How to make a simple cotton bag

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  • Making your own beach bag or tote is really easy when you follow our simple guide from craft expert Christine Leech.

    This simple style of bag is cut from one pillow case, meaning minimum waste of your lovely craft supplies. If you have a sewing machine then you’ll be able to whip these up in just minutes.

    Not to worry if you don’t have a sewing machine though, you can always hand sew your bag. We quite like having a hand sewing project on the side, it makes a relaxing craft to do a little bit of here and there, in the evenings or quiet moments.

    Pretty enough to sell, these bags are strong and sturdy as they’re made from one large piece of fabric. If you want it to be even stronger try using a calico or canvas-like fabric instead of a pillow case.

    You can then sell them as shoppers, totes or beach bags. People love personalised goods so why not offer embroidered initials or name tags to go with your bags, too?

    If you already sell your crafts you could always offer these for a small amount extra with another purchase, as a stylish plastic bag alternative.

    You will need

    -A patterned pillowcase



    -Sewing machine





    Step 1

    Iron your pillowcase, so it’s nice and flat, then fold it in half lengthways. Cut away the top edges at the end where the pillowcase opens (see the photo above). Turn the pillowcase inside out, then pin and sew the top edges of the case where the handle is formed.

    Step 2

    Turn over the raw edges of the bag’s openings twice and pin in place. Sew along the edges, then iron them flat.

    Step 3

    Put newspaper inside the bag (to stop the insides getting stuck together) and glue sequins on the outside to decorate. Or sew them on.