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No-Sew Market Tote Bag

This no-sew bag can be stowed in your purse for a quick trip to the market and is strong enough to carry fruits and vegetables.

Created By: Helen Norman






  1. Step 1

    Download and print 2 copies of each template section.

  2. Step 2

    Cut out rectangles, and tape together to form template for bag.

  3. Step 3

    Lay a piece of Ultrasuede fabric slightly larger than the template on a cutting mat. Attach template to fabric with masking tape. Using a craft knife, cut through template and fabric along marked broken lines, working inward; then cut along border to remove excess fabric.

Martha Stewart Living, February 2009



Reviews (34)

  • NLDaniel 21 May, 2011

    Could you use oilcloth?? Isn't this washable, yet sturdy enough to carry the weight of a small amount of groceries?

  • mayflowerlace 1 Mar, 2011

    So, what size fabric do I need? I'd like to know BEFORE I make up the pattern....

  • Subrobail 28 Feb, 2011

    Love this! Can't wait to try my hand at making it.

  • Belleocchio 28 Feb, 2011

    DKNY did this bag in the 90's in black plastic! loved it then.. thanks for the pattern :)

  • andeande 20 Jul, 2010

    love it!

  • itsme_dg 20 Jul, 2010

    I love this, so cute!!!

  • klpsnow 20 Jul, 2010

    MS must be running out of ideas. This was an interesting idea when they emailed it last week, too. :)

  • lisaemc2 20 Jul, 2010

    testing comments

  • khsully 20 Jul, 2010

    The [filtered word] look large. I haven't made one yet. Did you have any items fall out?

  • MissJacquelineD 16 Jul, 2010

    Just tried this - Love it! Will definitely be making some more. Be careful when printing, make sure the page scaling is set to "None" to make it as big as possible. Also watch for the ultrasuede to come on sale, it can be pricey otherwise!

  • ptait 9 Jul, 2010

    I haven't made these bags yet. But looking forward to do so mainly because you can wash them. Most of the ones in the stores are not washable. There has been a health warning in California about the salmonella in the reused ones. So something to think about everyone.

  • JackieKay 8 Jul, 2010

    Why not use plastic grocery bags, and recycle, too

  • mainergirl 8 Jul, 2010

    Oh, can all be found on :D

  • mainergirl 8 Jul, 2010

    To those asking for alternative ways to make these, or how not to waste so much fabric...There are directions online (easy to search for...I think on to make "woven" rugs using recycled plastic grocery bags or even fabric. I believe the fabric ones are made by cutting the fabric into strips first --that way, nothing is wasted. I think you could create a "mesh" bag using the same concept, but simply making the weave much looser so that airflow can be greater. Just a thought :)

  • thisoldspouse 8 Jul, 2010

    to machineartgirl: I hope the "swede" comes out all right! I'm going to use a quilting wheel cutter on my suede. Looks like a great project.

  • stitchcoach 8 Jul, 2010

    This is just like a vintage child's hat I found a photo of at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Very sweet, I love making simple things more luxurious.

  • machineartgirl 15 Mar, 2009

    Have access to a precision laser cutter and am going to to try machine cutting the swede. If anyone is interested in how this turned out you may e-mail me at

  • CalgaryCanMom 4 Mar, 2009

    Thanks ladies for all your help with the bigger template! I used a quilting wheel cutter and it was excellent - safer then an exacto too.

  • rotorpilot 27 Feb, 2009

    Try going to and they may have them there.

  • jillawilla 20 Feb, 2009

    I bought something very similar at the "dollar" store, which was made of plastic. In fact I bought about 20 of them. They are so popular they've all been stolen! I will try to make mine out of plastic; does anyone know where to order these "dollar" store versions?

  • edwardsmom 8 Feb, 2009

    I wish someone from MSL would read these comments and give suggestions or revise the pattern. I still have most of a 1/2 yard of ultrasuede that was the minimum purchase, and I'd like to be able to use it. So, hello out there, is anyone in Martha Stewart land reading these comment boards and could give your loyal readers some help?

