How to make a tote bag from a dishtowel


I picked this dishtowel up at a yard sale the other day for a song, and even though it doesn't match my blue kitchen I figured something could be done with it. Today that something got whipped up. A tote! I am a minimal work, maximum results kind of gal, so making a tote bag without cutting the fabric or hemming the edges? Perfect.
 All you need is a dishtowel, one of the heavier ones, I wouldn't recommend the worn out (but pretty) vintage ones. However, if you really wanted to, you could just double up a flimsy towel with a durable one as the lining. 
 And a length of cotton or nylon strap.
Make sure your towel is clean and ironed. If you want to be creative and add appliques or pockets, do so now.
Fold the towel in half and stitch the sides.
Turn the bag inside out...
....and fold it so the seam is down the middle
Take a point and pin a few inches from edge.
Sew along the pinned line, repeat on the other end, and turn right side out.
Now take a length of strap, just make it whatever length you're comfortable with, and fold the edge under.
Pin each end of the strap to the bag, one side on front, and one side on back.
Stitch an hourglass using this guide, this will assure more strength for the strap.

Ta da! See how easy that was? Now go make some for your friends. Personalize them. They will be impressed.


Katherine said...

Eeee! I love it. So simple and easy. This is definitely going on my to-make-for-xmas-gifts list.


Katherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
art deco dame said...

that's cute!

Rhonda said...

what a great idea!

Caitlin Shearer said...

Gosh Solanah, i'd be entirely keen to paint your beautiful face/make a blog header for you one day in the future! I'm so fond of you too. :)

Anonymous said...

That is just too cute. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for nifty dishtowels at the thrift shop!

The Dainty Dolls House said...

So cool, I will try and make one too!! Thanks for that..have a great weekend xx

Alexandriaweb said...

That's such a cool idea :)

Tiffany, saltwatertiffy said...


Radka said...

Lovely, I´m definelly gonna try it, thanks.

MrsAmberApple said...

This is a great idea! I love that you are a "minimal work, maximum results kind of gal" that made me giggle, I feel the same way :)

Miss Marie said...

Another great thing to do with a tea towel is make a "bag bag", that is, a storage bag for your plastic bags, if you collect and use plastic bags for bin liners and other such things. My mum made one for us and several for friends from lovely tea towels she came across. Basically, you just sew it together down the long end, put elastic at either end, a little tag to hang it up at one end and ta-da! You stuff all your plastic bags in the top and pull them out the bottom. Very handy!

Belle Armed said...

how clever, and fun.


Carys said...

What a clever idea, your one looks really cute too!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

Solanah said...

Miss Marie that's a great idea! Ill have to do that one next :)

Elyse (Give Me Bows) said...

This is a great tutorial, I love the striped fabric - well, dish towel! I might make one to take to the beach :)

DarlingsandDames said...

Love it Solanah! I'm feeling some cute gifts coming up! Thank you!

Kerry said...

This is a great idea Solanah, I had just been lamenting the cost of all the stripey beach bags that are just entering the stores down my end of the world. This will be a great and wallet friendly alternative!

Oh and my mum is also a big fan of the bag bag. It really helps to clean up the kitchen!

Peanut said...

What an awesome idea! Great job! Do you mind if I use this in my up-coming newsletter? I own a vintage store called Miss Ruth's Time Bomb and I know my newsletter followers would love this!


Thanks Peanut

Unknown said...

Great tutorial!!! I love this idea...I will make a lot of this totes for my friends and my family!
Thanks ^___^

Solanah said...

Peanut, that would be wonderful! Thank you!


EvaJune said...

What an amazing blog you have. I love your style and photos. What a great stumble.