How to Machine Embroider on a Tote Bag Tutorial

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Watch our video tutorial to learn how to machine embroider on a tote bag or keep reading below. Also, find affiliate links to supplies for this project below.

The embroidery design on our bag is by Designs By Juju from their Sewing Sayings 2 package. We will include a link to their site below.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch How to Machine Embroider on a Tote Bag Tutorial in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

What you will need for this project:

* Pre-purchased Tote Bags
* Machine Embroidery Design
* Tear Away or Cut Away Stabilizer
* Fabric Spray Adhesive
* Fabric Clips (optional)


Tote bags are fun and easy to machine embroider, but most of them pose one challenge. Since they are not large enough to move the back of the tote bag out of the way to embroider, we need to come up with a solution.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to remove one or both of the side seams. Usually, removing just one side seam will give you enough clearance to move the back out of the way for embroidery.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Using your seam ripper, take out the side seam of the bag.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Once the side seam is removed, you can turn the bag inside out. Hoop the stabilizer in the correct sized hoop for your design.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Your bag will be "floated" over the stabilizer and held in place using the fabric spray adhesive. Center the bag over the hoop making sure that the center of where you want the design is centered on the hoop. I centered my bag by aligning the bag edges with the sides of the hoop.

Once you have the bag in the correct location, fold back the sections of the bag so spray adhesive can be sprayed lightly on the stablizer. Don't spray too much as it can soak through to the front of hte bag.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Next, roll the back of the bag out of the way and clip it so it won't move in front of the embroidery area.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Take your hooped bag to the machine and embroider the bag front. Keep an eye that the back of the bag stays out of the way. Once the embroidery is completed, remove the bag from the hoop but leave it inside out.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

The bag side must be sewn and finished. Align the side seam for the bag and pin it together.


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Thread your sewing machine with matching thread for your bag. Sew a seam the size of the old seam. Mine was a 1/4" seam. After sewing the seam, finish the edge by using the overlock stick on your sewing machine. If you do not have an overlock stich, you can use a zig zag stitch for the same results. The overlock or zig zag stitch should go over the edge of the bag seam.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

Fold down the top edge of the bag as it was originally and sew the topstiching back in place.

Machine Embroidered Tote Bag

The side seam has been restored and the top stitching in place.

We hope you will make some fun tote bags. These make great gifts for friends, family or teachers.


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Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

Designs by JuJu - Harvest Fun 2 Set

This set has the patterns used to make the project above. Designs by JuJu

25 Schmetz Embroidery Sewing Machine Needles 130/705H H-E Size 90/14 #ad

These are my favorite sewing machine needles to use when embroidering. Affiliate Link to

Canvas Bag #ad

Blank Tote Bag - 20" x 15" x 5". Ideal for decorating as desired. Double stitched with two sturdy shoulder straps. Great for arts and crafts projects. Affiliate Link to Amazon

Machine Embroidery Thread #ad

A huge selection of machine embroidery thread is sold at Affiliate Link to

MumCraft Multipurpose Sewing Clips with Tin Box #ad

Tin Box includes: 100 Pcs. Clips Size : 2.5 x 0.8 x 1.3cm (LxWxH). Make it easy to hold multiple layers of fabrics, binding objects like Quilts, and holding together multiple objects. No Pins needed for Sewing! Affiliate Link to

Sewing Scissors #ad

A huge selection of sewing scissors are available at Affiliate Link to

Sulky Cut Away Midweight Stabilizer #ad

Provides great permanent stability to stitch computerized embroidery designs, appliques, and monograms on outerwear like jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts 7 2/3" x 8 yds. White Affiliate Link to Amazon

Sulky Sticky Plus Self-Adhesive Tear-Away Stabilizer Roll #ad

Sulky Sticky Plus is a self-adhesive tear-away stabilizer on a paper backed release sheet that is ideal stabilizer for hooped, computerized machine embroidery Affiliate Link to

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