Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Upcycled Tote Bag from a Table Runner

How to Make a Tote Bag from a Table Runner

Upcycled bunny tote bag

Make a Tote Bag from an Upcycled Table Runner. This quick and easy DIY sewing project is great for beginners. I’ll show you how to sew this cute and functional upcycled tote bag from an Easter bunny table runner.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Every now and again I come across a fabulous table runner while rummaging about at the thrift store. I decided that a tote bag would be the perfect upcycle for this table runner.

upcycled bunny bag 1

My daughter loves bunnies! So, this table runner with a burlap bunny on each end and a pom-pom bunny tail was too cute to pass up.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Gather Your Supplies:

  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)
  • Needles
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Sewing gauge or ruler
  • Sewing pins and clips
  • Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
  • Fabric scissors and thread trimmer
  • Iron
  • Ironing board

Getting Started:

I decided I wanted to keep the bottom crocheted trim visible, so the seams would be external for the sides and bottom.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

I lined the two ends up and clipped together with wonder clips.

I cut off the middle bit of the table runner with a rotary cutter so it would 1.25 inches longer than the finished length. This will account for the top hem of the bag.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

I kept the lining and just pulled out the flimsy interfacing from between the layers so it would be easier to work around. I then sewed the sides and bottom wrong sides together using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Make the Straps:

I used the rest of the fabric to make the tote bag straps. Using only the exterior lined fabric for the straps, I cut two long strips of fabric, each 4 inches wide by 32 inches long.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Anytime you are working with unknown fabric you’ll want to test the iron in a not too obvious place to ensure you can press your fabric. I’ve destroyed thrift store fabrics by using too high of heat with a synthetic fabric. It melts into a funky mess on your iron and trashes your fabric. Not fun!

To make straps press each strap in half lengthwise using your iron on the appropriate setting for your fabric. I’m fairly sure this was a lightweight linen or cotton, so high heat was no problem.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Open up the pressed strap and press each side in towards the center. Then fold the whole thing in half again, and press. You should have two straps that are now 1 inch wide.

Sew the handle fabric with an edge stitch along each of the long lengths. You could also use cotton or synthetic webbing for your tote bag straps if you have that on hand. I liked using the matching fabric and it was pretty lightweight and easy to sew.

Hem and Attach the Straps

To finish the top edge, I just buzzed it through my serger. If you don’t have a serger you can just zig zag around the top raw edges.

You could also fold the top over a quarter inch and sew it down for a double fold hem. This was fairly thick material with the lining so I didn’t want to sew a hem that was too bulky.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

With the tote bag inside out, measure a 1-inch hem with your sewing gauge or ruler. Press with a warm iron and clip in place.

Measure 4 inches from each side and place a mark there with your fabric marking pen for your handle placement.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Starting on one side, slide one end of one strap under the folded hem at the marked point. Slide the other strap end under the hem at the other marked point.

Make sure the strap is straight and not twisted. Clip in place. Repeat for the other side of the bag.

Take the bag to your sewing machine and sew the hem all the way around your tote bag.

Finish the Bag:

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Fold the handles up and clip or pin in place. Top stitch around the top to secure the straps in place facing upright.

Upcycled Bunny Tote Bag

Ta da, a lovely bag from a repurposed table runner!

Happy Sewing!

Joanne

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