I hate throwing fabric away. It seems like such a waste. But sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to use random scraps for anything worthwhile. That’s why I have two quilt projects started that are completely from fabric scraps. I just haven’t found the motivation to complete them yet. Recently I made my daughter a skirt for her hula dance class. With the leftover fabric she requested I make her bag. “Can you make me a bag for my hula stuff?” It was the best idea and I had the perfect amount of fabric left. For the lining of the bag I was able to use leftover fabric from the yukata project I did for the kids, too. I already had interfacing, so the only thing I needed was belting material for the handles. Yes! I was so excited to use up scrap material.

We opted with a typical tote bag size, but you can adjust the size however you want (I’m working on making a much smaller bag with my other daughter using this same concept). This was a very simple afternoon project that I really enjoyed. I can see myself making more of these types of bags with scrap materials in the future!


  • 1/2 yd exterior fabric
  • 1/2 yd lining fabric
  • 1/2 yard medium weight fusible interfacing
  • 42″ inches of belting material for handles (or other desired material)
  • thread and all that other basic stuff

Step 1) Cut two 18″x14″ pieces of fabric for bag exterior, and two 18″x14″ pieces of fabric for bag lining. They can contrast or be the same. Cut two 21″ lengths for the handles. I used belt strapping material, but use can sew straps made out of fabric if you want.

Step 2) Iron on medium weight fusible interfacing on only exterior fabric rectangles. Make sure to adhere the interfacing to the side of the fabric that will not be showing. Then cut 2″x2″ squares from the bottom corners of both the exterior and lining fabrics.

Step 3) Pin together the exterior fabric pieces (wrong sides together) and sew along the sides and bottom with a 5/8″ seam and then press seams open. Be sure to leave the top and side of the cut corners unsewn. (see picture)

Step 4) Pin together the gaps of the corners to form the bottom the bag and sew straight across.

Repeats steps 3 and 4 for the bag lining fabric.

Step 5) Turn the exterior part of the bag inside out. Place the lining fabric inside (right sides together). Pin the handle 4.5″ from the edges them. The handle will be between the exterior and the lining fabric. (see picture)

Step 6) Sew around the top with a 5/8″ seam leaving a 4″ opening. You will be turning the bag right side out through this 4″ gap, so don’t make it less than 4″.

Step 7) Turn the bag right side out by pulling the fabric and the handles through the 4″ gap. Once completed iron the top edge of the bag.

Step 8) Top stitch around the top of the entire bag. This will reinforce that seam and close the 4″ gap. Sling it over your shoulder and start carrying stuff!

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