Tote-Ally Awesome Teacher Gift! A Tutorial and a Printable!

I think Teacher Appreciation Week might be this week…. I’ve been seeing a lot about it in the blogosphere, but our school doesn’t celebrate for a couple more weeks!


So since most people seem to be doing it earlier than we do, I thought I’d post my tote bag project. We made a bunch for preschool teachers last year. Actually, my plan is to give these as end of year thank you’s, but I know some of you out there do more for Teacher Appreciation week.


I think my favorite part is the tote bag pocket! I made these and debated on how to print them. Iron-on? Directly on to the fabric? Or Spoonflower? Spoonflower won! It’s sized to print quite a few pockets at once! And in different colors. You are welcome to go and buy it on the Spoonflower site for your own projects!

We are still fans of superheros, and in my book, teachers are pretty  much superheros! I know I could not do what they do! Even though my kiddo just says he plays all day, I am amazed at what his teachers do! And how they have him tricked to thinking he’s playing all day when he’s actually reading! That is some super powers at work!


The kiddo helped me pick out the fabric for each of the bags. I used pretty much all fabrics from my stash! Oh, yeah! Loving using the stash! He even went so far as to pick each fabric for each teacher!


And since the fabrics were all from the stash, the sizes of the bags vary a little here and there!



And we made the tags, too! And we’re sharing the love with ya! You can download the PDF for the tote-ally awesome tags here.


Would you like to make your own tote? You can make it for yourself too, if you’d like!


For materials, it doesn’t take too much. I used a home decorating weight fabric for the totes. More cotton from the stash was used for the lining. The spoonflower fabric for the pockets. And webbing for the straps.


Of course, the first thing is to cut all the pieces! For the top of the bag my pieces were approximately 12×16 inches. The bottom piece is approximately 7×16 inches. You’ll need 2 of each of these. The lining is approximately 18×16 inches and you’ll need 2 pieces. The pocket is 5.5×11 inches. The webbing is 45 inches on each side.


Fold the pocket in half and center it on the front of the bag. Pin it in place. Pin the webbing over the sides of the pockets. Align both the pocket and the webbing with the bottom of the front piece.


Sew on the webbing, stopping an inch from the top of the bag. Do this on the front and back.



Sew the bottom of the bag and the top together, right sides together. And topstitch. Do this for both the front and back.


Now sew the front and back together along both sides and the bottom. Do this for the lining, too. Leave a 3 to 4 inch hole in the lining stitching.



Sew the bottom corners of both the outside and the lining together. Align the seams to create a triangle at the corners. I sewed a 3.5 inch corner. Then cut the corners.


Put the lining inside the bag, right sides together, and sew along the top edge.



Pull the bag out through the hole in the lining. And sew together the hole.


Then topstitch!


And you’ve got a tote! Pretty easy!


And if you make a lot at once, you might just get a little silly!





I might just have to make more!!! Do you think you’d make some?




  1. Louise, these are wonderful! You will have some very happy teachers. Bet you hands are a bit tired. I continue to enjoy the lovely mini you made for me. Have a great day.

  2. What a great tote and terrific post – with all the components to recreate your bags. Very cool!

  3. Chiska says:

    Now you’ve got me thinking I just might. I love this bag!

  4. Very cute!

  5. Lorraine says:

    Yes! Teachers are superheroes!
    Love this project, the bag and the photos!

  6. The bags are so adorable. I really love the color combinations!

  7. Suzanne says:

    C’mon my architect friend – where are the CAD drawings for this?

Oh, great, you're leaving a comment!! I love reading comments!! Thanks for taking the time to share what's on your mind.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s