christmas challenge – wk 5 – tote from an ikea rug

handmade christmas

A tote made from an Ikea rug? That’s right. It’s so quick and easy, you can even fit it in to a crazy, chaotic Christmas schedule! Life has thrown me a few curve balls recently, so I’m just not going that “extra mile” with my decorating and preparations. Nonetheless, I’ve still managed to make a few handmade gifts for some of my special friends. And these roomy totes – made from $3.99 Ikea rugs – are my favorites. They ares not only super easy to make, but they are durable and funky and beautiful. Can you tell I love them? 

supplies needed:

step 1 – sewing

Fold the rug in half, then stitch the two side seams (twice). 

tote from Ikea rug

 Next, with the bag inside out, open the seam and at each bottom corner, about 3″ down from the tip, make a horizontal stitch (as shown below.) Stitch over the seam a second time for reinforcement. Do this for each of the two corners.

tote from Ikea rug

When you turn the bag right side out, you will see that a “bottom” has formed. 

tote from Ikea rug

step 2 – handles

The leather straps I purchased from Amazon measure 3/4″ wide and 50″ long. By cutting the strap in half with a rotary cutter (for leather), you will have two straps, each measuring 25″. This is perfect for one bag. 

tote from Ikea rug

Next, using a leather punch, make two or three holes in both ends of each strap, about 1/2″ apart.

tote from Ikea rug

Using waxed cotton cording (used for jewelry making), stitch the handles onto the bag. You could also use embroidery thread, but I find the waxed cording to be very strong. I spaced the handles about 8″ apart.

tote from Ikea rug

tote from Ikea rug

step 3 – embellishments

You’ve actually finished the bag now, but embellishments always add a whimsical touch. An added tassel lends a sweet Boho flavor. I decided to embroider monograms on my bags.

tote from Ikea rug
I tied beads from an old bracelet to one handle of this bag.
tote from Ikea rug
I used dark leather straps for this bag, to compliment the bronze colored monogram.

My head is spinning with lots of variations for these clever “rug” totes, but for now, I’m just glad I have a few gifts marked off my list. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I hope you don’t let the stress of the season steal your joy. I promise I won’t.  Happy crafting!

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Hi, I'm Wendy. Southern by birth, Francophile by marriage, bohemian by nature, and minimalist by choice. Check out and join me in a year of making beautiful things.

Comments · 4

  1. Wow, these are so beautiful! I’m loving your blog. Have you ever done any DIY bookbinding? That’s my thing at the moment.

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