My love for the open road began as a child. We’d often take quick weekend road trips and much longer road trips down the East coast. To this day, one of my favorite ways to travel is by car. Last summer, The Boy and I took an epic road trip with my mom from Cape Cod to Florida. One thing I could have used on that trip was a road trip tote bag to hold maps, tablets, and snacks.
It seems everyone likes a different type of snack in my family. Thankfully, Walmart offers a variety of snacks to please everyone’s palate. When shopping at Walmart, be on the look out for the in-store displays. They contain coupon booklets to help you stretch your road trip budget a little further! As I started to plan this summer’s road trip, I found this great resource for printable road trip games and fun road trip themed tutorials! Be sure to check it out as your plan your summer road trip, too!
Speaking of snacks, be sure to enter the Mondelēz Summer Road Trip Sweeps to win road trip weekly prizes and a grand prize! The sweepstakes began June 27 and ends on July 24.
As we begin planning this year’s road trip, I decided I needed to learn how to make a tote bag of my own. And now that I know, I’m going to teach you! The beauty of this tote bag is that you can use fabric from your fabric stash or buy a few fat quarters while shopping at Walmart for your road trip snacks. Did I mention, it’s a reversible tote bag? Too cool, I know!
How to Sew a Tote Bag
Gather your supplies: fabric, coordinating thread, scissors, measuring tape, iron and ironing board, pins, disappearing pencil, and sewing machine.
Cut Fabric for the Tote Bag
Cut two (2) pieces of fabric 14 1/2 inches X 15 inches, this is for the outside of your tote bag. Cut two (2) additional pieces of fabric 14 1/2 inches X 15 inches, this is for the inside of your tote bag. To make the strap, cut one (1) piece of fabric 5 inches X 44 inches.
Before you begin making your tote bag, iron all of the fabric pieces to remove any wrinkles. We’ll begin by making the strap first because there is a lot of ironing involved!
To Make the Straps for the Tote Bag
Open the fabric strip with the wrong side facing you. Press each outside edge to the center.
Next, fold the fabric in half and press well.
Top-stitch down both sides of the strap close to the edge. Cut the fabric in half. [Don’t be afraid!] Now you have two straps, each about 22 inches long! Awesome, right? Don’t be concerned the the ends aren’t sewn together. You’ll be stitching them up at the end of the project.
To Make the Tote Bag
Sew the lining fabric right sides together on three sides. Next sew outer fabric right sides together on three sides.
To give the tote bag a bit more shape, we’re going to square off the corners. This is an easy process, once you’ve done the first corner! Pinch the bottom corner of the fabric together and stitch straight across 1 1/2 inches from corner. You’ll do this for both the lining and the outer fabric.
The red thread comes in handy for this. See how I’ve stitched all the way across?
Turn your lining fabric so the right side is facing out. [Admire your squared corner!]
Slide the lining fabric inside the outer fabric so that right sides are facing together.
Grab your straps and place one strap in between the right sides of fabric about 3 inches from the edges. Pin well.
Repeat this process on the other side. Stitch around the top of the tote bag making sure to leave a 3-4 inch opening for turning the bag right side out.
Turn the bag so that the right sides of the fabric are facing out. Then, push the lining inside the bag. To close up the hole and clean up the top of your tote bag, top stitch all the way around the top of the tote bag.
Now you’re ready to pack it full of your road trip essentials. I slipped in my maps, some RITZ Everything with Cream Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, HONEY MAID Dippers Honey Graham Snacks, HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS Graham Snacks, and (please don’t tell, because then I’ll have to share) Single Serve OREO Cookies!
This tote bag is perfect for the passenger a/k/a co-pilot on any road trip adventure! What type of road trip snacks would you pack in your tote bag?