Free Patterns to Make Tote Bags, Messenger Bags and Drawstring Bags

I just love sewing a tote bag for myself or as a gift.  The first tote I made had a zipper top; a must-have for me!

There is nothing worse than having the entire contents of my bag strewn across the floor, and when I travel, it makes going through security so much less stressful for me.

Free Bag Patterns!

This page is devoted to bags and free bag patterns.  We have everything to show you how to sew a handy tote bag, how to make a drawstring bag, stitch up cute and fancy purses, use our messenger bag patterns, and much more in the realm of bags!

Backpacks and Drawstring Bags

You will love our backpack patterns!  We have a very professional style backpack pattern, along with the cutest bunny-eared backpack for your toddler to carry.

The older kids and teens especially like the drawstring bags.  We have several links to free patterns showing you how to make a drawstring bag.Small Drawstring Bag

These are simple and easy sewing projects perfect for beginners!  Your youngster can create their own special style as they learn to sew. Be sure not to miss the unique bag with its own special pocket!

I know when my kids were old enough, a simple drawstring bag was easy for them to carry on day trips, leaving my hands free of their water bottles, lunches, and little things collected by the kiddos.

Tote Bags

If you are looking for a beach or other large tote, there are links to very simple bags, made from Dollar Store materials, as well as many decorative and more complex beautiful totes below. 

For those of you who find it very difficult to travel light, check out the big and beautiful oversized tote bag!DIY Tote Bag with Flat Bottom filled with Yarn

One tote, in particular, is a patriotic eagle tote that you can make using your applique skills! 

We also have included a special tutorial to help you create a really cool beach tote using a soft textured plastic mesh material.  You might find this mesh labeled as pet screen.  

I made a very cute tote with black mesh and adorable complementary black fabric with cartoon animals.  I use it all summer and just love it!

Duffel Bags

Duffel bags are always a hit with the teens, and I’ve found myself on more than one occasion looking for a big duffel bag for my kids to use for travel and sports.  There is a great retro-style duffel pattern that you will love.  (It brings back some good memories for me:)

Shopping Totes

We also found several shopping totes in various styles to take on your shopping trips.  Many are useful as bags for groceries, some using the same shape as grocery store bags.  I made many for myself in black fabric with cute cherries and a slew of them for my adult daughter in black with chili peppers on them.Shopping Bags with Black Fabric with Cherries

I love that these bags are so strong; much stronger than the grocery stores’ plastic bags, and they are easy to throw in the laundry for next time.

There is also a great tutorial on making reusable mesh produce bags to use when buying groceries.  

Put together your reusable grocery bags with these produce bags, and you will be in good company with other eco-minded friends, along with your Earth-conscious friends here at Our Trash to Treasures page gives you more earth-conscious crafts.

Purses and Pocketbooks

As I mentioned earlier, you will find some great patterns and tutorials for purses and pocketbooks.  These are always fun to sew, and they give you just the one-of-a-kind look you want. 

We have several patterns for envelope clutches as well as fringed and more traditional purses.  The pattern for the change purse with ID or credit card holder is really cute too!

There are just too many free patterns for bags to mention.  Please scroll down to see the drawstring shoe bag, wheelchair bag, custom home storage totes, messenger bags, and much more. 

Happy sewing!!!

Free Patterns to Make Tote Bags, Messenger Bags and Drawstring Bags

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A-Frame Organizer

This handy organizer with cut-out handle and pleated pockets can be used in so many ways - handy room organizer, take along to school organizer or take along sewing kit. Get the free pattern. Sew Can She

Appliquéd Eagle Tote Bag

Celebrate America all year long with this eagle tote bag using the free tote bag and applique patterns.


This versatile backpack has everything a grade-schooler needs - room for books, folders, water bottle and a pocket for treasures on the front! Pellon Projects

Beach Bag

A tutorial on how to make a mesh beach bag. OCD - Obsessive Crafting Disorder

Beach Bag with Rope Handles

This Oversized Beach Bag Sewing pattern has plenty of room for all of your pool or beach necessities! Polka Dot Chair

Bunny Backpack

A free backpack pattern that your toddler will love wearing. Sew Much Ado

Change Purse / Card Holder

Change Purse / Card Holder #ad

Learn how to make Change Purse/Card Holder at JOANN fabric and craft store online. Find detailed step-by-step instructions to complete your project today! Affiliate Link to JOANN

Clutch Bag

Need an evening bag? This purse design which is quick and easy and will fit the bill. Threads Magazine

Collapsible Fabric Storage Tote

How do you make organization fun, functional and fashionable? A collapsable, sturdy fabric store tote is handy for storing all kinds of stuff. Fiskars

DIY Tote Bag

DIY Tote Bag

DIY fun tote bag tutorial that looks store bought. It's large enough to hold everything a girl could need and features faux leather handles. Handmade in the Heartland

