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Latest Comments

Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

Ribbon Stripes Bag

By: Cathy Stapleton for Prym Consumer USA

Various-colored ribbons and wood handles become a unique little bag, like this one perfect for Halloween. The project is quick and easy, as the bag and lining are made together. Find this bag pattern in the Sewing for Beginners eBook with 19 other great sewing patterns.

Zig Zag Ribbon Tote Bag

Time to completion: 1 ½ to 2 hours

Materials List:

  • ½ yard - lining/foundation fabric
  • ½ yard – fusible interfacing
  • 2 yards - ½” ribbon (ties)
  • 1 yard each of assorted ribbon to equal a 9” width of bag. ( ex. Six ribbons with a width of 1 ½” equals 9”)
  • Fray Check™ - Dritz® # 674
  • Plastic Canvas – 2 ½” by 8 ½” rectangle
  • Sewing/Craft Glue Stick – Dritz #401
  • Sewing Machine with zig-zag stitch
  • Bag Boutique™ Handles

Before beginning, create a design chart by cutting a small amount from each ribbon and tape them to an index card in placement order. Label top and bottom ribbon.


  1. From foundation/lining fabric, cut one 9 ½” by 26” rectangle ( bag foundation ) , one 2” by 26” strip ( bag bottom ) and one 3” by 18” rectangle ( plastic canvas cover ) . Interface each piece following manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Place wrong side of 2” strip on right side of foundation fabric along one 26” length. Stitch using a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam allowance toward wrong side of foundation fabric.
  3. On opposite 26” length, fold and press a ¼” hem, wrong sides together.
  4. Referring to design chart and aligning along top edge over hem, place top ribbon, right side up on wrong side of foundation fabric. Set sewing machine to a narrow zig-zag stitch and stitch ribbon along top edge of bag covering hem. Tip – use Sewing/Craft Glue Stick to temporary baste ribbon in place.
  5. Select next ribbon from chart and place on bag butting edges together. Again, zig-zag along edges making sure to catch both edges to join ribbon.
  6. Continue aligning and sewing ribbon along wrong side of foundation fabric with last ribbon covering seam edge. Continue and zig-zag last ribbon on bottom edge to secure in place.
  7. Using a rotary cutter and mat, trim ribbon evenly with sides of foundation fabric. Apply Fray Check to ribbon edges to prevent fraying.
  8. Set machine to regular straight stitch. With ribbon side of fabric together, turn and stitch sides using ½” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  9. Returning to zig-zag stitch, secure edges of seam by stitching down each seam allowance, creating center back seam of finished bag.
  10. Continue with right sides together, and create the bag bottom by stitching remaining bottom fabric together using a ¼” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  11. To create a bottom gusset, fold bag with right sides together so bottom seam is centered and facing up, forming triangles on each end. Stitch across bottom of triangle using last zig-zag seam as guide. Turn bag right side out.
  12. Center bag handles on each side of bag and mark placement for ties.
  13. Cut ½” ribbon to eight 9” lengths. Using two 9” pieces together, fold in half and mark center. Attach to bag by stitching on the right side of bag, across center mark of ribbon at handle placements. Tie ribbon to handles to attach.
  14. With right sides together, fold 3” by 18” fabric piece in half to create a 3” by 9” piece. Stitch each 9” side together using ¼” seam allowance. Turn and insert plastic canvas. Fold opening and hand or machine stitch in place. Place in bottom of bag for stability.
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I think this would be good for Christmas using strips of Xmas fabric inn place of the Halloween. The holiday possibilities are many. I think I'll try it with Christmas first! Can't wait to try it.

Such a fun and cute idea! Ive made this bag in all sizes and shapes. I made my handles out of braided ribbon and Ive use different fabrics (jeans,old shirts&blouse etc) for a lining. Same idea with a little different twist, Ive also made casserole holders. As you may can tell, I have WAY too time on my hands OR I need a life. My husband thanks you for keeping me busy and saving a bundle of money on anti-depressents.

I really do love this bag. thank you . I am sharing it with another friend of mine who loves to sew.


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