How to make a tote bag from old material

How to make a tote bag; a piece of fabric, chalk and a tote bag hanging on a door
(Image credit: Future)

Learning how to make a tote bag is one of the best and most practical ways to get started in sewing. My step-by-step tutorial for a tote bag will take you through transforming a neglected bedsheet, duvet cover or tablecloth into a useful all-purpose tote bag. This is a great beginner sewing project as you don’t need to invest in fabric or a pattern and it is very easy to make. 

All you need learn how to sew a tote bag is an hour or two of your time, a basic sewing machine, an old textile item such as a bedsheet, duvet cover or tablecloth, matching or contrasting thread, an iron,  fabric scissors, pins, a tape measure, tailors chalk or a fabric marker and a ruler. Read my guide to the best sewing machines for beginners if you've not already found one.

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Michelle Rowley
Freelance craft writer

Michelle is a sewing teacher, writer and maker based in the Peak District. As a dressmaking tutor and freelance craft feature writer Michelle regularly writes for Love Sewing magazine as well as Woman's Weekly & Woman & HomeAs a sewing tutor and avid dressmaker she has extensive knowledge of sewing machines and overlockers, and the know-how of how to match different dressmakers' needs and budgets to the right machine for them.

With contributions from