Applique Canvas Bag Tutorial

Kimberlee Tanner

Applique Canvas Bag Tutorial

It is warming up, the sun is shining, and soon Farmer’s Markets will be opening. This week we are sharing a fun and easy tutorial for a simple applique canvas bag.  Whether you are toting around vegetables, books, or a beach towel and sunscreen, this bag is the perfect size for all your summer activities.

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If you’ve never made a bag before, a canvas tote bag is the perfect beginner project. We have step by step instructions on how to make a canvas bag. After you learn the process, you can change the size to make any size bag for any purpose. We like canvas for it’s durability, but you can also make this same bag from cotton fabrics. This bag is a simple afternoon sewing project. We didn’t want to make a plain bag, so we are sharing some simple appliques you can use to brighten it up. Use three flowers like we did, or add a whole garden full, it’s entirely up to you.

How to Make a Canvas Bag


  • 20×27″ piece of Canvas
  • 2 – 9×20″ pieces of canvas print
  • Scraps for Flowers and Stems
  • Straps – about 2 – 36″ long canvas straps or wide ribbons
  • Fusible Web
  • Flower Templates


Step 1

Trace the templates onto your preferred fusible web. We used Heat n Bond Lite. Following the instructions for your preferred fusible web, iron onto the back of your flower, stem, and leaf fabric. We did one large flower and two tulips. Cut out the flowers, stems, and leaves.

Step 2

Sew 1 piece of canvas print to each side of the 20×27″ piece of canvas. Iron and topstitch 1/8″ from the seam.

Step 3

Fold canvas in half wrong sides together, matching up printed canvas. Mark up 3 1/2 inches from fold with an erasable fabric pen or pins.

Step 4

Lay out appliques on line as desired. The large flower will overlap the printed canvas. Stay in at least 1″ from the sides to keep your applique out of the seams. Iron appliques on bag.

Step 5

Applique around your flowers. We used a simple straight stitch. You could also use a zigzag or blanket stitch.

Step 6

With right sides together, sew side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance making sure to line up the printed canvas. Sew a second seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance for extra durability.

Step 7

With wrong side out, fold the bottom corner flat, lining up the seam along the bottom fold. Mark in 3″ and sew along line. Repeat for second corner.

Step 8

Fold top edge down 2″, fold in half creating a 1″ hem. Sew close to the edge.

Step 9

Cut straps to your preferred length. We did about 36″. Fold bottom edge up 1″ and place along top of bag with raw edge closest to the bag. Sew a square around the strap. If desired, reinforce with an x inside of the box. Repeat with second strap.

As always, if you have any questions, shoot us an email or comment below!

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