No Frills Tote Bag Sewing Tutorial

This tote bag is definitely a no frills tote bag. Any time you find yourself in need of a quick gift or just need another tote bag you can run this one up in no time.

Make the bag using a canvas type fabric or a firm furnishing fabric .

The bag measures approx 12¼” x 13¼” and has a gusset measuring 3″

What You Need

  • One piece of canvas type fabric
  • Webbing for handles
Easy Tote Bag - What You Need

What to Cut

  • Cut fabric – 161/2” x 29″
  • Cut two pieces of webbing – 22″ for each piece

Watch the Video below or scroll down for the step-by-step written instructions.


  • Sew a zig zag stitch around the edge of the fabric. You can use your overlocker/serger or pinking shears if you prefer. This will just help stop any fraying that may occur.

  • Lay fabric on mat, right side facing up
  • Measure 2″ in from the edge on the long sides and draw a line.
  • Repeat for the other side.

  • Fold along the line and pin

  • Sew 1/8″ from the fold.

  • You now have a seam down either side of the bag.

  • Measure 11/2” from the fold and draw a mark. Do this on all four sides. It doesn’t need to be too long as it is just to mark where the handles are to line up.

  • Draw a 1″ line, from the edge, along the short sides, on the right side of the fabric

  • Turn the fabric over
  • Fold the fabric along the 1″ fold and pin in place

  • Slip the webbing under the fold at the 11/2” mark and pin.
  • Make sure to line up the edge of the webbing with the line as shown in the photo below.

  • Repeat the process for the other handle

Sew a 1/8″ from the edge making sure to catch in the handles.

  • Push the handles up and over the folded edge and pin in place. I put the pin in a diagonal position just to hold the handle in place until I turn the bag over and I will pin the handles in place when I turn the bag to the right side.

  • You can see in the photo below that the pins are visible and easy to remove when I topstitch along the top edge of the bag.

  • Sew 1/8″ from the top edge. Backstitch over the handles as you come to them. This will help to secure them in place.

  • Fold the bag in half with right sides together.

  • Pin the sides together making sure the edges line up nicely.
  • Repeat for the other side

  • Sew down the each side seam with a 1/2” seam.

  • Turn the bag through to the right side and you have a nice placket on each side.

And there you have it a quick and easy ‘No Frills tote bag