Easy Tote Tutorial with Custom Fabric


Supplies + Giveaway Info

One of my favorite gifts to sew is tote bags. It’s an easy project that doesn’t require much time or supplies! To get started all you’ll need is:

  1. Half yard of fabric
  2. 1 1/2 yards of 1″ polyester webbing

I’m using a custom fabric I designed with My Fabric Designs. I’m using their premium cotton because I plan on just carrying a folder and notebook in my tote. For a sturdier bag use canvas. To learn more about My Fabric Designs and for a chance to win a $35 credit, visit this post! You could create a custom design or even design fabric with your logo or photo to make a personalized tote bag.


To begin, cut your fabric to an 18″ wide by 42″ long rectangle. Fold it in half lengthwise. Make yourself a paper template 3 1/4″ wide by 2 3/4″ tall (the bright green paper in the photo below). Place the 3 1/4″ side on the bottom corner along the fold. Cut out both corners.


When you open your rectangle it will look like this.


Now fold it in half, right sides together and sew both side seams with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Finish the edges with pinking shears. (You can also use an overcast stitch, a zigzag stitch near the edge, or use a serger.)


Now pull up on one of the bottom corners so the side matches up with the bottom.


Pin the bottom and side edges together in both corners.


Sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then add a second row of stitching right next to the first. Trim away the excess with pinking shears making sure not to cut the side seam.


Fold the top of the bag under toward the inside by 1 1/4″ and iron flat. Fold under 1 1/4″ again and iron.


Cut the 1 1/2 yards of polyester webbing in half so you have two 27″ straps. Use a lighter to melt the edges so they don’t fray. Line up the straps on the inside of the bag 5″ away from each side seam. Line up the bottom of the strap with the bottom of the fold you created in the step above and pin in place.


Flip the bag right side out. Sew all around the top 1/8″ away from the edge and again 1″ away from the edge.


To make the straps stronger, sew an X around the end of each strap. You can click the photo below to make it larger to see how I sewed the X.


And that’s all! I used this same method to teach a group of women who had various levels of sewing experience at my home and we were all able to successfully finish a tote in an evening. It makes for a fun and functional beginner project. Don’t forget to check out the giveaway for My Fabric Designs to get your own fabric!

The fabric was designed by me and provided by My Fabric Designs. As always, all opinions are honest and are my own.

Join the Sew Along for ‘On the Go Bags’

On the Go Bags Sew Along

Hello Craft Buds! This is Lindsay Conner and Janelle MacKay, co-authors of the book On the Go Bags. We wanted to personally invite you to a fun event happening this spring, which you can take part in from your very own sewing room.

Janelle and I will each be teaching the key steps of two popular patterns from our book, the “Airport Sling” (perfect for taking with you on summer travels) and the “Sporty Strap Pack” (featured on the book’s cover). We’ll start with cutting out interfacing and preparing the pattern pieces, and then will help you with any key steps along the way, like installing hardware and assembling the bags. If you have questions, you can ask them in our interactive Facebook group!

April 15 to May 1: Airport Sling
May 1 to June 15: Sporty Strap Pack

After we’ve gone through the assembly for each bag, it’s your turn to sew along and add your own spin on the pattern for your chance to win one of several giveaways during the event!

Join our On the Go Bags Facebook group for more info.

There’s no need to sign up for the sew along, as details will be posted for you in the group. You can sew along for the whole event, just make one of the bags, or simply follow along for lots of inspiration and tips! We hope you will join us.

Personalized Self-Binding Baby Blanket


Today I’m excited to partner with Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores to bring you this blanket! This easy blanket uses two rectangles to form the a blanket complete with binding and mitered corners.

The front fabric is a personalized fabric from Jo-Ann printed with baby’s name scattered throughout the design. It’s a fairly new product and so fun to put together! They have over 300 designs to choose from on their website. I chose Bunny Rabbits and Carrot Print. There are 5 fabric options to choose from. I chose the poplin fabric in 100% polyester (all 5 options are polyester or polyester blends). It felt a bit stiff when it first arrived but softened after washing. I didn’t notice any fading after two washes and it looked exactly as pictured on the preview screen! Below you can see a screen shot on the left from when I ordered the fabric, and the actual fabric on the right. If you click the photo for a larger view you can see the name printed throughout the fabric.


The fabric ranges from $19.99 to $22.99 per yard and I think it’s well worth it for a personalized keepsake like this! The fabric is extra wide at 56″ and you use less than a yard on this project.



  • 24″ x 30″ Personalized Fabric for the front panel, available at Jo-Ann here
  • 36″ x 42″ Minky for the backing/binding. I used Soft and Comfy Dot in sun orange, also from Jo-Ann.

