Friday, June 29, 2012

Simple Zipper Tote DIY

I don't know about you, but in the summer I am always in need of large tote bags.  They're perfect for day trips, the library, or keeping all of your journaling supplies in place!  Here is a super simple DIY for a large tote bag using a zipper pillow cover.

You will need:
A 20x20 pillow cover with zipper (I got mine from Ikea)
Sewing machine
48 inches of cotton webbing
Thread to coordinate with the cover
Fray check
Scrap canvas (about 13x16)
8x12 Cardboard (I used a cereal box)

1. Turn your cover inside out.  Flatten the corners opposite the zipper to create triangles. Be sure that the side seams and bottom seams align. Measure 3.5 inches from the point, and pin and sew.  Do this at both ends.
 Remove the point (without cutting too close to your stitching).  You can also use pinking shears here.

2. Prepare the top by folding in the zipper about 1.5 inches.  Pin in place and iron in the seam. Make sure the front and the back line up.

3. Make two 24 inch straps from the webbing.  I used the zig zag stich at the bottom of each strap and added fray check to keep them from unraveling.  Do this to both ends of each strap.  Let them dry.

4. Use the scrap canvas to create a false bottom. Fold the canvas in half, right sides together, and sew around the two sides of the canvas leaving an opening to slip in the cardboard. Turn your rectangle inside right and slip in the cardboard. Now, fold in the ends at the opening to create a clean finish and sew.

5. To attach handles, measure 6.5 inches in from each side and pin and sew to the bag by making a 1 inch square with a diagonal to ensure sturdiness. Be sure not to sew on to the zipper!

6. Insert your false bottom and enjoy your new bag!!!

If anything was confusing, please let me know... and if you make one, I would love to see!



  1. Another great DIY, Charlie! I love totes and this would also be great for a reusable shopping bag!