Crafts

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag

Remember my tote bag upgrade series from a couple of years ago? Today I have a new tote bag tutorial to share with you! This one is an indigo dyed tote with an embroidered butterfly patch.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my business in this way!)

A few weeks ago, we spent the day indigo dying several yards of fabric as a family project. I also dyed a couple of plain tote bags at that time. They came out okay for a first try, but I would have greatly benefitted from the Shibori & Natural Dyeing Course that is included in the bundle. It’s basically a whole book about dyeing with indigo and natural dyes and includes 10 DIY dyeing projects. It’s normally $26, but the whole bundle with dozens of other patterns is only a couple dollars more!

I highly recommend finding some type of book, or class, or friend to help you with your first indigo dyeing experience. It isn’t hard, but experienced friends will have some helpful tips. I’ll list some other resources (including links to the plain tote bags and indigo dye kit I used) at the end of this post.

My indigo dyed tote bags ended up being a little bit plain. I decided to add an embroidered patch using the butterfly embroidery pattern from I Heart Stitch Art. I honestly how long it would take to stitch this, but it went much more quickly than I anticipated!

I always find that embroidery is easy to work on if I just get it started. I picked it up while I was nursing the baby, while I kept an eye on dinner, and other moments during the day when I tend to pick up my phone and mindlessly scroll. Stitching during those moments was much more relaxing and productive, and I finished it in only two days.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

I used the pearl cotton thread that was recommended in the pattern and I LOVE how it turned out. I’ve always stitched with regular embroidery floss, but I have to say the pearl cotton was much easier to work with and I think the finished piece looks much more polished. The pattern has lots of other great tips for transferring and stitching the details, so I’m happy to recommend it without reservation.

So…this is sort of an open-ended tote bag tutorial. Plain tote bags are cheap and perfect for experimenting with different craft ideas. You can try dyeing your bag with indigo or with some of the fruits and vegetables mentioned in the Shibori & Natural Dyeing Course. You can add traditional shibori patterns, experiment with your own shapes, or dye the bag a solid color. You can add a butterfly or any other embroidery pattern you like. (This grizzly bear would look so cool for a boy’s tote bag!) Or you can use one you already have.

Make an Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag:

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

Materials:

Tote Bag
Natural Dye and Supplies
8″ square natural canvas or linen fabric
Medium embroidery hoop
1 skein of pearl cotton thread
Embroidery pattern of your choice

1. Plan a few days to finish your project! You can make several at a time more efficiently.

2. Plan one session for dyeing your tote bag. Follow the instructions on your indigo dye box, the online dyeing course, or dyeing book. Let your bag dry overnight. Wash if recommended.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

3. Transfer the embroidery pattern on to your fabric square. I prefer to hold my pattern and fabric up to the window and trace it with a pencil. Put the fabric in the embroidery hoop and stitch as directed in your pattern.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

4. Trim the edges of your embroidered fabric to the desired size, centering your embroidery design. Use some small strips of fusible tape on the back edges of the embroidered fabric to hold it in place on the tote bag. Hand stitch or machine stitch around the embroidered fabric to finish. Pull the loose threads around the edges to create a frayed border.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

Recommended Resources for this project:

Tote Bags
Indigo Dye Kit
Pearl Cotton Thread
Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Hoops

More tote bag upgrade tutorials

 

Sewing, Tutorials

Denim Pocket With Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade}

Here’s another tote bag upgrade tutorial! This one features a denim pocket with grommets and a sliding shoulder strap. With all of the Birkin Flares and Ginger Jeans everyone is making, I figured a lot of people have denim scraps that need to be used. If you aren’t into making your own jeans, you can probably cut up an old pair of jeans to use for this tutorial. You might have to piece together the strap, but it would be a fun way to use up those hole-in-the-knee jeans you’ve been hoarding in your sewing closet “just in case” you want to make something with them.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio
(This post includes affiliate links. Thanks for helping to support my business!)

