DIY Summer Tote Made of Cotton Bandanas
The local discount store has these colorful $1 cotton bandanas and they are super hard for me to resist. I used 4 of them, fusible interfacing, a few sequins, bugle beads, seed beads and some 50 cent thrift shop purse handles to make two fun summer tote bags for my too cutie great nieces in Missouri. (Hey Kadence and Bella Rose!) There are several steps to make a summer tote like these, but it’s very simple to do. Here’s how I did it:
Choose two cotton bandanas to make a summer tote. In this case, the purple bandana will be the outer portion of my tote bag. Iron the interfacing on the wrong side of the bandana just in the center portion of the cotton bandana (the area within the double borders). Sew along both border lines.
Trim interfacing close to outer sewn edge taking care not to cut the bandana.
Bring together two opposing corners to the center and press along edges with iron set on medium heat.
Next fold the previously ironed bandana in half and press sides and center well, ensuring crease is visible. (see photo below)
Hand sew beads around each small paisley enclosed within the double lines and using the ironed crease lines as a guide.
Once beads are sewn in place, pin the bandanas with right sides together and sew 1/2″ from the edges, leaving approximately 5 inch opening on one side. Trim corners and turn right side out, pushing corners gently out with finger or eraser side of a pencil. Machine stitch opening closed.
Press all edges flat. Bring two opposing sides together in the center. Press. Fold in half again and make a visible crease with the iron at center fold line, taking care not to press any beading.
Unfold so the previously pressed center fold line is visible. Sew a few stitches at each end on the crease line. Backstitch to secure. Sew again just down the center crease in the middle ensuring both corners are sewn down. Backstitch to secure.
Fold bandanas again down the center fold line withright sides together. Pin and stitch 1/2″ along each side. Turn summer tote right side out and press edges again.
Flip over a portion of the inside bandana to the outside, just enough to cover the handle. Sew in a straight line along the handle and backstitch on both ends. Repeat for the other side.
That’s it in a nut shell….. I sometimes have a tendency to overdo things and because I couldn’t settle on just the right doo dad to sew over the exposed stitching under the tote handle, I decided to leave it be. (I was thinking of yoyos, or buttons, but still couldn’t make up my mind.)
This is an inexpensive project and except for the hand beading (done while watching tv), you can whip these up real fast. I have to apologize that the interior is finished, as in “no raw edges exposed”, but I could have taken the time to put a pocket inside. Oh well……I’m sure you’ll add your own touches. Have fun with this project! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.