Make a tote bag out of a dish towel

handmade tote bag

How to make an easy tote bag to carry your shoes, books and so  much more…

I found this beautiful patterned dishcloth at Bed Bath N’Table and thought it is way to nice to just use it for the dishes. I wanted to make something more useful out of it, see how the tote bag come together. 


  • dish towel
  • sewing machine and thread
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • marking pen/chalk

Step 1
Iron to get rid off all creases
Market Tote - 01

Step 2
Cut 1.5” of each long side. The long pieces will be used for the straps
Market Tote - 02

Step 3
Take the long fabric strips and turn the side that’s not already folded over using 1/4” and press. Turn a second time 1/4″ and press again. So you will have a nice double turned edge
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Step 4 (optional)
Cut the bulky ends off if you think the needle might get stuck
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Step 5
Open up the strap and fold the end piece over to enclose the edges.  Fold the straps  in half lengthwise and press. This will make a nice sturdy strap
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Step 6
Sew across the strap, close to the edge and press. Repeat with the second strap
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Step 7
Take the big piece of fabric and fold the raw edges over twice using 1/4”, then press
Market Tote - 11

Step 8
Sew in place lining the needle up close to the edge
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Step 9 (optional)
Depending on how wide you want your bag you can go ahead and sew the bag close or trim some fabric to make it a bit smaller. I cut 2” off both sides
Market Tote - 16

Step 10
With right sides together, sew from A to B and trim the corners

Market Tote - 18

Step 11
Take both straps and mark 1” from each end to line them up evenly
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Step 12
Measure 2” from the edge of the bag and secure the strap with a pin at the marking you made in step 11
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Step 13
Go back to your sewing machine and sew the straps to the bag

Step 14
Et voilà, you have a beautiful new market tote! Pop your books, laptop or phone into your new bag for a whiz around the village.
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