DIY Zero Waste Produce Bag

DIY Zero Waste Produce Bag

Learn how to sew a produce bag. Tim Rosanelli YouTube Channel

Dollar Tree Tote Bag

Dollar Tree Tote Bag

This craft tutorial shows you how to take a floor mat and turn it into a tote bag. Craft Bits

Drawstring Backpack

A DIY drawstring backpack is a great beginner sewing project! It’s easy to make and you’ll end up with a useful bag that’s also quite cute! Orange Bettie

Drawstring Backpack Tutorial

Make a lined drawstring backpack! This easy project is perfect for beginners. Sew Can She

Drawstring Backpack with Pocket

Drawstring Backpack with Pocket

DIY drawstring backpack tutorial. Happiest Camper

Drawstring Bag

Teaching a child to sew? A drawstring bag is the perfect first project. Melly Sews

Drawstring Bag (Beginner Sewing Project)

Drawstring Bag (Beginner Sewing Project)

Learn how to sew a super simple drawstring bag. Kids will love to choose fabrics and then create small drawstring pouches to put all their little treasures in. This DIY drawstring bag sews up in less than an hour and is a beginner sewing project for kids or adults.

Drawstring Travel Shoe Bag Tutorial

Drawstring Travel Shoe Bag Tutorial

How to sew a fabric shoe bag. Shoe bags are handy when traveling. Shoe bags help keep clothing and luggage from getting dirty. Learn how to sew a quick, easy and handy shoe bag.
This project is so easy even someone learning to sew can make it.

Duffel Bag Tutorial

Boy! Will you boy like this duffel bag. Saltwater Kids

Easy DIY Tote Bag with Flat Bottom

Easy DIY Tote Bag with Flat Bottom

Learn how sew a simple tote bag with our video tutorial and also our step-by-step instructions. Everyone needs tote bags. My some for yourself or to give as gifts. No pattern necessary.

Envelope Clutch Pattern

Depending on fabric choices, this envelope clutch will work for a daytime clutch or an evening clutch. See Kate Sew

Envelope Clutch Purse

Envelope Clutch Purse #ad

Learn how to make Envelope Clutch Purse at JOANN fabric and craft store online. Find detailed step-by-step instructions to complete your project today! Affiliate Link to JOANN

Eyelet Tote Bag

For this project you can purchase denim or recycle old denim. My Recycled Bags

Flower Appliqued Tote Bag

Flower Appliqued Tote Bag

Learn how to raw edge applique a tote bag. No-Sewing Needed! This project is simple and a great way to use up scrap fabric. Makes a nice gift bag! Staff

Fringe Purse

Fringe Purse #ad

With faux leather create a fun, fringe purse with these free instructions. Affiliate Link to JOANN

Fringed Bag

Small fringed bag sewing tutorial. This pattern will give you the choice of making a clutch or to hang it over your shoulder so you have some flexibility. So Sew Easy

Hospital Bed Saddlebag

With this free project, people in a hospital bed would be within easy reach of person items.

How to Line a Crocheted Bag

How to Line a Crocheted Bag

Learn how to add a fabric lining with pockets to a crocheted bag.

Japanese Knot Bag

Japanese Knot Bag

A Japanese knot bag is a small open tote bag, but with a twist. It has asymmetrical handles, and one of the handles slips through the other to form a knot and close the bag. Hello Sewing

Laptop Tote

A sewn tote is an easy way to carry your laptop. This tote has a large inside compartment and a large outside pocket for storing your laptop accessories. Craft and Fabric Links

Large Messenger Bag Pattern

A messenger bag is one of the most useful and popular bags for adults and kids. They can be used for so many purposes. Here is a free pattern for sewing a large messenger bag. Apple Green Cottage

Linen Towel Bag

Create a tote bag with two linen towels. Bumble Bee Linens

Market Bag

Reuseable market bag.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag

How to sew a messenger bag.

Messenger Bag

A tutorial on how to make a messenger bag in two different sizes. Ideal for school or shopping. OCD - Obsessive Crafting Disorder

Messenger Bag

A tutorial on how to make a messenger bag. mmm crafts

Messenger Bag

This messenger bag pattern is great for on the go or kids can use for school to carry all their school supplies. Crazy Little Projects

Monster Tote Bag

Monster Tote Bag

This tote bag was upcycled using an old unwanted cushion. My Poppet Makes

Neoprene Envelope Clutch

Neoprene Envelope Clutch #ad

Step-by-step instructions for sewing an envelope clutch using Neoprene fabric. Affiliate Link to JOANN

No-Sew Basket Weave Cotton Tote

No-Sew Basket Weave Cotton Tote #ad

How To Make No-Sew Basket Weave Cotton Tote with detailed step-by-step instructions. Affiliate Link to JOANN

Origami Bento Bag

Origami Bento Bag

This tutorial will show you how to sew an origami tote bag with lining and boxed corners, in easy-to-follow steps. Hello Sewing

Personalized Tote Bags for Kids

Personalized Tote Bags for Kids

Tote bags for kids are simple to make. Start with a plain tote bag then have a blast personalizing it with kid's name and their favorite character. Associate

Pick-A-Pocket Purse

A simple bag cleverly incorporates six outer pockets for everyday necessities.

