Create your own Tote!

how to make tote

If you’re not into the ‘bring your own bag’ movement yet, then you need to get on quickly. It’s the simplest way to reduce your use of plastic bags while shopping.

Since the enforcement of the long-awaited ban on the use of plastics and plastic bags, many cities are switching to cloth bags. Many of us have invested in cotton jholas/totes.


To help you take one more step towards leading an eco-friendly life, we’ve collated some simple DIY tote ideas. Why? Because buying totes that you use for shopping, eventually, do add to waste of another kind. DIY totes on the other hand reuse existing clothing making them more eco-friendly, and easy on your pocket.

Listed below are five ways to make your own totes. Some of these take absolutely no skill, others require some sewing, but nothing that a quick Rs. 100 to your local tailor cannot fix.

  • Non-sew tote from an old t-shirt: We all have those tees that are completely worn out but we rarely have the heart to throw them. Choose from one of those and transform it into a carry on tote and that too without any sewing.  For instructions, click here. If you’d like to give it a fun fringed look at the bottom, then try this option.

  • Basic-sew fruits and vegetables tote from old T-shirts: Old tees can also be used to transform them into crochet inspired large knit bags. These bags are ideal to carry when heading for grocery shopping. The only sewing this bag involves is at the base of the tee – to give it the shape of the bag. This makes it a super easy assignment to take on, even for the novices. For instructions, click here.

  • Pretty felt tote from an old sweater: This may be a tote you’d be happy to carry to lunch or even the movies cause no one would believe its upcycled. It needs just an old sweater, which then needs felting. Click here for instructions. P.S. sweaters can also be used to create other fun stuff. Click here to know more about ways to upcycle old sweaters.

  • Tote from old pair of jeans: This one is for the passionate DIY artists out there, as it involves a fair bit of tailoring skills. Alternatively, have a tailor make this for you. The result will be a stunning piece of custom-made denim backpack and that too from waste. Click on the video link below and follow instructions. Here’re some more interesting things you can do with denims.
  • Leather tote from an old leather jacket: Leather/ faux leather jackets, look stunning but have a limited life. If you have some of these lying in your closet, transform them into a patch worked leather tote. Carry this statement piece around and flaunt your skills at transforming waste to gold. Click here for instructions.

Know of any more ways of transforming old clothes into smart totes? Do share them with us. Alternatively, if you’ve already done one of these assignments / ones similar to these, do share pictures of the end result. We’d love to share them ahead!

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