How to Make a Duck Canvas Tote Bag (Step-by-Step Tutorial)

Updated on September 17, 2019
JasmineKennon86 profile image

Jasmine is a creative crafter who enjoys writing stories, cooking, and making handmade items. There's nothing like homemade!

Let's make this cute Hello Kitty tote bag!
Let's make this cute Hello Kitty tote bag! | Source

I love to hand-make things like tote bags—I think it's fun because I can put my own twist on how the finished bag comes out. So let's get started!

Things You Will Need

Things You Need
Things You Need | Source

Step 1: Glue the Inside Bag Fabric

The fabric I had was left over from other projects—I took those pieces and combined them to add up to the correct measurement. Now, once you have all your fabrics, you will take the inside bag fabric and glue the fabric to the duck canvas. If you have one piece, then just glue the one piece to your duck canvas. If you don't have fabric glue, you can always use pins.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Add fabric glue.Add fabric.Add the Hello Kitty fabric.If you don't have glue, you can always use pins.
Add fabric glue.
Add fabric glue. | Source
Add fabric.
Add fabric. | Source
Add the Hello Kitty fabric.
Add the Hello Kitty fabric. | Source
If you don't have glue, you can always use pins.
If you don't have glue, you can always use pins. | Source

Step 2: Sew the Inner and Outer Parts

Now we sew to secure the fabric. Pick a pretty stitch! We are going to sew right on the line in between the Hello Kitty fabric and the blue fabric on both sides. Make sure to do this to both inner and outer parts of the bag.

My pretty stitch!
My pretty stitch! | Source

You should have something like the photo below. Left is the inner bag and the right is the outer bag.

The inner bag on the left and the outer bag on the right.
The inner bag on the left and the outer bag on the right. | Source

Video: Sewing a Hello Kitty Bag

Step 3: Create the Handles

Now we will move on to the handles. You can use pins and sew your handles together, or you can use the fabric glue. I like to use the glue just because it's easier and there is less sewing.

First, you will glue the fabric pieces onto each other to make the handles long enough. (Remember, I use leftover fabric to add up to the correct measurement.)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The fabric pieces for your handles should look like this after you glue them together.How you should glue pieces together.
The fabric pieces for your handles should look like this after you glue them together.
The fabric pieces for your handles should look like this after you glue them together. | Source
How you should glue pieces together.
How you should glue pieces together. | Source

Next, you'll glue duck canvas to the fabric. Turn the fabric over and place a strip of duck canvas in the middle. Add some glue to the duck canvas. Fold over and press down, and then add some glue again. Continue adding glue and folding over. You'll fold over 3–4 times, as shown in the photos.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Turn the fabric over and put duck canvas in the middle.Add glue to the duck canvas.Fold over and press down.Add glue.Fold over.Add glue.Press down.Fold in half.
Turn the fabric over and put duck canvas in the middle.
Turn the fabric over and put duck canvas in the middle. | Source
Add glue to the duck canvas.
Add glue to the duck canvas. | Source
Fold over and press down.
Fold over and press down. | Source
Add glue.
Add glue. | Source
Fold over.
Fold over. | Source
Add glue.
Add glue. | Source
Press down.
Press down. | Source
Fold in half.
Fold in half. | Source

After that, you'll sew the handles together at the joints and then sew them onto the bag.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sew along the joints.Sew along the joints.Finished handles.
Sew along the joints.
Sew along the joints. | Source
Sew along the joints.
Sew along the joints. | Source
Finished handles.
Finished handles. | Source

Step 4: Sew the Handles to the Bag

Now we will sew the handles onto the bag. First, you'll take the inner bag, fold it in half, and mark the middle.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lay out your inner bag.Fold in half and mark the middle.
Lay out your inner bag.
Lay out your inner bag. | Source
Fold in half and mark the middle.
Fold in half and mark the middle. | Source

After that, you'll want to pin your handles to the bag about two inches from the middle point. You can use your ruler for this.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pin the handles two inches from the middle point.The pinned handles should like this.This is what you should have after you pin.
Pin the handles two inches from the middle point.
Pin the handles two inches from the middle point. | Source
The pinned handles should like this.
The pinned handles should like this. | Source
This is what you should have after you pin.
This is what you should have after you pin. | Source

Then you'll use your sewing machine to sew the handles onto the bag. No need for the pretty stitch this time: All you need is a straight stitch.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Now sew the handles onto the bag.All you need is a straight stitch.
Now sew the handles onto the bag.
Now sew the handles onto the bag. | Source
All you need is a straight stitch.
All you need is a straight stitch. | Source

Step 5: Sew the Sides and Box the Corners

Now you will fold the bag, making sure the seams line up. Pin the seams together and begin sewing half an inch from the side. Sew the sides of the bag closed. You will do the same thing to the outer bag later, but first, you'll box the corners for the inner bag.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pin the seams together and sew a half an inch from side.It should look like this.
Pin the seams together and sew a half an inch from side.
Pin the seams together and sew a half an inch from side. | Source
It should look like this.
It should look like this. | Source

Now it's time to box the inner bag's corners. The video will help you follow the steps for this part. After that, you'll line up the sides for your outer bag and sew down the sides. Then you'll box the corners again, just like you did for the inner bag.

Video: How to Box Corners

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sew and cut.You should have something that looks like this.
Sew and cut.
Sew and cut. | Source
You should have something that looks like this.
You should have something that looks like this. | Source

Step 6: Join the Inner and Outer Bags

After you have both the inner and outer bags sewed, you will turn the inner bag right side out and the outer bag inside out. Put the outer bag inside the inner bag, making sure the seams line up. Pin them together and sew, leaving a six-inch opening to pull the bag through. Push the inner bag into the outer bag to complete!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The inner bag is on the left; the outer bag is on the right.Put the outer bag inside the inner bag.Pin around, leaving a six-inch opening.Sew around the bag.Now pull the bag through a six-inch opening.It will look like this. Push the inner bag into the outer bag.This is what you will have.
The inner bag is on the left; the outer bag is on the right.
The inner bag is on the left; the outer bag is on the right. | Source
Put the outer bag inside the inner bag.
Put the outer bag inside the inner bag. | Source
Pin around, leaving a six-inch opening.
Pin around, leaving a six-inch opening. | Source
Sew around the bag.
Sew around the bag. | Source
Now pull the bag through a six-inch opening.
Now pull the bag through a six-inch opening. | Source
It will look like this. Push the inner bag into the outer bag.
It will look like this. Push the inner bag into the outer bag. | Source
This is what you will have.
This is what you will have. | Source

How to Make This Simple Project Even Easier

This bag took me two days to make, and that's just because I like to try and make sure the bag is well-made. You don't have to do all those steps: You could use only two pieces of fabrics (one of them being duck canvas), sew the sides, box the corners, sew on the handles, sew the whole bag together, and then pull through. But if you like this bag and would like to buy it instead, you can find it in my Etsy shop (Pinkolay).

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Finished bag.Finished bag.
Finished bag.
Finished bag. | Source
Finished bag.
Finished bag. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Jasmine Kennon

    Comments

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      • JasmineKennon86 profile imageAUTHOR

        Jasmine Kennon 

        3 months ago from USA

        I am glad you like it!

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 

        3 months ago from the short journey

        A cute project. Thanks for sharing your method.

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