Can we ever have TOO many tote bags??? We use them all the time at our house, so I am constantly grabbing different sizes for different purposes. Here is a very cheap and very easy way to add to your collection!
Found these two colorful placemats for $1 at a thrift store.
I began by putting the placemats right sides together, then pinning them.
Since they did not appear to be perfectly straight, I took my trusty purple disappearing pen, and drew my sewing lines, making a perfect rectangle.
Obviously, I did not sew along the top edge of the bag. I stitched the seams down the sides and across the bottom.
Wanting to make a flat bottom to the bag, the next step was a bit wonky! I grabbed the bottom corner of one side … like this ….
I pulled both sides out like this, so that I was holding the pointy corner in front of me. In order to make sure my seams matched at the bottom, I inserted a pin into one seam, and made sure it came out in the seam on the other side. I hope these photos show what I mean by this.
Next, I layed that pointy piece flat, and measured 4 1/2 inches from one side to the other and marked it for sewing. I did this (using my purple disappearing marking pen) to both of the bottom “pointy” corners.
On one of my trips to the fabric store, I had purchased a length of nylon strapping, as close to the color of blue which I could find, to the blue on the placemats. I cut 2 lengths of strapping for my handles, 27 inches each.
By very lightly heating the edges of the nylon strapping, I was able to sear the ends so that they will not ravel. I did this by using a propane lighter.
Along the top edge of the bag, measuring 4 1/2 inches away from each side seam, I placed a pin.
Measuring 1 1/2 inches from each end of the strapping, I placed a pin.
I placed the straps, and pinned them for sewing (putting the ends of the straps inside the bag).
To create strength and stability to a strap, it is important to sew a rectangle or a square, followed by an “X” inside. This is what that looks like.
Here is the look of the completed bag!!!
Very simple and VERY useful!!! Give this one a try!!! Now pack that tote and head somewhere fun!!!