bag, realize that circles are very difficult to hem. The length of the strap should coincide with what you find most comfortable.

You may want to sling the bag over your shoulder. You may want to carry the bag with your hands. Make sure the strap is long enough to be comfortable. After you have cut out your bag, sew it up on three sides and attach the strap. Double thread the needle or use appropriate sewing machine thread. Hem the raw edges if you choose.

After you have sewn your tote bag, you may want to decorate it. Fabric paint is a good choice for decorating. It is readily available in craft stores and comes in a variety of colors. Select any number of colors that match or contrast with the color of the tote bag fabric. Consider a design that reflects your mood and personality. If you want a structured design, use a rubber stamp or stencil. If you want a free flowing look, simply start squirting paint. As tote bags are inexpensive, you can afford to make several. Let your imagination run wild.

If you don’t like paint, you can also use iron-on transfers. These are also available in craft stores. You can buy shiny pre-made designs and letters. If you want to come up with a cute little catchphrase that reflects your mood or personality, you can easily affix this saying to your tote bag. You can also use rhinestones or patches.

Consider the theme you want your tote bag to have. You will be sending a message to those who see you. Perhaps you can make several tote bags to fit your various moods. Don’t be afraid to express yourself.

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