How to sew 4 fun and easy tote bags

Learn how to make one of our four favourite reusable bags.

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These days, reusable bags are everywhere: in the trunk for groceries, in offices and schools in place of lunch bags, and as catch-alls for errands out around town. Generic store brand bags are boring, and pretty gift-shoppy ones can cost a fortune. So we've compiled our four best tote bag patterns for you to learn how to sew at home.

Get started with the super-simple lunch bag tote, that's customizable for anyone in the house. Try one for the kids in fabric patterned with their favourite movie characters, or one for yourself in a vibrant, fresh hue. These bags are easy to toss in the laundry, unlike the stinky zippered variety, and can be made in a flash. Speaking of lunches, find a new use for your kids' used juice bags with our colourful recycled tote below. This roomy bag is extra-sturdy, making it the perfect bag for trips to the grocery store or farmer's market.

If it's a cute catch-all bag that you need, try making the simple and stylish tote. Follow our lead by using olive green fabric with a graphic, printed fabric for a modern effect. Next time you have a present to wrap, consider assembling our easy gift bag, instead. Wrapping paper may look beautiful, but winds up balled-up and thrown out. Our reusable gift bag is a neat alternative to paper and doubles as an extra present, too!

Photo gallery: How to sew a recycled tote bag out of juice bags

Practise the three Rs by sewing a stylish tote bag out of juice bags – an eco-friendly fashion statement for kids or adults.



You’ll need:
• 16 juice bags, rinsed and dried out
• 2.75 m of black double fold binding or other trim that finishes to approx 1/2 in (1 cm)
• 1 m strip of 3-1/2-in (9 cm) wide recycled denim
• 1.1 m of black 1-in (2.5 cm) webbing or other desired trim to make a handle
• Sewing machine, with a recycled needle that is dull, but not bent or broken
• Thread, pins, old or recycled scissors

A pretty homemade lunch bag to sew

This reversible lunch tote is also perfect for the kids—surprise them with one in their favourite colour!


The handles are an extension of the main part of this bag, which you can use to easily tie the bag closed. The bag is also reversible. It’s easier to assemble if you use a piece of thick fabric for one side and a thin fabric for the other.

Sew a simple and stylish tote bag

A book bag, a knitting tote, a gym carryall, a catch-all for the car -- the possibilities are endless with this easy pattern.



You cannot have too many tote bags. Especially after you discover how to sew this easy pattern! Combining different fabrics and experimenting with various sizes will give you endless possibilities. A book bag, a knitting tote, a gym carryall, a catch-all for the car -- it makes a marvellous customized gift for anyone. This is an easy project, suitable for any level of skill with the sewing machine. For an added challenge, get creative with appliqué and embroidery. Once you get the hang of the pattern, try different sizes.

Gift bags to sew

Learn how to sew this easy bag – it's a perfect way to present your gifts, and it can be used again and again.



Pretty and practical, these easy-sew gift bags can be used again and again.

You need:
Light- to medium-weight fabric (see Step 1, below, to determine required amount)
Matching or contrasting thread
Dressmaker's chalk pencil, ruler and set square
Bodkin or large safety pin


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