Ruffled Tote Tutorial

ruffled tote tutorial
Hello to all you lovely and beautifully talented Ucreate readers! I am so thrilled and honored to be a creative guest on Ucreate and share my ruffled tote tutorial with you today! :)

blue robin cottage logo

I’m Sierra from Blue Robin Cottage!  I really discovered my love for creating things at a very early age. I think I might have been the only 2nd grader with a vintage inspired valentine’s box complete with pearls, lace, glitter and elegant paper dollies. I started sewing about a year and a half ago and it was love at first sight! When I’m not crafting (which isn’t very often) I  enjoy the metropolitan atmosphere in DC with my two sweeties, antiquing or decorating my home. :) At the Blue Robin Cottage, I love to share all the fun craft and home decor projects I’ve been working on. Stop on by and see what I’m up to! :)

Now onto the tutorial! I am so in love with everything ruffly these days! I decided I needed a tote bag to put all of my things in and of course it HAD to be ruffled! :) This tote is a lot easier than you think so let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

*1 Canvas tote bag: I found these at Walmart in a package of 3. I think they ran around $6.

*4, 4inch strips of fabric: I used a medium weight home decorator fabric- it just seems to hold up better but you can certainly use a regular cotton fabric

* Any embellishments you wish to add

*Jean sewing machine needle

Step 1: Cut your fabric into 4, 4 inch strips- depending on how ruffly you want your ruffles you can cut your strips double or triple the width of your tote for the length.

Step 2: Sew a zig zag stitch on both sides of the strips- this prevents the fabric from fraying, you could also use fray check if you wanted to.

Step 3: Its ruffle time! The easiest way I  have found to do ruffles is to push the top part of your fabric strip through your presser foot on your sewing machine faster than it can sew so it creates nice gathers. Just keep pushing and sewing until you get to the end. So simple!

Step 4: Lay out your ruffles to decide where you want to place them on your tote.

Step 5: Pin your ruffles one strip at a time onto your canvas tote, starting at the bottom.

Step 6: Sew the ruffles onto your tote- This is where your jean needle will come in handy because canvas fabric is so thick. The first 2 ruffles are a little difficult to sew onto your tote but if you take off your extra compartment on your sewing machine arm, you can easily slid your tote over the base of your sewing machine.

If you want to add any embellishments, you can sew those right onto the top of your tote! The possibilities are endless! I added a burlap rosette and some fabric rosettes to match:

And there you have it… a simple, adorable ruffle tote! These would make such cute gifts, they are so easy to make and lets not forget to mention cost efficient! 😉

Thank you so much for having me today! :) I hope to see you soon at the Blue Robin Cottage!

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  1. says

    this bag is absolutly adorable. i was wondering if the rosettes were homemade or storebought. if you made them i would love to see a tutorial on that as well and if not i was wondering if you know a good place to buy them. thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Anonymous says

    If you want another way to make ruffles lay a piece of dental floss on the fabric-fixing one end with a pin, zig zag over it, then pull the end of the floss. Floss is so strong that it never breaks like thread does!

  3. says

    I love your idea, I have a ugly advertisement bag that was given to me that I can take the ruffles and cover the add. I think I have some clothes that no longer fit that I can make the ruffles out of thatwill look cute on it. I can’t wait to get started, thanks again for the idea!

  4. says

    Thank you so much for your idea – I began making 3 of them for teacher gifts for Christmas but loved them so much I ended up making 12 of them! I bought some of the fabric at Hobby Lobby but then found some vintage looking floral sheets at Goodwill for $1 and used that for ruffles – turned out super cute and ended up costing only around $5 per bag.
    I had never made ruffles or fabric rosettes so thank you for the tutorial and great pics!
    Thanks again!

  5. says

    I have made all the components for the bag, ruffles and flowers- but I’m intimidated by having to switch out my needle for a denim one and then to have to switch back to the regular for other projects (can you tell I’m very inexperienced with my sewing machine? So my question is this- can I just hot glue gun my ruffles and flowers to the bag instead of sewing them onto the bag?

  6. says

    Lynne and Angie,
    Sierra sewed the ruffles along the front side only. You could easily double the fabric strips and go around the whole tote easily!

    I’m not sure how long the strips were.

    For any questions about sewing the tote contact Sierra at the blue ribbon cottage as this is her guest tutorial!

    So glad so many of you like this as much as I do!! Sierra has major talent!

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