Both the pocket and the strap are really simple additions that only require straight stitching. You can also use the strap and pocket tutorials separately, or mix and match them with other upgrade ideas I have shared. I used topstitching thread (practice for the jeans I’m planning to make next week…) but you can use whatever you have on hand. The grommet detail on the pocket is just for fun. If you’ve been scared to try grommets, this is low-risk way to experiment with them.

Materials:

• canvas tote bag
• 1/3 yd or scraps of denim
• 3 grommets size 7/16″ or 3/8″ (I like to buy the starter set that includes the tools. You’ll also need a hammer.)
• 1 d-ring size 1″
• 1 strap slide size 1″
• scrap of medium or heavy-weight fusible interfacing
• topstitching thread (optional)

Cutting & Preparation:

Cut from denim:

• (2) 8″ squares (I used a printed fabric for the inside of my pocket. Feel free to use any fabric you like.)
• (2) rectangles 3″ x the width of your bag plus 1″ (for example, my bag was 15″ wide, so my rectangles were 3″ x 16″)
• (1) rectangle 60″ x 4″ (If you have 56″ wide fabric, that’s probably plenty. For 44″ wide fabric, you can piece together 2 strips.)

Cut from interfacing:

• 2″ x 6″ rectangle

Sew a Denim Pocket With Grommets:

1. Place the 8″ square pocket pieces right sides together. Stitch around the outside using a 1/4″ seam allowance, pivoting at the corners, and leaving a 3″ opening in one side. Fuse the strip of interfacing to the wrong side of the denim, centering it over the area where the grommets will be positioned, 1 1/2″ from the top edge. Trim the corners and turn right side out through the opening. Use a blunt pointed object ( I like to use a knitting needle) to push out the corners. Press all of the seams and corners, tucking in the extra seam allowance at the opening to make the edge straight.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

2. Mark the grommet holes using chalk or water-soluble marker. Fold the pocket in half to find the center. Mark the first hole at the center point and 1 1/2″ from the top edge. Mark the side grommets by folding each side to the center point and marking the hole halfway between the center grommet and the side at 1 1/2″ from the top edge.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

3. Cut out a 3/8″ circle at each marking. I find that it is easiest to cut a plus sign and then work around, cutting out the excess. The circles do not have to be exact.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

4. Apply the grommets to each hole. Place the stud through the front of the pocket, and place the flat side down on the anvil. Place the washer over the stud, put the setter in place, and tap with a hammer several times. It’s best to do this step outside on a hard surface like concrete. If you need more detailed directions, see my beach tote tutorial post.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

5. Topstitch along the top edge of the pocket at 1/8″ and 3/8″.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

6. Place the pocket onto the tote bag about 4″ from the top edge and centered across the width of the bag. Secure it with pins. Topstitch around the side and bottom of the pocket edges, pivoting at the corners, and backstitching at the top. You’ll have to maneuver the fabric around under the presser foot which can be kind of tricky. Just sew slowly and smooth out the part of the bag you are sewing as you go.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

The pocket is finished! You can leave the bag as it is, or move on to the shoulder strap.

Add a Sliding Shoulder Strap to Your Tote Bag:

7. Cut off the original tote bag straps. Use a 3″ piece of strap to create a loop around the d-ring.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

8. Now create the strap. (If you are using a material that is lighter weight than denim, you’ll need to add some interfacing to the strap piece at this point.) For the strap piece (60″ x 4″) in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press. Fold the lengthwise raw edges in toward the center to meet the crease. Press again. You should have 4 even sections.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

9. With the raw edges folded in to the center crease, fold the center crease so that the right side of the fabric are facing. Stitch across one short end with 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim and turn right side out. Press.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

10. Finish the strap by topstitching the long edges.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

11. Place the 3″ strips right sides together. Stitch on each short end with a 1/2″ seam allowance, creating a loop. Press under 1/2″ on one of the raw edges.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

12. Turn the tote bag inside out. Place the 3″ loop around the tote bag with the right side of the strip to the wrong side of the bag. It’s best to sew under the pre-made hem, which is usually about an inch wide. Line up the unfolded edge of the loop about 1/2″ below the top edge of the bag. At one side seam, insert the raw edge strap end. At the other side seam, insert the strap with the d-ring attached. Stitch around the top of the bag, just below the original hem stitch (usually about 1″ from the top of the bag).

