Jam time
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Teacher Totes

Teacher totes

Before school ended a few weeks ago, I made these tote bags for Kate's teachers. I love bags like these. They are perfect for just about any use - books, groceries, pool, projects. I made them out of canvas from my stash and left them unlined so they really came together quickly. I took photos as I made them so I am happy to share the pattern with a tutorial. Yippee! The Teacher Tote Tutorial can be found on the Tutorials & Patterns page or go ahead and click this link to download it now.  If you make one or more, please post a photo of it on the House on Hill Road flickr page so I can admire your good work.

A few notes: If you wanted to make this out of quilter's cotton, you should probably line it. It won't be sturdy enough if you don't. I didn't go into details of how to do this, but it's basically the same as constructing the exterior of the bag.  Cut your lining pieces 2 inches shorter in length than the exterior pieces (so 17" wide by 18" long), sew the lining like the exterior and then place it in the bag BEFORE you hem the top edge. Line up the side seams and fold the exterior of the bag over the lining. When you topstitch the top hem, it'll catch the lining and keep it in place. Easy peasy.

Additionally, you'll see on the tutorial that you can make and sell as many of these as you like. It's a basic tote, not original to me by any stretch. Just please, PLEASE, don't use my photos or content without asking me first. I don't think that is too much to ask, do you?

I'm going to take a little blog hiatus. Back here in a couple of weeks, if not sooner.


chris carleton

Those are gorgeous. And some lucky teacher got some flea market fancy! Sweet.


Love your fabric choices. Lucky teachers!

Beth Ellen

I wish I had all of those FMF prints in my stash! The totes are beautiful!

blair/wise craft

I was thinking about end of year teacher gifts, looking to you for inspiration was the first thought in my head. I now know why, these are great!

Erin | house on hill road

thanks blair - i figure just about anyone can use an extra tote bag.


These are so fabulous!!!! Thank you for sharing! You are so inspiring!


love these, erin.

enjoy your time away!


Can you tell me what the polka dot fabric is? I just bought a whack of it at the thrift store and would love to put a name to it.


Oh, got it. County Fair by Denise Schmidt. The comment above referencing 'Flea Market Fancy' helped me find it. Thanks! I loved it when I saw it but wow, I didn't realize it was that much of a score!


Can I teach your kids?! You make the BEST teacher gifts ever! I'd be over the moon if one of my students presented me with one of these bags!

Note to self: Make cool stuff when my kids are in school for their teachers ;)

Knitty Gritty Homestead

Yes, those are a million times better than another "A+ Teacher!" mug...I'm a teacher. I'd LOVE one of those bags...or ten! May have to make them as totes for each of my students for next year!!


I used your pattern to make these tote for my kids teachers - they turned out super cute. Thanks for the great idea!

Erin | house on hill road

I'm glad you found the tutorial helpful!

Nahuatl Vargas

Love the totes.
Thanks for sharing.

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