  • LeslieABarr 2 Feb, 2009

    Thank you for these comments, they are all very helpful. I decided not to make these bags. I noticed that the templates were too large for normal 8 x 11 paper and thought the ultrasuede would be too pricey to be worth making these.

  • erichsen 31 Jan, 2009

    when I try to print the templates it shut's off my internet. Any ideals? Thanks!

  • basketpam 31 Jan, 2009

    I think it would be a heck of a lot easier to just buy the bags they sell in the grocery store for 89 cents as they do in my local stores. I own about 6 of them and can bring home a decent size shopping with these great bags with long handles with no problem at all. In fact, I plan to buy all the women in my family some for gifts this year I like them so well. I never did like the plastic grocery sacks and always asked for paper anyway but the recycling ones are even better.

  • shysheep 28 Jan, 2009

    If you look at the pdf file, you'll see that it the middle white box says 76.4%. When you use the drop down menu and click 100%, the final size, 11x 17 in shows up in the lower left hand corner. This is useful to know when ever using any pdf pattern. Saves a lot of guesswork

  • Kimberly61 25 Jan, 2009

    Well ladies, I figured out the template--craftyquaker is right..set page scaling to "none"...however, the second time around still did not look like the photo, and I am suspect on how much weight can be carried. I put 2 grapefruit in and I thought the bag would break. I used a knit backed craft ultrasuede and maybe that fabric is not sturdy enough..but high quality ultrasuede is "ultra" expensive. In my opinion this bag is not worth the extra expense-it's not that attractive!

  • DNicol 24 Jan, 2009

    I have tried this twice and have the same results as the other contributors. I guess now we know the size... at least 11" X 17". The directions and the pictures do not match. This is such a nice idea it is a shame that it is dissapointing. I will take the templates and if I can get them printed larger.

  • edwardsmom 23 Jan, 2009

    I tried again and got the same results. I even bought a new Exacto knife and tried very hard to be precise but the end result looked like a child's grocery bag, as someone else said. The cuts at the top seem to open up well but the ones closer to the bottom don't. Did I miss somewhere on the directions that it is supposed to be enlarged or printed on 11X17" paper?

  • longtimegeek 22 Jan, 2009

    On print properties, if you have the ability to check an option labeled as "Auto-rotate and Center" it will move to the center of the page and "voila" you have an exact 8.5x11 image which prints perfectly on normal US paper.

  • chongqingbaby 22 Jan, 2009

    I used a new blade and it did not open to the extent shown. I can maybe fit 10 jars of those mini-jelly 'samples' and maybe a few kumquats. :-)

    My 2 1/2 year old loves her new dolly bag.

  • craftyquaker 21 Jan, 2009

    When printing these templates be sure that the "page scaling" option is set to "none," which will give you a much larger image that reaches the edge of the page rather than a smaller image inside a rectangular border. I wasted a few sheets of paper figuring this out. so hopefully this will save someone else the same mistake!

  • KJQMom 21 Jan, 2009

    The Template is on 11x17 paper! My printer does not hold this size. If you go into the print preview and rotate you can print the left 1/2 and rotate again and print the left 1/2 again which is now really the right 1/2. and repeat for the other template. Now you just need to connect the two sheets of paper together and you have your template! Well 1/2 of your template: repeat for the full circle.

  • Kimberly61 19 Jan, 2009

    I had the same trouble. I know I cut it out correctly. The finished bag will barely hold a couple of grapefruit and certainly does not look like the photo. I believe in the download process the template comes across too plan is to take the orginal template, enlarge it on a copier and see what happens..will keep you posted.

  • edwardsmom 17 Jan, 2009

    I love this idea but mine didn't look like the picture. It didn't seem to open up to the same extent. I guess my Exacto knife didn't cut all the way through in places but once you take the template off, it's hard to tell where the cuts are supposed to be. I'll try again using a sharper blade and see if I get a correct effect.