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

13. With the raw edge of the denim band folded under, topstitch both edges of the denim band all the way around the bag.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

14. Thread the finished end of the strap through the strap slide and then through the d-ring (outside to inside). Thread the end back through the strap slide, under the first strap. Fold the finished end back on itself (about 1″) and stitch it down.

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

And you are finished!

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Denim Pocket with Grommets and Denim Shoulder Strap| Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

If you make a bag, I’d love to see it. Tag it with #totebagupgrade on Instagram!

This post is also linked at Craftastic Monday, Sew Can She, and Made by You Monday.

Tutorials

Hand Stamped {Tote Bag Upgrade}

I remember the first time I carved a lino block in 5th grade art class. It was one of my favorite school art projects, and I think it was my first introduction to the concept of tiling and repeating patterns. (Thank you, Mrs. S! I wish I could tell you how helpful that lesson has been!)

Basic block printing is easy and fun. The supplies are relatively inexpensive, and even if you don’t have the “proper” supplies you can use items that you probably already have in your craft closet. For this hand stamped tote bag, I used 2 simple geometric shapes to create a pattern on my plain tote bag.

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links to some of the materials I recommend. Thanks for helping to support my blog!)

I used a Speedball Speedball Speedy Carve block and linoleum cutter for my stamps. The speedy carve block is more pliable and easier to carve than a traditional lino block. Though I prefer using those, there are plenty of other options for making stamps. If you have some extra pencil erasers, you can also carve small stamps from those. You can also use store-bought stamps or objects from around the house (think blocks or containers from the recycle bin).

The best fabric ink I’ve tried is also from Speedball. It’s water soluble and non-toxic, so it washes off your hands easily. But it also stays permanently on fabric. I have some tea towels that have been washed dozens of times and the ink still looks great. Another option is acrylic paint. It’s not quite as thick and will fade with multiple washings, but for the cost, you can’t beat it. It’s perfect for practice and printing with kids.

Fold Over Tote Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Materials:

• canvas tote bag
• geometric stamps
• fabric ink (I mixed red with a little bit of yellow and black to get this deep red-orange.)
• stamp carving block and linoleum cutter (optional)
• brayer and flat surface (optional)

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Tutorial:

To carve your stamp, draw some shapes onto your block with a pencil. To begin carving, hold the carving tool in your hand like a pencil with the end resting between your thumb and forefinger. I like to use the smallest attachment to outline my shape first. Once you have an outline, you can systematically carve away the excess. Carve toward the outer edge in lines. You can always go back and take out more, so it’s best to remove small sections at a time.

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

When you finish carving your stamps (or if you have opted to use store-bought stamps), you can practice your pattern on paper. I like to use washable marker. It’s quicker and easier than ink, especially if you want to carve any more sections out of the stamp after trying it.

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Once you have a good pattern and have perfected your stamping technique, you can move on to your bag. With screen printing ink, you’ll need a brayer and glass or plastic surface. Acrylic paint can be applied with a sponge.

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Just keep stamping until you finish your pattern! Don’t worry too much about getting everything perfect. You’ll have some stray ink blots and crooked shapes, but that’s what makes your bag look unique.

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Hand Stamped Tote Bag Upgrade | Radiant Home Studio

Would you like to add a lining to your hand stamped tote bag? How about a cargo pocket or an interior zipper pocket?

