Make this DIY tote bag using scrap fabric and a reverse applique technique. This sweet heart is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any time of year!
Skills Required: Beginner. There’s a little bit of machine sewing to add a lining to the tote, but it’s relatively easy. The heart portion of the applique is hand sewn in.
I love taking a plain tote bag and dressing it up to make something unique. I made this DIY tote bag with some extra fabric that I had sitting around and a doily that I got at the craft store.
I did a reverse applique with a heart shape since it’s so close to Valentine’s Day, and it turned out so cute! You could make them in different colors of fabric or even different color doilies.
Learn how to make this cute heart craft below. It’s such a great gift idea for the holiday, and “sew” easy too.
DIY Applique Tote Bag
- Heart template (click link to get it)
- Tote bag
- 8-inch doily
- Paper-backed fusible interfacing (Heat ‘n Bond or Wonder Under)
- Embroidery floss and needle
Cut a piece of fabric about 1 inch larger than your doily. Cut a piece of interfacing slightly smaller than your fabric.
Trace the heart template onto the paper side of your interfacing using a pencil.
Turn your tote bag inside out. Center the heart on the bag and iron the interfacing to it with the paper side up.
Cut out the inside of the heart.
Peel off the paper backing.
Center the doily over the heart opening.
Place the piece of fabric on top of the doily. Make sure the adhesive from the interfacing is completely covered by the fabric, and iron everything down.
Turn the bag right-side-out.
Embroidery floss is made up of six smaller strands. Sew a running stitch around the heart using four strands of the embroidery floss. You can sew around it with a sewing machine instead, but then you’ll need to use a sewable interfacing.
Lining the bag is optional, but I think it really finishes it off. Your measurements will depend on the size of the tote bag you have.
To get my measurements, I turned the bag inside out and measured from the left to right seam. Add 1 inch (1/2 inch for each seam), and that gives you your width.
For the length, measure from the very top of the bag to the bottom and add 1 inch. Cut out two pieces of fabric with these measurements. Pin them with right sides together and sew around both sides and the bottom with a 1/2 inch seam.
Fold the top of the lining out about 1 inch and press with an iron.
Put the lining in the inside of the bag and pin it around the top. It should be about 1 to 1/2 inch lower than the top of the bag.
With the applique tote bag open, sew around the top of the lining, getting as close to the folded edge as you can.
I used white thread so that the stitching wouldn’t show on the outside of the bag.
I just love how this DIY tote bag looks now! I think I might send it to school with my daughter to hold her valentines.
For more fun craft ideas, visit my blog, Cutesy Crafts. I’d also love for you to visit the following blog posts: