Who couldn't use an extra throw-it-all-in tote bag for all their awesome junk? In this tutorial, I'll teach you how to make you're own tote using 3mm felt and upcycled leather belts.

Felt is a wonderful material that is made by rolling and pressing sheep's wool together so the fibers fuse together to create a smooth, unfurling surface. This last bit is especially important: it doesn't unfurl at the ends! Its like magic! This means that you could cut it in any direction or distance and the ends will not fray or come apart because theres no threads involved!- Just wool. This makes for an outstanding sewing experience! With all the characteristics of fabric, but with the added benefit of extreme durability.

Note: if you will be trying to create this project using 3mm felt on your home sewing machine, you may have to use heavy duty thread and sewing needle, along with adjusting the appropriate settings. You may even need to hand-crank the entire project through because the motor on a home sewing machine may not be strong enough sew through such dense materials as leather and felt. You could also hand-sew everything together, using rubber cement to reinforce your stitches.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Cutting Outline

There are so many options and styles for totes, but I decided I wanted my tote simple but big. I sketched out a quick design and rolled out my 3mm felt and began cutting.

My tote would be made from a single sheet of felt, measuring 41 X `19 inches. Since sewing felt could get difficult, I didn't want to be piecing together too many different felt edges. This stuff is thick!

I wanted my tote to stand 18 inches tall, so in order to do this, I alternated lengths for both sides and for the front and back of the bag (See image for clarification). The sides I cut at 18 inches, but for the front and back I added 5 inches to the bottom, which would meet at a 1 inch overlap to create the bottom of the tote.

I used a self-healing mat to cut on, along with a straight edge (ruler) and a rotary cutter. Sure, scissors can cut felt, but since I was doing longer cuts, I thought a rotary cutter would leave the cleanest lines. Which it did!

I had a small piece of scrap felt in a different color, and decided to use this to create a pocket detail on the front of the bag. More on this later.

<p>liked your shoes</p>
great instructions!!
<p>Great instructions! the bag looks nice :)</p>
I have been looking for about 3 days for a bag to make like this. I am not apro at sewing but can do a little. I wanted to make a shopping bag-type purse, big enough to lug all my stuff for work, but yet I would'nt need to carry an additonal purse. I purchased some really nice looking vinyl last month and now I can make this tote! I love yours and now I'll see how my version turns out!!
<p>Very trendy :D</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>

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Bio: I'm a creative content creator here at instructables, which means that I have the most awesome job making just about anything and everything! My ... More »
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