Sewing, Tutorials

Autumn Running Stitch {Tote Bag Upgrade}

I love how a simple embroidery stitch can make a plain tote bag feel like a special gift. This tote bag upgrade is quick and easy, yet your friends will feel appreciated and loved when they see the care you put into to making a hand-stitched gift. (It makes a great gift, but you can definitely make one for yourself too!)

running stitch tote bag-4

I chose autumn-colored embroidery floss, but any colors will look nice. I can imagine rainbow-colored stripes would be fun, or for a more subtle look, you could try an ombre effect.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

Materials (includes materials needed for pocket and straps):

• canvas tote bag
• 6 skeins of embroidery floss & embroidery needle

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag Tutorial:

Mark your bag using a water soluble fabric marker or chalk pencil. Starting at about 2″ from the side, make 6 vertical lines about 1/4″ apart. About 2″ from the top, make 6 horizontal lines about 1/4″ apart.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

Organize your threads in the order desired and begin stitching across the lines.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

You can make several stitches at a time if you use a long needle, as you can see in the photo below. (I used a sashiko needle, which is longer than a traditional embroidery needle.) Make the stitches about 1/4″ long with equal length spaces. You can eyeball the length or try Mollie’s method for neat, even stitches.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

To get the stitches at the overlapping section to look interwoven, stitch under the first intersection, over the next, under the next, and so on, as though you are weaving. Start the second row of stitching so that is opposite the first. Push the needle down through the fabric where you went up on the first row. and start weaving under and over the intersections opposite the first row. It sounds complicated, but you’ll catch on easily if you study the photos closely!

When you stitch the perpendicular rows, just weave in and out of the open spaces.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

I was able to stitch this in less than an hour. It’s very easy. If you are one of those people that like to keep your hands busy during a movie or in the car, this is a great project for idle hands. It could also be a fun project for kids that are learning to embroider. Wonky looking stitches will just add character. (See my comments regarding crooked stitches on the Kantha tote bag pocket post!)

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

I’m hoping to add some leather straps to this bag, so watch for another tote bag upgrade tutorial for adding leather straps with rivets! And if you would like to add a lining, check out this post.

Autumn Running Stitch Tote Bag | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing, Tutorials

Add Kantha Stitched Straps {Tote Bag Upgrade}

This is part 2 of a two part tutorial. Check out part 1, where I show you how to make the Kantha stitched pocket. In this post, I’ll show you how to add Kantha stitched tote bag handles and how to apply grommets.

Here’s part 2 of the Indian inspired tote bag with a Kantha stitched pocket and matching straps. I’ll show you how to make the straps and teach you how easy it is to apply grommets to your bag projects!

Kanth Stitched Pocket {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

I gave this background info in part 1 of the tutorial, but for those that are finding this project through outside links, it’s worth repeating. I’ve been on a Kantha stitching kick recently. It started small with the Kantha needle book project. I decided to try a larger Kantha inspired project by applying the technique to a tote bag upgrade. This fabric is batik cotton from the Alison Glass Handcrafted line.

If you aren’t familiar with Kantha stitching, it’s basically a running stitch. In Japan it’s called sashiko, in India, it is called Kantha, and in English, we call it a running stitch. There are small nuances, meanings, and histories that make each stitching technique unique, but for our purposes, you’ll just need to make a simple running stitch. Kantha quilts are historically made with scraps, so patchwork style pockets and straps with bright colors really add to the exotic feel of the project.

Kantha Stitched Pocket {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Materials (includes materials needed for pocket and straps):

• canvas tote bag
• 4 fat quarters of quilting cotton or batiks in bright colors
• 3 skeins of embroidery floss & embroidery needle
• 8″ x 8″ square of mid-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 931F.)
• 4 grommets size 3/8″
• 1/4 yd. of fusible fleece (I used Pellon 987F.)
• 1 yd. fusible hem tape
• a hammer to apply the grommets

Preparation (for strap pieces only):

