Repurposed Fabric Tote


Repurposed Fabric Tote

Repurpose an old velvet wall hanging and turn it into a Repurposed Fabric Tote from Cyndee Kromminga. Easy fabric crafts like this one are perfect for beginners but look sophisticated at the same time. Choose fabric with a vibrant pattern so your bag stand out from the crowd.



  • Wrapping paper
  • Yardstick
  • Marking pen
  • Scissors
  • Velvet wall hanging
  • Fabric for the lining
  • Straight pins
  • 1-inch-wide ribbon
  • Sewing machine
  • Hand sewing needle and thread


  1. Trace a 12-inch-wide by 18-inch-long rectangle on the back of wrapping paper. Tip: Wrapping paper with a grid printed on the back will speed up this process. Cut out the rectangle. Turn the rectangle with the long edges running horizontal. Measure in 4 inches from each top corner and mark on the long edge. Lay your yardstick from the top left mark to the bottom left corner of the rectangle and trace a line to connect. Repeat on the right hand side of the rectangle. Cut along the traced lines. You now have your trapezoid pattern.

  2. Fold a velvet wall hanging into two layers with the right sides facing each other. Lay the trapezoid pattern on the wall hanging and pin through both layers. Cut out the velvet shapes. Repeat with your chosen lining fabric.
  3. Cut two 18-inch lengths of 1-inch-wide ribbon. These are your handles, so you will want the ribbon to be able to withstand the weight of the bag and constant handling, as well as the ability to keep its shape.

  4. Pin the short angled ends and the bottom of the velvet trapezoid shapes together. Sew the pinned edges using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat with the lining shapes, leaving a 4-inch opening in the center of the bottom edge.
  5. Turn the velvet bag right side out. Use the point of your scissors to poke out the corners. Lay the bag flat on your work surface. Center the ends of one handle on the top edge and separate by 4 inches. Pin the ends to the top edge. The loop of the handle will be upside down and laying on the side of the bag. Flip the bag over and pin the remaining handle to the other side.

  6. Slip the right-side-out velvet trapezoid bag inside the wrong-side-out lining bag. Line up the top edges and the side seams. Pin the top edge of the velvet bag to the top edge of the lining bag. Sew around the pinned edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

  7. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Hand sew the opening in the bottom seam closed.
  8. Since the velvet will likely melt or shine if ironed, finger press the top edge of the bag and pin. Top stitch around the pinned edge 1/4 inch from the edge.
  9. Before cutting, I arranged the pattern over an area of the wall hanging I wanted to showcase on the side of the bag.

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The concept of making this lovely tote out of an old wall hanging is inspired. I could see this in a woven tapestry as well. If velvet is used, you could try steaming it with at pressing cloth if you do feel the urge to,press it. You also could use strips of the fabric reinforced with thicker strong interfacing like Pellon for the straps instead of the ribbon if you have the extra yardage and prefer the look to be more cohesive. Love this idea!


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