Friday, February 28, 2014

2 in 1 No sew tote bag

A Tote bag is always a handy one when you go for shopping ,a road trip ,library ,etc.I made two for myself ,one to take it to library and for shopping.But,I don't have a sewing machine to sew one :(.So,I came up with the idea of no sew version replacing sewing machine with stapler and thread with staples.Are you wondering whether this will work ?? Even I had no clue before trying it but it worked very well for me.I tested with about 6 big books and it was sturdy enough.Believe me!!Give a try and you will be happy for sure :) :).Lets get started.

Materials Used :

1.Upholstery vinyl -->half yard
2.Webbing for straps -->1.5 yard(approx 25 inches for each straps)
3.Ruler to measure
6.Masking tape(Optional)
7.Duct tape
8.Martha Stewart Adhesive stencils(Optional)
10. Martha Stewart Multi surface Acrylic paint(Optional)
-You can also use fabric paint but I am not sure whether normal acrylic paint will work on vinyl,so be sure to test a small area before you try
11.Foam Brush (Optional)

Step 1: Measure and cut the two pieces of vinyl about 20 inch X 18 inch each and webbing about two 25 inch pieces.Fold and crease the top hem for 2 inches and mark the 5 inches from the ends for the straps.
Place the webbing on the wrong side(Picture 1) and fold the strip on to the right side(Picture 2).Now start stapling the straps ,make sure that you staple only on the 2 inch fold so that the staples won't show outside.

Step 2: Fold the 2 inch hem on the top(Picture 3) and cover the hem with duct tape (Picture 4).

Step 3: Now comes the fun part, painting !!!I wanted my tote to be 2 in 1 so I decided to go with classy pattern on one side and trendy pattern on the other side.For classy pattern I used Adhesive stencils and for trendy look I made my own design with masking tape.You can customize your tote according to your taste and colour. If you feel this step as tedious work you can go with printed vinyl fabric .If you chose cotton prints/any lighter fabric make sure you cover the wrong side fully with the duct tape as lining making one strip slightly overlapping the other(refer the picture below).This is done for strength as staples will tear the lighter fabric and ruin your work.(We don't want that to happen,rite ?? :))
If you are use light fabrics like cotton,make sure you line the wrong side(Inner) with duct tape as shown.This picture shows the inner side of the completed bag but when you make the lining do this step before stapling the sides

This picture shows How I made the design with masking tape and painted above it.

These are the two panels of the bag.Trendy one and the classy one.

I made this design for another bag.So this is just for your inspiration.

Step 4: Once the paint is dry ,place the right sides facing together and start stapling all the three sides leaving 1/4 inch seam allowance on the sides.

Step 5:To make a gusset (Bottom panel), turn the bag in such a way the side seams are at the center and make a triangle  pointing downwards on both the sides(Left & Right)(Refer picture below).Measure 4 inches perpendicular to the side seam and staple along the line(as shown).

Step 6:Open the seam and cover it with long pieces of duct tape.Do this to cover the side seam and bottom panel.Voila !!!You are done.Turn the bag inside out to admire your beautiful work.Hang the bag in your hand  and start posing for selfies !!!Click!Click!Click!!.What's next ??Sharing the pic!Don't forget to share the picture with me if you try this bag.I will be happy to see it . :) :) If you are in Instagram #vikalpah so that I can see your creations.

Some Extra points :
1)If you want to iron the vinyl ,Use a damp towel on the vinyl fabric and iron it on the top of the damp towel in "No steam" setting.
2) I have not tested the strength of the tote bag made with cotton fabric so if you try it , let me know whether it passed the durability test :)
3)I made two lines of stapling for the library tote which I made for extra safety.So, If you have decided to carry any heavy items in the tote ,go with two lines of stapling .(It is always better to be on the safer side than to be sorry later :)).
4)So thinking about how many Staples I have used ??I have half a box left even after completing two tote bags.
5)Duct tape-->You will probably need 20 to 30 yards(approx 1 and 1/2 scotch duct tape) if you are giving a complete lining with duct tape.If you are just using it for closing seams then you will need less.

Make sure you have all supplies in hand before starting !!Have fun making your own tote bag!!I had lot of fun making my own bag !!!Don't forget about the Click !Click ! Click! I said before!!! :)

Feel free to ask me any doubts in the comments below or write to it with your friends on Facebook ,twitter ,google + or pin it for later.

Sharing this post in East Coast Creative Blog!Please do take a look and support me and all other wonderful bloggers out there.Thank you !!!!


  1. I can't sew to save myself, I saw a different version of this on youtube, but love how you used the vinyl fabric and painted! Great instructions too :)

  2. Thank you:)I always love use vinyl as I can customize it :)

  3. nice and amazing post. I really appreciate you on good effort. i am very happy to see your post. we also provide service for Buy Tote Bags Online in UK. if you want our service so you can visit on our website.