• cut 4 strap rectangles 4″ x 36″ from various colors of quilting cotton (to make patchwork straps like mine, cut shorter 4″ rectangles and sew them together to make a total length of 36″ – this works well if you are working with scraps or fat quarters)
• cut 2 rectangles (3″ x  35″) from fusible fleece
• cut 2 rectangles (3″ x [width of bag + 1″]) from quilting cotton for bag facing (my bag is 15″, so my pieces are 3″ x 16″)
• cut 4 squares (1 1/2″) of medium weight interfacing

Kantha Stitch Straps Tutorial:

1. Remove the tote bag straps by cutting them off or picking out the stitching.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

2. Place the bag facing rectangles right sides together and stitch together at the short ends to form a continuous loop. Press under 1/2″ along one raw edge.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

3. Place the bag facing loop right sides together with the bag, matching the top edge of the bag with the unfolded raw edge and matching side seams. Stitch around the top edge of the bag close to the edge. Try to keep the seam allowance under 1/4″.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

4. Open and press the facing toward the inside of the bag. You will have about 1/4″ of facing fabric around the top of the bag that creates a nice border around the top edge of the bag. Apply interfacing squares to the wrong side of the bag facing. Place them next to the crease and across from the original strap placement.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

5. With the 1/2″ pressed edge folded under, use the fusible hem tape to hold the bag facing in place. I like to work with 6″ strips of hem tape. Longer pieces can shift out of place or get accidentally melted to the iron. Work slowly and in small sections to get a good strong bond.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

6. Now for the grommets! Grommet kits come with tools. All you need is a hammer. The tools are called the anvil (the short round piece) and the setter (the long piece). Each grommet has two parts, a stud (the taller piece) and the washer (the one with little teeth).

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

7. Mark the grommet holes with a water soluble pen. I placed mine directly below the original straps, about 1 1/2″ from the top of the bag. Cut out the holes using sharp scissors or a utility knife. I like to cut an “x” shape and then trim the excess out of the center. Start small and then try sliding the stud into the hole. You can always cut away a little bit more material as needed.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

8. You’ll need to move to a hard surface, like concrete for the next part. Slide the stud through one hole in the front of the bag. Place the washer on the back. Place the front side of the back with the stud down on the anvil. Place the setter through the hole on the washer side. Use a hammer to hit the setter firmly several times. Usually, 8-10 taps work well for me. The setter will gently curl the end of the stud down and hold the washer in place. Apply all 4 grommets this way.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

9. If you have chosen to piece together your straps, stitch them together to form four 36″ strips. Apply fusible fleece to the wrong side of 2 of the strap pieces. Place one interfaced strap piece rights sides together with one non-interfaced strap piece. You’ll need to leave a 4″ opening at the center of one of the long sides. Stitch around the rectangle. When you get to the first corner, pivot and stitch a curve skipping the second corner. The curved section should be about 6″. When you get to the 3rd corner, pivot and curve again skipping the 4th corner. Repeat for the 2nd strap.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

10. Trim the excess fabric from the curves and corners. Turn the straps right side out and push out the corners with a pointed object. (I like to use a knitting needle.) Press, tucking under the edges at the opening.

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

11. Using 3 strands of floss, begin stitching along the length of the straps using a running stitch. I like to bury my knots in the seams. Switch rows between the layers. You can also stitch quickly by using a long needle and loading it with several stitches before pulling it through. Continue embroidering with a running stitch until you have covered the entire strap. Repeat for the other strap. ( I forgot to take a picture while stitching, but it’s the same process as this pocket…)

Kantha Stitched Pocket {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

A note about the stitching…don’t worry about getting the spacing perfect. The beauty of tKanthatha stitching is in the imperfections. The finished stitching looks beautiful even when the lines are crooked and uneven because it is obvious that someone (you!) put your time into hand making every stitch!

12. Place the ends of the straps through the grommets from the inside of the bag. Tie a small knot to hold the strap in place. That’s it!

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

Make a Kantha Stitched Tote Bag - Add Straps with Grommets {Tote Bag Upgrade} | Radiant Home Studio

If you enjoyed this tutorial, you can find the other Tote Bag Upgrade posts here.