Customizable Canvas Tote Bag

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Duration:   32  mins

Beth Bradley shares a great tote bag pattern that can be easily customized to fit any style or need. She also shows how to add a monogram or other decoration to the bag front.

Materials Needed

This tote bag pattern is made from canvas fabric. Canvas is a heavier weight durable fabric, making it perfect for bags. Canvas is an easy fabric to sew with, however since it is heavier you will need to adjust your needle. Beth explains which needle works well when sewing with canvas and why.


Applique is a great way to add a decoration to the front of your tote bag, whether it is an initial or another design. Beth explains how she printed off and prepared her letter for applique, explaining how you have to trace the design if using a fusible applique method. Fusing an applique design in place before stitching can make the applique process much easier. Beth explains how to use a product called fusible web for the applique in this video. Beth also shows you several stitching methods for doing applique. The initial on this tote bag pattern is stitched in place with a straight stitch close to the edge. A zig-zag, blanket or other decorative stitch can also be used when doing applique.

Pattern Pieces and Assembly

Beth gives you all the dimensions for the pattern pieces you will need to make this tote bag pattern. She then shows you how to assemble the bag, giving you expert tips along the way including how to create a nice bag bottom and how to create and attach sturdy handles.

Beginner Project

Learning how to make tote bags is a perfect beginner project. They can be made very simply out of easy-to-work-with fabric, making it a great first project to tackle. Then, once you are comfortable with the bag making process, you can add embellishments and other accents or even make a reversible tote bag.


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6 Responses to “Customizable Canvas Tote Bag”

  1. Jane Brause

    What dimensions are you cutting the fabric and what is the finished size?

  2. Linda

    Is the inside pocket sewn onto the liner before the liner has been sewn together? The video is unclear about that.

  3. Pat

    I wish there were written instructions with the video. I need to refer to written instructions as I'm making the garment. It is much more convenient than watching the video again.

  4. Lorinda

    Never mind I was able to catch you saying the lining is white canvas. Looking forward to making it.

  5. Lorinda

    Is the lining done in canvas too? Thnx

  6. deb

    I see the video on how to sew the tote... but where is the list of how much fabric to buy and what other supplies are needed?

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