Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rag Rug Tote

You are going to love love love this tote bag!  A few years ago I made these with a friend and the help of my mom--the sewing expert--since then it is my go to bag when I'm packing for trips, pool, beach, etc.  It is so durable and it seems you can squeeze so much into them because they stretch.  Can you imagine a little Rag Throw Rug can be this cute!?

For those of you that don't sew don't get discouraged because this bag could very easily be done with a heavy duty needle and thread.  Use a needle like these Yarn Darners:

You will need:
A rag rug with NO fringe on the ends. 
(I got this one at Target a couple years ago but they do have new ones now.  You can probably find rag rugs at most big box stores--Target, Wal Mart, TJ Maxx, World Market etc.)
Grosgrain Ribbon
Webbing for the straps
Sewing Machine
Heavy Duty Needle for machine
Thread to match your bag
1:  Gather up your supplies
2:  Fold your rug in half (wrong side of rug is facing you) to line up the top
3:  Start stitching on your machine or by hand.  Be sure to not force it through your machine.  You may have to do alot of "walking" the needle to get it through the heavy rug
4:  Hold it nice and tight so you can get the seams even and no puckers
5:  See all those broken needles?  Yep, that was from machine sewing with heavy duty needles so if you try to rush it you will go through alot of needles.  Patience is good when doing this bag.
6:  Once you bag is stitched on the to sides lay out your webbing and your grosgrain ribbon to be the length you want.  My straps are about 26 inches long.  Sew the grosgrain to the webbing.  You will stitch both sides of the ribbon.

7:  Sew the grosgrain ribbon to the webbing.  Follow right along the edge of the ribbon.
8:  Now that the handles are ready, take the finished bag and open it up so the seams are facing each other.
9:  Lay the bag flat on the table so you have points.
10:  See how your bag has the points facing you?  That is what you want.
11:  Measure in about 3 inches
12:  This is the spot you are going to stitch across so you have a gussett.  You will stitch horizontally across the bag where your 3 inch mark is.

13:  Handsew across the point of the bag to create your gussett
14:  This is what the bottom of the bag will look like when you turn it right side out
15:  Now that the bag is right side out, lay it flat on the table again and you are going to get ready to place the straps
16:  Measure across the top of your bag and mark the center with a pin
17:  Decide where you want your straps to be placed--mine are 4 inches out from the middle.  This will vary depending on the size of rug you purchase. You want to fold the raw edge of your webbing under just a tad when you pin the stap in place.
18:  Start sewing the webbing to the bag, being sure you sew all the edges tightly.  You can do this by hand too.

19:  A shot showing how the handles look
20:  Here is the finished product
21:  Ready to roll with my Rag Rug Tote
22:  A few other bags shown in this photo

These are great to keep in your car for all sorts of uses but you will love them as a market tote!

Have you made these before?  If so leave a comment below.

Linking up here:


  1. This is so great. I love this Idea.. Nice job Lindy

  2. This is soooooo cute,the colors are just more decent & explain the tutorial very smartly,keep it up Honey...

  3. Thanks to you both! I appreciate the nice comment love.

  4. love this!!! I may have to try this!!! (If I get brave enough, esp. before we go to the beach, what a great tote!) thanks for the tutorial! and I finally got my blog updated with your button!

  5. What a great idea. I'm your newest follower. I would love it if you linked your project up to my link party tomorrow.
    More The Merrier Monday.

  6. Thank you Jamie...I will link up tomorrow!

  7. Lynn, you can do it for sure! I know you will love it as a beach bag. Let me know if you make one.

  8. What a fantastic idea! I love it! So going to make this!

  9. Thanks for this nice DIY project.

  10. What a fun bag! By the way, can you send me the link to your eye shadow organization post? I would love to see it.

  11. Oh! When I saw the first pic, I thought we were going to weave the rug with our own rags. Duh! Why re-invent the wheel? I love it, buying a pre-made rug and turning it into a bag. I can manage this!

  12. Thanks so much for the love!
    Kim-I'm cracking up over your post. That made my night. I am sure there are some crafters out there that would be happy to weave the rug themselves but not me--I like quick and easy! :)

  13. Hello! Love the bag tutorial! Clear and concise instructions. Well done!

  14. This is SO ADORABLE!!!! love it

  15. Thanks everyone for all the nice comments! If you make a bag you will love it!

  16. great idea. I'll have to keep an eye out for a cute rug. Just what I need, another bag! :)

  17. Awesome bag!

    I have similar rag rugs from Target! Wish I would have known about this before using them under the dog's food/water bowls! :)

  18. I want one! What a clever use of a rug!

    I am having 2 giveaways on my blog.
    $38 + free shipping an any backpack from busy little hands etsy store

    $15 store credit from hair candy for girls.

    All you have to do is leave a comment saying you want to win it.

  19. gorgeous! come on over and link up!

  20. Love love love this! This would be great as a library tote and to take to the store! Thanks so much for the tutorial too, you make it look so easy I think even I can do it! I featured this on my friday favorites!

  21. WOW! That is spectacular! Thanks so much for linking up to Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions. I hope you stop by again soon :)

    ~Lori @ Paisley Passions

  22. They look fabulous ! I love making bags
    Sherrie from

  23. Iam always looking for new ways of making a tote. Loved your tutorial.

  24. Very creative and crafty!

  25. I am doing research for my university thesis, thanks for your great points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

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