How to make a tote bag or easy book bag

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Learn how to make a book tote with these simple and clear step by step instructions. This easy sewing DIY is a great craft for kids to decorate. It's also a beginner friendly pattern.

This easy to sew tote is perfect for putting books and treasures in.  I’ll show you how to make a tote bag or easy book bag that your kiddo can decorate and make their own. Made from Oly*Fun cloth it’s perfect for sewing and crafting.  Just sew up and then add cut out shapes and glue on.  Or paint and draw to on the cloth to add your personal touch.  This is also a great beginner sewing project.  The line are simple and the cloth won’t slide under the needle.  It’s really easy to cut out.

YOU WILL NEED:

Please note that the paper you print the printable on will affect the color nicer paper ( i.e. more expensive paper) tends to yield better results.

How to make a tote bag or easy book bag:

Step 1 – Cut out the main bag pieces

For the main part of the tote bag you will need 2 sheets of the OLY*FUN fabric.

 Using a rotary cutter, ruler and mat, cut off the side with the hanging punch out – about 1 inch.

Next decide how you want your bag shaped.  To make it thin and tall, only cut out a 1 inch square from the bottom corners.

To make it a little wider and shorter, cut out a 2 inch square.

Or if you want to make it a a lot wider cut out a 3 inch square.  You get to be the designer!

Cut out the desired size square from both bottom corners.

Step 2 – Cut out the handles and the decorations.

Cut two strips of cloth that are 3 inches wide and fold in half – pin.

Using die cut machine cut out shapes for decorating (optional).

You can also use the provided flower pattern to trace the pattern on the fabric and cut out.

Step 3 – Sew the main body of the bag

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew the sides and bottom of the bag

– leaving the squares open.

Step 4 – Sew the Squares

Take the square and pull it open

so the two seams meet in the middle and it forms a flat line.

Sew the seam using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Step 5 – Sew the handles

Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew each handle.

Turn right side out

Top stitch on either side of the handle (optional)

Step 6 – Bring it all together.

Turn the bag right side out.

Pin handles on either side of the bag – with the tops pointing to the bottom of the bag.

Sew the handles on using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Flip handles right side up and turn the top of the bag under 1/4 inch.  Pin

Top stitch along the top of the bag to finish.

Step 7 – Decorate your bag!

Now here’s the best part!  Use the cut out shapes and glue them to the bag to decorate.  Tip:  Place a piece of paper in the bag to keep markers and glue from bleeding through the fabric.