Handmade Halloween: DIY Trick-Or-Treat Tote Bags

JUL 21, 2018 updated Sep 27, 2021

Remember when you were a kid on Halloween night, frantically running around your house looking for a pillowcase to collect your candy? Who else was guilty of stripping the pillowcase right from the pillow on their bed? This Halloween, help your little ghouls and goblins collect their candy in style with a DIY Trick-or-Treat Tote Bag in their favorite spooky design from the Marketplace. Using our upholstery-grade Recycled Canvas, this tote will withstand the test of time candy. Check out the full video below, or scroll past to view the step-by-step tutorial.

Featured Designs


*All seams should be sewn at ¼” unless otherwise instructed

Monster Mash by lizmytingerillustration

Cut Out the Pattern Pieces

1. Begin by cutting out your pattern pieces as follows:

  • 2 panels for the front and back measuring 12.5″ x 15.5″
  • 2 side panels measuring 7″ x 15.5″
  • 1 bottom panel measuring 12.5″ x 7″
  • 2 handles measuring 22″ x 3″
  • 1 facing measuring 37.5″ x 3″

2. Finish the raw edges of the pattern pieces in your preferred fashion (serge or zigzag stitch) as follows:

  • All raw edges on the front, back, bottom and side panels
  • The raw edges of the two short sides and one long raw edge of your facing strip

Pro tip: If your facing strip fabric has a directional print (i.e. there’s a definite “right side up”), finish the bottom edge.

Prepping Your Facing

3. Begin by pressing the long, finished side of your facing strip toward the wrong side of your fabric by ½”.

4. Topstitch the pressed hem with a ⅜” seam allowance. Set aside.

Prepping Your Handles

5. Take one of your handle pieces and press both long sides toward the wrong side of your fabric by ¼”.

6. Fold your handle in half lengthwise, matching up pressed edges. Gently press and pin.

7. Using a ⅜” seam allowance, stitch along both long edges of the handle. Repeat for the other handle. Set both aside.

Assembling the Tote Bag Sides

8. With right sides together, stitch one of your large panels (front or back) and one of your side panels together, leaving a ¼” gap at the end of your stitch line at the bottom of your tote.

Pro tip: Leaving a ¼” gap at the end will help when assembling the side panels with the bottom of your tote!

9. Repeat the above step until all four panel pieces are sewn together in a consecutive line. You should have a side panel separating each front or back panel.

Attaching the Tote Bag Sides to the Bottom

10. With right sides facing, match up the raw edges of the tote bottom with the sewn tote sides. This is where the ¼” gaps you left at the end of your stitch lines come in handy! Your four sides should easily stretch all the way around the tote’s bottom panel. The short sides of the bottom should match up with the short sides of the bag’s sides. Stitch in place, leaving a ¼” gap at the beginning and end of the stitch line.

11. Once the sides and bottom are attached, you will need to close the last side seam of the tote. With right sides still facing, match up the raw edges of the remaining side seam of the tote, pinching the corner of the tote bottom between the side panel corners. Stitch along this last raw edge, creating a finished tote body with all sides and bottom secure. Flip right sides out.

Attaching the Handles, Facing, and Finishing

12. Take one of your finished handles and pin it to the top of your tote on the right side. The left and right ends of your handle should be pinned 3″ in from the left and right side seams.

13. Repeat this process for both the front and back of your tote. There should be one handle pinned to the front panel and one handle pinned to the back panel. Make sure all raw edges of the handles and tote top are aligned and that your handle is not twisted.  

14. Next, pin your facing to the top of the tote, aligning all raw edges and with right sides together. Pin around the top of the tote, trapping the handle’s raw edges between the facing and tote body until the two short ends of your facing meet. Secure the two short ends together with a seam allowance close to the tote’s body panels and parallel to the short ends of your facing.

15. Once the facing is secured to itself, stitch around the top of the tote, taking care to sew through the facing, handles and tote top.

16. Flip the facing to the inside of your tote. The handles should flip upward, with raw edges hidden on the inside of the tote between the facing and tote body!

17. Secure the facing by topstitching around the top of the tote with a ¼” seam allowance from the top edge.

And you’re finished–this tote is ready for a night of trick-or-treating! 

Monsters and Friends by caja_design

Bonus idea: These DIY Tote Bags are the perfect size to take to the farmers’ market or a quick errand to the grocery store! Create your next market bag using one of our fresh picks from the Marketplace or design your own

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