Canvas Tote Bag Pattern + Tutorial

Canvas Tote Bag Pattern + Tutorial

Stylish, Re-Usable and Free??? Say no more! We’re pretty sure that everyone is aware of how harmful single-use plastic bags are to the environment. The solution to this pollution (haha, get it? we rhymed) is cost effective, and- with our pattern below- absolutely free.

Our Re-Usable Cotton Canvas Tote bag is a stylish yet simple solution to the plastic pollution caused by single- use bags. The tote bag pattern is perfect for beginners because it also includes detailed instructions and photos to help you along. But, if you’re not in the mood to bring out the sewing machine just yet- here’s a stylish heavy duty cotton canvas tote made in our signature banana leaf pattern here .


DIY Tote Bag Pattern


  • Heavyweight Canvas Fabric
    • Preferably 12-18 oz,
    • Less than a yard is needed for this bag. However, it’s always best to have a little extra fabric to work with!
  • Heavy Duty Cotton or Bonded Nylon Thread
    • This is normally found in the upholstery thread aisle. The thicker weight allows the seams to remain intact when carrying heavier items in your bag over a period of time.
  • Heavy Duty Snap Buttons (optional)
    • Most grocery/ cotton canvas totes don’t have a closure because they’re meant to be for easy use when shopping


  • Fabric Chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins


  1. Cut out tote bag pieces
    1. 2x bag body
    2. 2x bag handle
  2. Iron pattern pieces.
    1. Iron Straps by folding it into thirds twice and pinning

3. Stitch both bottom edges together using a reverse seam (with the top sides of fabric facing each other) and 1/2” allowance.

4. Stitch sides together using a reverse seam and 1/2” allowance as well. Remember to have right sides of the fabric facing each other.

 5. Fold 1/2” edge along top seam inwards to form a hem.

    1. Iron
    2. Pin
    3. Stitch using zig- zag setting

6. Fold to form a 3.5” hem

    1. Iron
    2. Pin
    3. Sew using straight stitch

  1. Bind edges along sides with bias tape. Remember to fold at beginning and end
  2. Open the flat bottom corner tabs, fold the matching seams together and pin to secure.
  3. Then, sew ½” seam allowance
  4. Bind bottom edge

Tote Bag Handles

  1. Fold the sides of both straps inward to center. Iron and then fold again to center
    1. Iron again
    2. Pin
    3. Stitch along both side edges using 1/4” allowance
  2. Bind ends of strap with bias tape.

3. Place straps about 6” from center and 1/2” from inside seam of top hem.

    1. Pin into place
    2. Stitch (2) lines about 1/4” away from strap edges to form parallel lines


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