No-Sew Tote Bags

No-Sew Tote Bags

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2008


Why break the bank for a designer bag when you can easily make your own? These fashionable totes from crafter Jodi Kahn are constructed with two main items: a roll of duct tape and a stapler.


  • Scissors

  • Pencil or fabric marker

  • 1 yard home-decorating or upholstery-weight fabric

  • Heat 'n' Bond Iron-on Vinyl

  • Iron

  • 2 yards of 1-inch or wider webbing (for straps)

  • Stapler

  • Duct tape in complementary color


  1. Cut a 20-by-36-inch piece of home-decorating or upholstery-weight fabric. Line the back of the fabric with iron-on vinyl to protect and reinforce.

  2. Fold fabric in half, right sides together, to create a rectangle 20 inches wide by 18 inches tall, with the fold at the bottom.

  3. Fold down and crease the top raw edge to create a 2-inch hem on the top, front, and back.

  4. Mark where you would like the straps to go and staple the straps onto one side of the bag. Only staple through the strap and the folded over fabric, so that the staples do not show on what will be the front of the bag. Repeat on other side.

  5. Use two strips of duct tape to cover the staples and "hem" the top of the bag. Trim the extra duct tape with scissors.

  6. Fold the bag so right sides are together. Mark a seam line 1/2 inch from each edge. Staple up the sides of bag along the seam line. Cover seam with a long piece of duct tape, folded lengthwise over the raw edge. Trim the extra duct tape.

  7. Create a gusset by flattening the inside-out bag with the seams together. Mark a line perpendicular to the seam, about 3 1/2 inches from the "point" at the bottom of each seam. Staple along this line. Cover the staples with duct tape and trim excess.

  8. Turn bag right-side out.


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