no sew tote bag

We have an enchanting project: Easy Tote Bag Tutorial: No Sewing! Attention, all fabulous moms and grandmas! Are you ready to embark on a crafty adventure that will leave your little ones beaming with joy? 

Get ready to discover how to make a no-sew tote bag, tailor-made for your little darlings with no sewing machine needed!

But not only for them, in a world filled with mass-produced items, there’s something truly special about creating a personalized gift. Not only does it bring a heartfelt touch to the recipient’s life, but it also cultivates a sense of pride and accomplishment within ourselves.

How do you make a no sew tote bag?

We understand that the demands of daily life can sometimes leave us short on time, but that shouldn’t mean compromising on creativity. Our no-sew approach allows you to whip up a trendy tote bag in no time, ensuring a stress-free crafting experience. 

Whether you’re a seasoned DIY pro or a beginner with an itch for crafting, our step-by-step guide will provide clear instructions and handy tips to make the process a breeze.

Step By Step Tutorial – No Sew Tote Bag

Hello, it’s Carmel from Our Fifth House and I’m back today with a fun, super simple project that will make use of any fabric scraps you have leftover from other projects.   

But don’t worry, for any of you who don’t know how to sew, all you need is a hot glue gun for this fabric craft! 

This no sew tote bag is great for toting around coloring books, crayons, markers or other little treasures your child has.

no sew tote bag

Supplies Needed

Most of them you probably already have on hand, like:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Ribbon or trim (for straps)
  • A hot glue gun 
  • Fabric scissors.

Last but not least, the one supply that really makes this tote bag look nice and polished are

  • Fabric eyelets (I used the 7/16″ size) and an eyelet tool which you can find at your local craft store.  You’ll use these to make holes for your straps.
DIY no sew tote back


Step 1 – Fold, Measure and Cut your fabric


Start by folding your fabric in half and deciding how big you want your tote to be.

Then make sure to add an inch or two to the length and width to make up for the seams before you cut your fabric.  

Where your fabric folds will be the bottom of your tote, so you’ll only be “sewing” the sides and the top with your hot glue gun.

no sew bag

Step 2 – Fold and hot glue Top Seam

Fold down the top and hot glue to create a finished seam around the top of your bag.

DIY no sew bag

Then fold the fabric so that the right sides are together and hot glue down both sides to fuse the fabric together.

no sew tote

Step 3 – Fold Down the top edge 

This step is optional, but it really does give the bag a nice finished look.  Fold the top down again and hot glue all the way around the top of the bag.

hot glue gun bag

Step 4 – Attach the Eyelets

Then once the hot glue is cool and your seams are sealed, turn your bag right side out to attach the eyelets. 

At this point your bag is done, the sides are “sewn” together with hot glue, and all you need to do is attach your straps.

no sew bag

Place your eyelets and use the point of your scissors to mark where you need to make a little hole.

DIY no sew tote

There are two pieces, one goes on the outside and one goes on the inside. 

The picture below explains which piece goes where.

DIY no sew book bag

I recommend using an old cutting board underneath to protect your work surface. 

You will need to hammer pretty forcefully to set the eyelet.

no sew backpack

Step 5 – Final Touches

Once you’ve attached two eyelets on each side of your tote, you can use ribbon, rope or trim for the strips. You just thread your straps through the eyelet holes and your bag is ready!  

I used some pom pom fringe for a fun look! You can also use pompoms at the bottom of the bag or in the bottom corners. Also add a badge, a pin or even rectangles from other outer pieces.

no sew tote
diy tote with hot glue

This bag is so great for my girl to carry around her reading book, coloring books, crayons, pencils…….you know the necessities an 8 year old girl has to have with her at all times.  

It’s really durable too and since I used a fabric scrap to put it together it didn’t cost me a thing! It was so easy to make, I decided to use a piece of an old throw rug to make her another. 

She’s loving her new cotton tote bags…………..and I love that I don’t find a book or a pencil on the floor of my car.  😉

pink hot glue tote

I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my hot glue gun!  

I recently made a faux roman shade with my trusty glue gun as well!  

Someday I’ll learn how to sew………but for now, my hot glue gun is getting the job done!


What can I use to make a tote bag?

When it comes to making a no-sew tote bag, you’ll be delighted to know that, apart from the fabric straps I have used, you can utilize a variety of materials that are easily accessible and budget-friendly. 

Here are a few fantastic options to make a beautiful tote bag pattern: 


Unused or old pillowcases can be repurposed into tote bags. They often come in various colors and patterns, making them an excellent choice for a quick and easy DIY project.


Transforming old t-shirts into large tote bags is a popular and eco-friendly option. Simply cut off the sleeves, stitch the bottom hem closed, and tie the remaining fabric to create handles.

Tea Towels or Dishcloths

These kitchen essentials can be repurposed into small, lightweight tote bags perfect for carrying small items, groceries or snacks. Add some decorative elements like ribbons or buttons to personalize them.

Reusable Shopping Bags

If you have sturdy reusable shopping bags lying around, you can repurpose them into tote bags for your little one. Customize them with fabric paints, iron-on patches, or fabric markers.

Tablecloths or Curtains

Unused tablecloths or curtains made of durable fabrics can be repurposed into larger tote bags. Cut them to the desired size and use fabric glue to secure the edges.

Denim Jeans

Old denim jeans are a versatile material for tote bags. Cut off the legs, stitch or use fabric glue to close the bottom, and add denim or ribbon handles for a trendy and sturdy bag.

Remember, the key to repurposing materials is to think creatively and experiment with what you have available. Look for items in your home that have sturdy fabrics and can be easily transformed into a tote bag pattern. 

It’s a fantastic way to give new life to old or unused items or even use excess fabric from other projects. The type of fabric does not matter and even combining different ones can be a great idea.

So go ahead and raid your closets, drawers, and storage spaces, and uncover hidden treasures that can be transformed into delightful no-sew tote bags!

How much fabric is needed to make a tote bag?

This can vary depending on the size and design of the bag you have in mind. However, as a general guideline, you’ll typically need about 1/2 to 1 yard (0.5 to 0.9 meters) of fabric for a standard-sized tote bag.

For a small tote bag, such as one suitable for holding a few items or serving as a lunch bag, half a yard of fabric should suffice. If you prefer a larger tote bag that can hold more items like books or toys, you may want to opt for a full yard of fabric.

Keep in mind that these estimates are based on standard fabric widths of around 45 inches (114 cm). If your fabric has a different width, you may need to adjust the quantity accordingly. Additionally, if you plan to add embellishments or extra features like pockets, you might require a bit more fabric.

To determine the exact amount of fabric you need, it’s advisable to consult the specific tote bag tutorial or pattern you’re using. They often provide detailed instructions for the body’s bag and bag handles as well as fabric requirements tailored to the desired size and design of the diy tote bag.

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