How to make a bag from scraps

How to make a bag from scraps

I LOVE this bag. I’ve called it a “scrappy bag” because it’s a perfect way to use up scraps that are too big to throw away but aren’t really enough for a complete project – I’ve wound up with a heap of small, odd sized, pieces of fabric, so I will be able to make another scrappy bag; which I’m very excited about because my 2 year old has claimed this one for herself!

I’d say this is a somewhat tricky beginner project, but still I think most people should be able to do this. None of the individual steps are particularly tricky, or time consuming – it looks a little more complicated than it actually is. Take each step slowly and you should be fine!

This project only took me an hour to complete with Miss 2 year old “helping”, and stopping to take pictures, so it should be a fairly quick project.

Let get started!

So, I’m going to give you the measurements that I used, however you can adapt this very easily to suit the size of the fabric that you have and I will explain how you can do that.

The fabric I’ve used is just plain woven cotton fabrics – no stretch fabric.

The pieces you will need are:

1 Front Piece and 1 Back Piece (these can be the same or different – I used 2 different fabrics)
2 Inner lining pieces (you could use two different patterns for this, but I used 2 the same)
2 “interfacing” pieces – I’ve just used a plain cotton, but you could use stiff interfacing fabric if you have it, but the idea of this was just using up fabric that I had already on hand)
4 rim pieces
1 Strap piece (that you will later cut in half to make two straps)


The front, back, lining and interfacing pieces all have to be exactly the same size. Mine are 34cms wide by 29cms tall. As long as they are all the same size, it doesn’t really matter how big they are.

The rim pieces are 34cms by 7.5cms. The rim HAS TO BE the sam WIDTH as the main bag pieces (34cms) and at least 6cms tall – I think about 10cms would be ideal, but it depends on the overall size of the bag and what proportions you want.

The strap I made was 112cms by 11cms (OR 2 x 56cms by 11cms.)


Lay the front and back pieces together with the right/nice side facing each other, and the interfacing pieces on either side. Pin together and sew around the outside on the sides and bottom – leaving the top of the bag open. 10408582_10203714350723463_8238153514712583074_n


Open out the middle of the bag and then lay it out flat so the bottom and one of the side seams line up.


Measure 5 cms from the corner along the side seam of the bag.


And draw a line at at right angle to the seam to form a right angled triangle and sew along the line.

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Open the bag out and repeat on the other bottom corner and turn the bag right way out.


Repeat these steps on the two lining pieces (minus the interfacing). Leave the lining inside out and the outside right way out.


Open out the outside piece.


And place the lining inside.


Now sew around the upper edge of the bag, joining the lining and outside of the bag together. Set the bag aside.


Fold the edges of the bag straps into the middle and iron them flat.


Then fold them half, iron flat, and sew along the open edge. (Cut in half to form two straps)



Lay a rim piece on the table with the “right” side facing up, then place one strap on top of it, lining up the edges of the edge of the rim. I’ve positioned the centre of the straps at the 1/3 and 2/3 point on the rim.



Now place another rim piece over the top with the “right” side facing down and sew along the lower edge, ensuring you sew through both ends of the straps.


Fold the rim pieces down and sew the fold flat.


And tuck the raw edges of the rim back up inside the rim so only the right side is showing on either side and iron the fold.


Repeat these steps with the other strap and rim pieces.

Open out the rim pieces and place them together with their right sides/strap sides facing and sew them together at both ends to form a loop.



And pin the rim on to the bag.


Ensure the seams of the rim line up with the seams on the sides of the bag.


Finally sew the rim onto the bag, taking care not to accidentally sew over the straps!

OOPS! If this happens – unpick and start this step over!

And it’s done!


Perfect bag for a fabric dolly to ride in!




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Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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