How to Make a Book Tote Bag

Written by ann johnson
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How to Make a Book Tote Bag
(A. Johnson)

When making a book tote bag, it is important to reinforce the handles, so they will be able to hold the weight of the books. The size of the tote bag can vary, depending on the size and the number of books you intend to carry. Before you undertake making an extra large book tote bag, consider if you really want to carry around all that extra weight. The exterior of the bag can be decorated with fabric paint or adorned with photographs by using photo heat transfer paper. Instead of adding graphics on the cover, you can choose interesting fabric or use a hot glue gun to add embellishments, such as buttons and stones.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hot iron
  • 1-inch bias tape
  • Heavy ribbon, to use as tote handle

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  1. 1

    Decide on a size for your book bag. Measure the largest book you plan to place in the bag. To get the fabric measurement, triple the height measurement of the book and double the width measurement of the book. For example, if the book is 12 inches tall by 9 inches wide, your fabric measurement will be 36 by 18 inches.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  2. 2

    Cut two pieces of fabric, using the fabric measurement illustrated in Step 1. One piece will be the outside of the book tote, and the other piece will be for the lining of the book tote.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  3. 3

    Lay the pieces together, right sides together. Sew the pieces together, making a 1/4-inch seam. When you are finished making the seam, leave one end open so you can turn the piece right side out.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  4. 4

    Turn the piece right side out, and iron down the seams flat.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  5. 5

    Measure the width of the fabric, and cut two pieces of bias tape that size. Fold one tape over one end of the rectangle, and the other strip over the other end. Sew into place to trim the book tote.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  6. 6

    Lay the wide ribbon or strip of trim you will be using for the book tote handle across the length of the fabric, on the outer fabric. Loop it, making a long oval shape, with end loops extending on each end of the fabric. The ribbon ends should meet at the centre of the rectangular piece. Pin in place, and then sew it onto the fabric.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  7. 7

    Fold the piece in half, with the outside fabric inside the fold, and the lining on the outside.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag
  8. 8

    Sew the sides of the book tote together, making a 1/4-inch seam. Fold the book tote right side out after making the seams.

    How to Make a Book Tote Bag

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