How to Make Your Own Canvas Tote




Introduction: How to Make Your Own Canvas Tote

A very simple and easy way to make your own custom canvas tote which you can design the front of after!

Step 1:

Start off with your basic tools scissors, pins, ruler, seam ripper, fabric crayon, and a sewing machine (which is not shown).

Step 2:

You can make about 2 bags with 1 meter (folded).
I cut out a piece that is 33" x 31".

Step 3:

Then fold the 33" x 31" canvas in half, it is now 16 1/2" x 15 1/2".
The fold is going to be the bottom.

Step 4:

For the straps on the bag, cut 2 16" long straps.

Step 5:

At the top, fold the canvas down 1" from the edge, pin it, then repeat on the other side.
Then sew about .5mm from the edge. Removing pins as you go along.
Remember to double stitch at the beginning and end.

Step 6:

After finishing the top fold stitches, you're going to sew the sides of the bags together.
Pin the sides together.
Leave about 1mm from the edge of the fabric when sewing.

Step 7:

On the bottom corners of your bag, you're going to pinch the corners and then sew across like shown.
Measure properly for both of the corners and pin it down to make it easier.
Sew about 3" across the corners. Repeat on the other bottom corner of the bag.
This gives your bag more of a bottom/volume.

Step 8:

It should look like this.

Step 9:

Take one of the straps and measure about 4" to the side, and lined up to the 1" fold of the top of the bag.
Pin the strap down and repeat on each sides. Like shown.

Step 10:

Sew the straps down securely , by sewing around the edge of the strap, making a square, then sew from corner to corner of the square, like an X.
It should look like a box with an X in the middle, like shown.
Repeat three more times with the other straps.

Step 11:

It should look like this, clean up any loose strings, then flip it inside out, and feel free to paint/design whatever you like on your bag.

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    2 years ago

    Where do I buy the canvas?

    Chris Boylan


    6 years ago

    Great instructions. I used them to make my first ever thing using my first sewing machine.


    11 years ago on Step 3

    if it starts as 33"x31" and I fold it in half- won't it be 16.5" x 31"? (or 15.5 x33). Or do I cut in half lengthwise and then fold that in half?


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 3

    I think that's what you have to do, otherwise it will end up being too wide. I was a little confused to when I saw this.


    9 years ago on Step 11

    Good detail and lots of pictures make this nice and easy to follow, but one tip about making your seams.

    If you fold over the raw edge of the fabric a small amount, about 1/4 inch, and then fold over for your desired seam/hem and sew close to the edge, you won't have any raw fabric edges on the inside of your bag. Raw edges of fabric will wear away up to the seams as the bag is washed and used, and then you'll have to repair the seams which will be tricky with no fabric left for a seam allowance. Plus, the inside of the bag will look more professional and less homemade.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice tote, it would be fun to decorate with fabric paints.