All seam allowances are 1/2″ and the final blanket will be 29″ x 35″.


To get started you’ll need to place a pin 6″ away from each corner in each direction. I’ve marked the pins with orange arrows below.


With right sides together, move your front panel of fabric down to the edge of the back fabric. It should fit exactly between the pins from the step above. Pin along the edge.



Before starting to sew, mark the corner of the front fabric 1/2″ in from each direction in all 4 corners. This is where you will start and stop sewing on all 4 sides. Sew between the corner marks along the bottom where you just pinned. The minky will want to stretch a bit so use lots of pins.



Next you’ll pull the other short edge of the front panel between the two pins on the other short edge of the back and sew it between your corner marks. When you pin the fabrics together it will create a fold on the side you sewed previously (shown in the top of this photo).



Center the front panel so you have an even folded border on the two sides you’ve already sewn. Then, bring your pin from one of the long minky edges over to the corner dot you made earlier and pin the two fabrics together in that exact spot. Do this for all 4 corners. Sew along both long edges but make sure to leave an 8″ opening in the middle of one of the sides so you’ll be able to turn it right side out later.



After the step above you’ll have an open flap in each corner as shown below.



Here’s where it gets a little tricky. Pinch the center of the front panel and pull it away from the backing. Flatten out both the front panel and the back so the side seams are matched up in the corner as seen the the left photo below. Use a ruler and line it up along the edge of the center panel. Use a fabric pen to draw a straight line across the backing fabric then sew along that line. Do this one at a time for each of the 4 corners. Before cutting, I like to turn the blanket right side out to make sure the corners all look good. If they do, turn the blanket back to wrong side out, trim off the corner and leave a 1/2″ seam allowance.



Turn the blanket right side out and your blanket will now look like the photo below. You can see the opening in the top of the photo.



Fold both edges of the opening inward by 1/2″ and pin flat. Then pin around the edge of the front panel with the seam allowance folded toward the outside of the blanket. Sew around the entire rectangle with a zig zag stitch. This will help the blanket lay flat and it will close up the open edge from earlier.



And you’re finished! This becomes a really quick project once you get used to making it. Lastly, find a sweet baby to enjoy a new blankie!


This post was sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. As always, all opinions honest and are my own.

Easy No-Sew Fleece Blanket

No Sew Fleece Blanket Craft Buds

Hello everyone! I’m Janelle from Sew Much Craftiness guest posting at Craft Buds. Today I’m going to show you how you can make a throw blanket, or a baby blanket, in a blink of an eye! It’s so simple, and if you have no sewing machine, you have no problem! This is a no-sew tutorial. Ready? Let’s get started!

No Sew Fleece Throw Craft Buds

No Sew-Fleece Blanket Materials:

  • Scissors
  • Fabric – I chose two different fabrics for this project so each side of the blanket would be different. But you can certainly choose one fabric, you will just need two pieces. Both of my fabrics are 42 inches, and I had 1.5 yards cut of each. I chose flannel fabric so that the blanket would be cozy and warm without being too bulky.

Blanket 1

Before working on your blanket, make sure you have pre-treated your fabric(s). I’m using one fabric that’s what with yellow stripes, and one with a fun shark print. Wash and dry according to the instructions for your fabric (most bolts will have a sticker that gives instructions on how to care for your finished project), and then iron if you choose to do so.

Blanket 2

Lay one of your fabrics face down on a clean surface or floor. Then lay the other fabric face up on top of the other one. That means wrong sides of the fabric together. Match up the corners and edges.

Blanket 3
Sometimes the pieces of fabric you have won’t be the exact same size, so trim up the fabric if you need to. You want both pieces to match.

Blanket 4

Now here’s where the fun begins! Starting at one corner, begin to snip through both pieces of fabric so that you have two independent ribbon-like sections. I made these sections about 2.5 inches long, and 3/4 of an inch wide. Tie these together in a double knot. That is how you will make your blanket. Continue to do this on all 4 sides of the blanket.

Blanket 5

And there you go! That’s all there is to it. Now you have a gorgeous new blanket you can show off to your friends. Enjoy!

About the Author

Janelle Curtis is a lover of arts and crafts and all things that take a bit of creativity. She runs a craft site with her own creations at SewMuchCraftiness.com.

All-Natural Homemade Air Freshener Spray

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #UltimateLitter #CollectiveBias

All-Natural DIY Air Freshener Spray

Lately, I’ve been interested in making my own all-natural cleaners. My husband is allergic to many of the store-bought cleaners, which sparked my curiosity. I’m hoping to share more of what I’ve learned here on the blog soon, but today I’m happy to post a simple recipe for air freshener that’s not only simple to make, but it includes no harmful ingredients!

