Introduction: Ruffled Tote Bag

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.

I saw a bag like this at a craft boutique. I loved it, but being the person that I am, I just had to make my own. So here is my version of a ruffled tote bag. Finding four different print fabrics in the same color scheme was the hardest part. So here is how I make it happen.

Step 1:


A tote bag (find one you don’t use because it is UGLY, or buy one for $3.00 of less at a craft store)

¼ yard (22.5 cm) sections of four different print fabrics in the same color scheme, (or not, your choice)

Sewing machine



Pinking shears (not shown)

Hot glue gun

Hot glue sticks

Quilting measuring tool/straight edge (not shown)


Pen or pencil

3 buttons or other embellishments for center of the flowers

Straight pins

Step 2:

Cut 2- 3 ½ inch (9cm) lengths from each piece of fabric.

Step 3:

With right sides together sew matching pieces into long strips.

Step 4:

Now cut 16 inch (40 cm) of length from each piece. Put these aside for now, they will be turned into flowers later.

Step 5:

With wrong side up, fold 1/4 inch (6 mm) of edge over and then over again.

Step 6:

Sew this down, making a hem on the bottom of the ruffle. Repeat with the other three pieces of fabric.

Step 7:

Choose one to be the top ruffle. On the opposite edge fold down ¼ inch (6 mm) and sew it down, so that the top ruffle will have a nice finished top edge.

Step 8:

On the top edge of each ruffle piece, using your widest (basting) stitch, sew a straight line the length of the ruffle, leaving long tails of thread at each end. Fold each piece in half and mark with a straight pin.

Step 9:

Lay out your bag,

Step 10:

and determine how high from the bottom edge you will want to put the first ruffle. Use a pen/pencil and a straight edge to mark where you will want to put the glue and glue the ruffle to the bag.

Step 11:

Pin the middle of the soon to be ruffle to one side seam of the bag. I plugged in my hot glue gun to give it time to heat up while I worked,

Step 12:

and then started to pull on the top or bottom basting stitch (not both) and gather the fabric along the pulled thread. The reason I pinned the ruffle fabric to the bag so that I could use the bag itself to help determine when I have got my ruffles gathered to where I wanted them to be.

Step 13:

When the gatherings are all set for both sides of the bag, the glue gun was hot and ready to glue the ruffle down.

Step 14:

I put down a length of glue and pressed the top of the ruffle into the glue. Do your best not to touch the hot glue for a second degree burn could be the result.

Step 15:

Lay down more glue and glue on more ruffle. Do the opposite side.

Step 16:

Have the two ends over lap and glue down the width of the two ends to make it look finished.

Step 17:

Repeat with

Step 18:

each layer

Step 19:

of ruffles, making sure the last ruffle is the one with the finished edge.

Step 20:

Bring forward the four pieces you cut from the ruffles. You only need 3 flowers so choose the 3 you want to use. With the straight edge and the pen mark a piece 2½ inches (14 cm) wide

Step 21:

and used pinking shears to cut along that line. The pinked edge will be the outer edge of the flower,

Step 22:

Get the needle and thread it with a double thread and tie a slip know into the tail of the thread. Hand gather the straight edge of the soon to be flower.

Step 23:

One you reach the other end, use the thread to secure the center of the flower. Tie a knot and cut off the thread.

Step 24:

Use the hot glue to glue the two free edges together. Repeat with the other 2 flowers. You now have 3 - 5 inch in diameter flowers.

Step 25:

Determine where along the top edge you want your flowers to be placed. They can overlap. Hot glue the center of each flower to the bag, then

Step 26:

hot glue the button or other ornament into the center of each flower.

Step 27:

Done. My youngest daughter wants me to make her one. She even has an old ugly bag. She just needs to get the material she wants. Enjoy!

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