Have you ever seen those cheapo canvas and burlap totes at your local craft store? You know the $1-$2 ones that you assume are for painters, screen printers and embroiderers? As an avid sewer, you really have no use for those….besides, you can up a tote so much nicer anyway, right?
Well, I want to let you in on a little secret. If you can score some of those on the super cheap, you may not want to pass them up so quickly. With a few fabric scraps and a little time, you can transform those cheapo totes into something super chic and save your prized fabric stash and valuable time for another project…
Nice, aren’t they? These awesome totes started out as the most boring burlap bags EVER! I paid under $1.00 for each of them. I spent maybe $3.00 more for the fabric to line them. So for a grand total of $4.00 along with 30 minutes of my time I have turned a nothing bag into a great gift item. Do you want to know how I did it?
Keep on reading….
- Canvas, Jute or Burlap Cheapo Tote
- Enough cotton fabric to make the lining of your tote. 1 yard should be enough for your tote…most likely you will use much less.
- Something fun to decorate the front of the tote (I made fabric flowers which cost me nothing but a little time)
Turn the bag inside out and measure from side to side. INCLUDE the seam allowance in this measurement and note how wide the tote seam allowance is. It is most likely 1/2″. My tote’s width measured 15″ INCLUDING 1/2″ seam allowances.
STEP 2: Cut & Sew The Lining
Cut 2 pieces of your lining fabric to the dimensions you measured. I cut my fabric 15.5″ L x 15″ wide.
With the right sides facing together, sew down one side of your lining, across the bottom and up the other side. You will want to use the SAME SEAM ALLOWANCE as your tote. In my case this was 1/2″.
Sew across this line and clip off the excess fabric leaving about 1/2″.
Repeat for the other corner. Now place your lining in your tote to check for fit. Your lining will be a tad bit longer…note how much longer…it should be about 1/2″.
However much longer it is, that is the amount you will want to fold over on itself (wrong sides together) to create a clean edge around the opening. Iron this flat.
STEP 3: Decorate Your Tote
Before you sew the lining into your tote, you will probably want to decorate it first – especially if sewing – you don’t want your stitching to come through the lining.
I choose to make a fabric rosettes for mine and sew it onto my tote, using a button for the center. Cute, isn’t it? TIP: You can find tutorials all over the internet for this…I do have one flower tutorial you can use HERE.
STEP 4: Back to the Lining
Place the lining back into the tote and line up the side seams with those on the tote. Pin in place. Notice the placement of my lining…I have it offset about 1/8″ from the edge of the burlap tote.
No turning, no fuss. You are DONE!