How to Make Patchwork Bags

Updated February 21, 2017

Patchwork bags are a simple, creative way to make use of your scrap cloth from other sewing projects. These types of bags make great gifts for birthdays, holidays, or any other special occasion. You can even take the patchwork bag one step further and add personalised embroidery, beads, sequins, or charms.

Cut the cloth scraps into squares and strips. The squares should be 3 to 5 inches wide and tall, and the strips should be 1 to 2 inches by 5 or 6 inches. The measurements are based on preference and the size of the scraps you have to work with.

Sew the scraps into four panels, two for the outside, and then two for lining the bag. For a small bag, they will need to be 8 to 12 inches wide and 8 inches tall. For a large tote bag, the panels will need to be 12 inches wide and 16 inches long.

Sew the two outside panels together on three sides, and then sew the lining panels in the same way. Set the lining panels aside.

Take two long strips of fabric approximately 14 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Sew the sides together lengthwise. These are your straps. Sew the straps into the handbag as long or as short as you desire. Use a close stitch for durability. Repeat on the second side of the bag.

Turn the bag inside out and sew the lining onto the bag. You will need to make two stitching lines, one on the very bottom of the bag, and the other across the top to further help hold in the straps.

Flip the bag right side out and use as desired.


Be careful when sewing as the needle point is sharp. Use a thimble for extra protection.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth scraps
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
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