Pleated Handbag

Pleated Handbag #ad

Learn how to make a pleated handbag with Joann Fabric's online instructions. Affiliate Link to JOANN

Pleated Zipper Clutch Bag

This clutch bag tutorial is scrap friendly, so you can combine 2 different fabrics for the main sides and has some great details for customizing your way. Like Flowers and Butterflies

Pocket Handbag

Pocket Handbag

How to make a small, cute handbag using an old jeans or shorts pocket. This project only requires simple sewing skills so beginners and kids can sew this project.

Pouch - How to Sew a Lined Zipper Pouch (Bag)

Pouch - How to Sew a Lined Zipper Pouch (Bag)

This video will show how to make a simple lined zipper pouch (bag).

Produce Bags

Produce Bags

A DIY free pattern on how to make reusable produce bags. Hello Sewing

Purse with zippers

Free sewing purse pattern featuring zipped outer pocket and zipper top closure. Craft and Fabric Links

Retro Apple Bag

Retro Apple Bag

This easy-to-make tote bag features an apple applique. My Poppet Makes

Round Pouch Bag

A small cloth pouch pattern.

Shopping Bag

Shopping Bag

This free shopping bag sewing pattern makes a fabric version of a paper grocery bag, with easy measurement, cutting, and sewing instructions. All free Crafts

Shopping Bag Pattern

Shopping Bag Pattern

How to make a simple DIY grocery bag. Even a beginner sewer can make free shopping bag project.

Shoulder Bag

A rough pattern and guide for sewing a shoulder bag. Tiny Happy

Shoulder Tote and Water Bottle Holder

By using a pair of jeans, sew a shoulder tote and/or water bottle holder. AOK Corral

Snack Wrapper Zipper Pouch

Snack Wrapper Zipper Pouch

Turn your empty snack wrappers (cookies, candy, chips, etc) into recycled zipper bags with this zipper pouch tutorial.

String Backpack

A lightweight, string-style backpack is the perfect storage solution for outdoor outings, sport team practices, or just as an everyday carryall. Sew 4 Home

T-Shirt Tote

T-Shirt Tote

How to make a t-shirt tote bag by recycling an old tee shirt. This simple and quick tote bag can be made in less than a half hour and is so easy to make even someone learning to use can made it.

Tea Bag

Tea Bag

How to use a reusable muslin tea bag so you can enjoy quality tea and go zero waste. Easy Things to Sew

Tea Towel Book Bag

Tea Towel Book Bag

By using this pattern, beginners and seasoned sewers can make a book bag with inside pockets so there is a place for everything. Sum of Their Stories

Tea Towel Tote

Tea Towel Tote

This is a simple sewing project, perfect for beginners, using tea towels that are sewn into a tote with button closure. Sum of Their Stories

Trick or Treat Bag

Trick or Treat Bag

How to sew a lined trick or treat bag. Free pattern.

Tucked Preppy Handbag

A color-blocking handbag pattern with an interesting twist. Sew 4 Home

Unicorn Tote Bag

Unicorn Tote Bag

A fun project for unicorn fans. Get started with this easy sewing project with the step-by-step directions! Craft Bits

Valentine Treat Bags

Valentine Treat Bags

On Valentine's Day, kids enjoy passing out treats to their classmates, teammates, teachers, and friends. What better way than with a cute goodie bag. Learn how to make quick and easy fabric bags.

Walker Caddy

This caddy is approximately 6 1/2" x 12" and can be attached to a walker or on a bed rail.

Water Bottle Tote

Water Bottle Tote

This free project pattern shows you how to make a bottle bag tote using around 1/2 yard of fabric. Craft Bits

Wheelchair and Walker Caddies

A simple carrier to attach to a walker or wheelchair. Care Wear

Wheelchair Bag PDF

Instructions for making a tote bag for a wheelchair. 4 H

Wheelchair Tote

A pattern for a wheelchair tote.

Zip Zap Mini Pouch

An adorable zippered pouch. Sew 4 Home

Zipper Top Tote

This pattern isn't for beginners. It's an intermediate pattern and as such, it comes with regular pattern-style instructions rather than the full step-by-step tutorial you might find with beginner patterns. So Sew Easy

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