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How to Make a Walker Tote Bag

Updated on April 8, 2016

A Quick and Easy Project that Provides Practical Help

There are many different ways to sew a walker tote, but I will demonstrate a very easy one that makes this project one you can complete from start to finish in the matter of a couple of hours. It has large pockets for storage and hook & loop tape to hold it onto the walker.

Because this project requires no buttons or ties, it is a great beginner's sewing project. It is also done up very quickly which makes it perfect for charity sewing groups to construct assembly line style.

This page starts with a video overview so that you have the general idea of how the project develops. Then I walk you through the steps in more detail with photos and written directions.

The Walker Tote Completed

Here is the finished walker tote, hanging over a chair as it would hang over the bar of a walker.
Here is the finished walker tote, hanging over a chair as it would hang over the bar of a walker. | Source

An Overview of How to Sew a Walker Tote Bag

Making the Walker Tote: What You Need

The picture shows enough fabric to make two walker bags.
The picture shows enough fabric to make two walker bags. | Source

Assemble Your Supplies

The supplies needed for a walker bag are minimal and can use remnants or repurposed cloth.

Fabric

To make a walker bag, you need two pieces of fabric that are 14-15 inches wide and 43-53 inches long. The fabric can be identical or contrasting. I like the look of the pockets and the background being different, so I am using two complementary but different fabrics in my tutorial.

I am using a very thick cloth -- the stripe is canvas and the plaid is an upholstery fabric. Although the thicker fabrics are a bit harder to work with, they offer a very nice finished product that is more durable and able to hold heavier loads without sagging.

Notions

  • You will need 6 inches of sew-on hook and loop tape (Velcro), cut into two 3 inch pieces (four pieces when you separate the hook side from the loop side).
  • And of course you will use thread in an appropriate color.

Sew Both Sides Together

Sewing right sides together, all around save a small opening for turning.
Sewing right sides together, all around save a small opening for turning. | Source
Opening for turning.
Opening for turning. | Source
Ironing seams open (optional).
Ironing seams open (optional). | Source

Begin Sewing

Once your fabric is cut to the size you want, pin right sides together and sew all the way around, leaving an opening large enough to turn the tote inside out. I made my opening about 6 inches long.

When the sewing is complete, trim across the corners to make them easier to turn.

At this stage, I prefer to iron my seams open as best I can. Even though I can't iron them perfectly, I find flattening the seams a bit helps me to get a nice crisp edge when I turn the walker tote right side out. This step is optional if you don't find it helpful.

Once the tote is right side out, iron it thoroughly so that the edges lay flat and the corners are as square as possible. I find a chopstick helpful for pushing the corners out. For the opening, simply iron it as if it were sewn, with the right edges turned under.

Sew on the Velcro

Source

Attach the Velcro

On the back side (inside) of your walker, pin down the three inch hook and loop (Velcro) tabs and sew them into place.

Velcro Placement Guide

Measure the center of the walker tote. The hook and loop tape should be sewn five inches from the center and 1 ½ inches from the side. See the diagram above.


Create the Pockets

Source
Source

Who is Your Walker Tote For?

What will you do with your walker tote?

See results

Sew Along Edges and Make Pockets

Don't worry about the opening. It will get sewn up at this point.

Fold up the ends of the fabric to make pockets on both sides. Measure it so that the pockets come up the same distance from the center. The pocket depth can vary, but generally you want the pockets to come up to the level of the top of the Velcro, hiding the stitching underneath. That means the top of the pockets will be five inches from the center of the tote.

Pin the pockets into place along the sides, matching the edges carefully. Then sew a straight line from the bottom of one side, across the pocket, over the middle section, and onto the pocket on the other side. This straight line of sewing should be close to the edge. It will lock in the opening you left to turn the tote right side out. Repeat this straight stitch for the other side too.

