Mini Christmas Tote Bags – Tutorial

Mini Christmas Tote Bags are a really fun, simple make that look adorable on the Christmas Tree with some sweeties inside.

To make the Star mini Tote cut out the following:

  • 1 7/8” squares in the star fabric (x4)
  • 1 7/8” squares in background fabric (x4)
  • 1 1/2” squares in the background fabric (x4)
  • 1 1/4” x 41/2” rectangles in background fabric (x2)
  • 2 1/2” square for the star centre (x1)
  • 2” x 9” rectangles for the straps (x2)
  • 4 1/2” x 51/2” bag inners (x2)
  • 4 1/2” x 51/2” bag back (x1)

STEP 1 – Cut the 1 7/8” star fabric squares diagonally across to get 8 triangles. Repeat with four background squares.

STEP 2 – Sew the HSTs together by placing them RST and sewing along the diagonal edge with a ¼” seam.

STEP 3 – Sew the HSTs together in pairs as per the layout below

STEP 4 – Sew a 1 1/2” background square to either side of 2 pairs of HSTs.  Sew the other two pairs to either side of the star centre piece.

STEP 5 – Add a 1 1/4” x 4 1/2” background strip to the bottom and top of the patch.

STEP 6 – Create the straps from 2” x 9” rectangles by folding in half lengthways then folding the edges inwards and then topstitch down both sides. You could also use ribbons for handles.

STEP 7 – Place the front of the bag face up in front of you and then arrange a handle so that it starts and finishes 3/4” from the outer edges.  Pin in place

STEP 8 – Place a bag inner RST with the front of the bag, clip or pin in place and then sew together along the top with a ¼” seam.

STEP 9 – Repeat Step 7 & 8 with the back piece of the bag and the other inner piece of fabric.

STEP 10 – place the front piece and the back piece of the bags RST so that the outer pieces are matched. Pin in place and then sew along the sides and the bottom of the outer piece. Leave the bottom of the inner piece open.

STEP 11 – Pull the bag through the opening at the bottom and then close the inner fabric by folding in the raw edges and sewing shut.

To make the Penguin Mini Tote bag

I used a fussy cut template made from a 2” square for the penguin bag. I repeated the pattern on the front and back of the bag. To learn about fussy cutting HST’s have a look at this tutorial https://paulasteelquilts.com/free-patterns/fussy-cutting-hsts/

Cut out:

  • Fussy Cut Triangles using your template (x8)
  • 2 7/8” squares in background fabric (x8)
  • 1” x 4 1/2” rectangle for centre row (x2)
  • 1” x 4 1/2” rectangles for top and bottom rows (x4)
  • 2” x 9” rectangles for the straps (x2)
  • 4 1/2” x 51/2” bag inners (x2)

STEP 1 – Fussy cut 4 triangles for each side of the bag, using a 2” template. Cut the 4x 2 7/8” background squares in half diagonally. 

STEP 2 – Make up the Half Square Triangles by placing a fussy cut triangle and a background triangle RST and sewing 1/4″ along the long edge.

STEP 3 – Sew the HSTs in to pairs as per layout image.

Layout of Half Square Triangles and bordering strips

STEP 4 – Add a 1” x 4 ½” strip between the pairs to create the front.

STEP 5 – Add a 1” x 4 ½” strip to the bottom and top of the patch.

STEP 6 – Follow the directions in Steps 6 to 11 for the star mini tote to complete the bag.