17 Free Tote Bag Patterns You Can Sew in a Day


Who says you can’t sew a new tote bag or purse in an afternoon? I’ve done it lots of times! And here are 17 free tote bag patterns that I have actually sewn in an afternoon.

These free bag patterns are listed according to how fast they are to sew. Cutting and applying interfacing can take up much of your bag-making time. That’s why the two fastest bags to make below have no interfacing and almost no cutting!

1. Easy Fold Over Messenger Bag

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There is no interfacing on this bag, which makes it perfect for heavier fabrics like canvas, sateen, and other home decor-weight fabrics. There’s also an option to make 2 smaller messenger bags from 1 yard, too. You will love this easy messenger bag pattern.

2. One Yard Magic Hobo Bag

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All you need to make this bag is 1 yard and 1 hour, and you’ll be done. I promise! Perfect for beginners, this bag also has no interfacing and works beautifully for thicker fabrics like canvas, sateen, and other home decor-weight fabrics. Make sure you check out the 1 Yard Magic Hobo Bag

3. Canvas Book Bag

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This small book bag with a pocket on the front uses canvas, so there’s no lining! The straps are sewn from pretty quilting cotton fabric. Even a beginner can sew a book bag in one day if they pick this one.

4. Easy Bag with 1 Yard of Quilting Cotton

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Kids’ Halloween treat bags like this one are fast and easy to sew. Just grab 1/2 yard cute fabric exterior and any other 1/2 yard for the lining. A simple bag like this can be used all year, not just for Halloween.

5. Japanese Style Square Bag with Quilting Cotton

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This Japanese-inspired design is perfect for a beginner – the shape is made with some easy darts sewn into the side of the bag. This free sewing pattern includes instructions for making two different sizes so you’ll have the perfect size bags for yourself or to give as a gift.

6. Cute Tote Bag with Optional Applique Bunnies

bunny tote bags
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Here’s another unlined bag pattern that works best with heavier upholstery weight fabric. The Easy Tote Pattern has a free (optional) bunny applique too.

7. Shopping Bag with Rope Handles

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This roomy shopping bag pattern is cute and reversible. The rope handles are optional, but I totally recommend them!

8. Easy Sling Bag

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Sew the pretty sling purse that you’ve been dreaming of! This easy tote bag pattern has an exterior zipper pocket, another zipper pocket, and two slip pockets inside. There are not very many pattern pieces to cut, which makes it faster to make than the average bag!

9. Sweet Quilted Bag

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Learn how to sew a quilted tote. The quilting stitches are optional, but I hope you don’t skip them!

10. The Sew Easy Big Tote Bag

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Sew a big quilted tote bag with beautiful details that is super easy to sew. This DIY bag pattern has an attached lining and simple French seams, so there are no raw edges on the inside.

11. More One Yard Magic Totes

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These one-yard magic bags are a little different from the others. Since these bags are lined, you’ll need one yard of fabric for the exterior and one yard for the lining. You’ll also need some fusible fleece stabilizer and optional fabric for the handles. You can use store bought handles, thrifted handles, or make your own!

11. Convertible Cross Body Tote

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Sew a beautiful cross-body bag pattern that will be your new favorite purse! I usually carry my bags over one shoulder, so I made the strap convertible. I love the double-strap look! You don’t have to use clips like this or make the strap convertible. This free sewing pattern explains how to sew it both ways.

12. The Picnic Tote

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The Picnic Tote makes a beautiful purse with pockets inside – and it’s really a lot simpler to make than it looks!

13. Strappy Tote Bag With Pockets

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The Strappy Tote Bag with Pockets is a winner! Plus, you can add up to 8 pockets. For the straps, I used leather strips from the craft store. They were very easy to sew on. You can also make your own straps or buy some pre-made ones.

14. Japanese Style Drawstring Bag

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This Japanese Style Tote bag is so cute and reversible. You will love the huge pockets on the inside.

15. Rope Handled Totes

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Here’s another lined bag with contrasting fabrics. No handles to sew, plus a simple design, make the Rope Handled Tote a breeze!

16. A Big Flying Geese Tote Bag

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The Flying Geese Tote is fast to make and really big!

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