Then sew straight up the center of each pocket to form two smaller pockets. Be sure to reinforce the top of the pocket with some extra forward and backward stitching that goes well past the edge of the pocket. You want the pocket to be able to withstand the weight of whatever it carries.

It's Finished!

Now your walker tote is done. All that is left to do is trim all the stray threads and possibly give it another go under the iron.

Test it Out

Drape it over the back of a chair or towel bar to test it out. Does the Velcro match and hold it in place? Does it hold a bottle of water or a book easily?

Use it or Give it Away

You can now use your walker tote yourself, give it to a friend or relative, or donate it to charity such as a nursing home or therapeutic clinic.

Why a Walker Tote?

Imagine needing a walker to get around. Now consider how you would carry a purse or backpack if you were unsteady on your feet. It would be a nuisance at best and a danger at worst as it shifted its weight on your body.

With a walker totebag, the burden is placed where it belongs -- on the metal bars of the walker -- and not on the shoulders or back of the person already struggling to walk.

If making a walker tote seems too much trouble, there are plenty of talented seamstresses online who would love to sell you a premade one. See the patterns and styles available at eBay below.

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    • angela p profile image

      angela p 5 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Hi Jimmie - this actually looks like something I could do. My grandmother taught me how to sew many years ago. I never did anything with it as I got older. I would love to pick it back up now and make some really neat things. I may actually try this. Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have seen these used, didn't know what they were called nor how to make them. You have cleared the mystery, voted up useful and shared!

    • profile image

      Peggy Gibbs 4 years ago

      I've made two of these walker bags for my group, World of Charity Stitching. They will be donated to a nursing home. Thanks for the tutorial. Peggy

      Peggy_verdongibbs@att.net

    • profile image

      ThePamster 3 years ago

      I love how simple this is! Thank you! I'm going to make this for a family member, and I know she will greatly appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Carolyn 22 months ago

      I made one of these for my sister-in-law with some quilted fabric, lined with a nice bright broadcloth. She lives in senior housing and walks to the dining room, had no way to carry her 'essentials.' She absolutely loves it! The tutorial is wonderful, and I was very pleased with how quick and easy it was, and especially with the finished product. I plan to make some for our hospital auxiliary Christmas bazaar. Thank you so much!

    • profile image

      Linda in NC 22 months ago

      what a great project! I made one today and it looks so professional! It's for my mother-in-law in a nursing facility in MO. I am taking it to her as a gift and I know she'll be pleased. Thank you!

    • profile image

      SummerRses 20 months ago

      Thank you so much! I made one for my mother who is in a nursing home and since then, I have made three others for other residents who asked where I got it. I told them that a "nice lady on the internet" donated her pattern for free, so I'm make them one for free. Thanks again!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 17 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a practical thing to give someone with a walker. It is simple enough to make.

    • profile image

      Carol B 11 months ago

      Thanks for the pattern! I whipped one up this morning for someone at the assisted living center who suddenly had to start using a walker. Be loves it! :o)))

    • profile image

      Myda 8 months ago

      When I made one for my mother-in-law, I put a zipper in it. She never carried a purse again. Last week after my husband had knee replacement surgery, he asked for one. It took me longer to decide on the fabric than to actually do the sewing.

    • profile image

      Liz 7 months ago

      Thank you for the quick and easy tote!

    • profile image

      Marie 6 months ago

      I have made my mom two of these using your tutorial. Getting ready to make one for the Christmas season. Thank you for the easy to follow tutorial.

    • profile image

      Betty F 6 weeks ago

      Thanks for this easy and well done UTube. This did go together quite fast. I used fusible fleece inside make it a bit more stable. Worked well.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Ziff 45 hours ago

      Thank you for a GREAT tutorial! I made 3 walker pouches. I used a stiffener in mine to give it more strength. I also added side straps to tie to the side legs of the walker so that the pouch does not swing back and forth and hit the walker. GREAT instructions! Thank you for making this FREE!

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