Friday, March 19, 2010

Make a Market Tote

Kellie is a crafty momma who blogs regularly at Greenhab: The Browns Go Green and the Green Phone Booth.

I am officially ready for the farmer's market to start! I was standing in line at the store the other day, behind a woman with a cute little tote bag. I asked her if she made it and she told me that it was just a freebie canvas bag that she covered in her own fabric.


And now I've stolen her idea to make this cute little market bag for myself.

For this project you'll need a canvas bag and some cloth to cover it. I picked up this cute vintage piece of fabric at a yard sale last summer and have been waiting for the perfect project for it.

Measure your bag. Add one inch to the width (that's 1/2 inch on each side for seam allowance) and add 1.5 inches to the height (that's 1/2 inch at the bottom for seam allowance and 1 inch at the top to fold over). If you're using a bag with a bottom that is squared off, you'll want to add half the depth onto the height of the fabric.

Ex: You have a 10 x 10 inch bag with a bottom that is 3 inches wide. Your width will be 10" + 1" (seam allowance) = 11" total. Your height will be 10" + 1.5" (to account for the bottom) + 1.5" (seam allowance) = 13" total.

Once you have two pieces cut out in this size (one for the front and one for the back of the bag), place them right sides together and sew the sides and bottom, leaving the top open, of course.

If your bag has a squared off bottom, you'll now want to square off your corners on the bag you just made. I always find this part hard to explain. You want to take the right side seam and make it face the bottom seam. This will make a triangle for you like this...

If your mat has diagonal lines like mine, it makes it easier to measure the next part. If the bottom of your canvas bag is 3 inches wide, you want to measure 3 inches across and mark a line with your fabric marker. In the photo above, you can actually see that mine is 6 inches.

Sew across the line you just made, then cut the excess triangle off like so...

Now turn the top of the bag down 1 inch and press. Turn your bag right side out. Place your canvas bag inside of the bag you just made. I pinned the bottom corners together to prevent it from shifting and pinned the tops of the two bags together.

Sew all around the top of the bags, very close to the top. I sewed a second line about an inch lower as well for durability. As you can see, my bag has a little pleat on the front. I'd like to say it was on purpose, but I accidentally sewed the sides with a 1/4 seam allowance instead of 1/2 and had too much fabric...blah blah blah...

Now you're done!

The canvas bag I used had two pockets on the outside. I flipped it inside out so that the pockets are now on the inside and I can use them for wallet / cell phone / keys.

This is such a frugal way to give new life to an old canvas bag. Have fun!


  1. Very very pretty. This is really a great idea and looks like even I could do it. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  2. That is sooo cute! I may just try my hand at this.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.


Header designed by Crystal. Thanks!