DIY All-Natural Air Freshener Spray

Natural Air Freshener Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup water (tap water is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops vanilla essential oil

Air Freshener

  1. Stir ingredients in a small pitcher or plastic cup you can bend into a spout.
  2. Pour into your spray bottle and repeat the recipe as many times as needed to fill it up. I made the recipe 2 1/2 times to fill up a 16-ounce spray bottle, and then topped off with a bit more water.
  3. You can substitute this with essential oils of your choice, but make sure to choose ones that will not be harmful to your cats (NO tea tree oil!) if you choose to spray near the litter box).

Cat Litter

I have already started using this all-natural air freshener around our cat’s litter box, one of the areas of our home which could always use a bit more freshness. It sprays really nice and smells lovely!

I mean, I love my cats and all… but, we have one cat who is way better at “covering it up” than the other. She’s the sweetest cat, but not the most demure.

cat litter

Looking for a good litter to help control all the smells? We’ve tried them all! I recently shopped for some Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care® at Walmart. Just look for the green bottle with the grey lid in the cat supplies aisle.

I love the new trend toward lightweight litters, because with two cats, hauling in multiple heavy containers is not my favorite task. Ultimate Care is now over 50% lighter at 10 lbs (†See packaging for details). It also has 10+ day odor control & powerful absorption (*Based on laboratory testing, when used as directed), so you can bet that this litter plus my new homemade air freshener, our home will smell fresher than ever!

Cat’s Pride Sweepstakes

No Purchase Necessary. The #UltimateLitter Sweepstakes begins on 3/15/16 at 12:00 A.M. ET and ends on 4/25/16 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Legal residents of the 50 US/DC only, 18+. Void where prohibited. For Official Rules, click below.

Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light Ultimate Care Cat Litter

Make sure to check out great offers on Cat’s Pride!

Quilt-As-You-Go Pot Holder Tutorial

Quilt-As-You-Go Pot Holder - Craft Buds

Quilt-as-you-go pot holder tutorial - Craft Buds

Guess what arrived in my mailbox last week? This bright and happy Kaffe Fassett sewing kit from Craftsy! (affiliate link)

Craftsy Kit

As you can see from the link, I never got around to making the pretty Three-Quarter Patch Tote, but I decided what I did need was some new pot holders in my life. Want to make a pair?

Here’s what you’ll need for 1 pot holder (double this if you want to make a pair):

  • Front fabric: 6 fabric strips 2 1/2″ wide and 14″ long
  • Backing fabric: (1) 10 1/2″ square
  • Binding fabric: bias cut fabric strips to make 1-2/3 yards of 2 1/2″-wide double fold quilt binding
  • Insulated batting: (1) 10 1/2″ square Insul-Fleece
  • Quilt batting scraps: (2) 10 1/2″ squares
  • Rotary cutter and drinking glass to round corners

QAYG Pot Holder

1. Stack your pot holder materials like this: Backing fabric, right side down. On top of that, place a 10 1/2″ batting square, then insulated batting, then another layer of batting. Spray baste these together, or pin in a few places if you prefer.

QAYG Pot Holder tutorial

2. Place one of your fabric strips right side up on the batting, going from corner to corner. Place another strip on top of that, right side down. Hold these in place while you run over to your sewing machine. Stitch a straight line 1/4″ from one long edge of the strips, sewing through the entire stack.

QAYG Pot holder

3. Press that top fabric strip over to the side so both strips are facing right side up. Take another strip and place it right side down on top of the last strip you sewed. Stitch 1/4″ from the edge, and fold this strip open. Repeat this process until you’ve covered the entire front of your pot holder in strips. You’ll be working from both the right and the left of the center strip you started with.

QAYG Pot Holder

4. Your pot holder should look something like this. Now take your ruler and trim it to 10″ square.

QAYG pot holder tutorial

5. Take a drinking glass, Mason jar lid or other round object and use it to round off 3 corners using your rotary cutter.

Quilt as you go pot holder tutorial Craft Buds

6. Refer to my Quilted Pot Holder tutorial over on the Craftsy blog to learn how to finish your QAYG pot holder with the binding and hanging loop. Since there is no pocket panel in this version, you’ll just start at step 6 and ignore the pocket directions.

I hope you enjoyed this quilt-as-you-go pot holder tutorial, and if you are in need of some new, cute fabric, check out Craftsy’s sewing kits! They come with a fabric and pattern…so convenient!

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