Summer Week: L.L. Bean Canvas Totes

It's Amanda!  School may be in full swing for some of you, but summer is hardly over!   Like many women, I have an ever-growing collection of purses and totes.  When summer rolls around, I just can't resist the iconic L.L. Bean canvas totes.  I wish I had one in all sizes and in all colors.  So, rather than draining my bank account, I made a mini tote reminiscent of an L.L. Bean tote.  This little ditty would be perfect for a summer gift!

Cute, right?   It may look big in the picture, but the bag (not including the handles) is just 3.5" tall.  It's so wee!  It is just the perfect size to fill with candy or other fun goodies.  

Here is how I made the tiny tote (inspired by THIS tutorial).  Lucky for you, I have already worked out the kinks.  :)

1. Start by making a small box from a 3.25"x4.5" piece of paper.  Score at 1/2" all the way around, trim tabs and adhere.  

2. Cut a 3.5"x12"strip of paper.  Add two stitches across the top of the paper.  Make 3/4" long scores at 1 3/8", 5", 7 1/4", and 10 7/8" at the bottom of the paper.  You don't want to score all the way up if you want your bag to look round. 

3. Cut two 1/2"x12" strips of paper for the handles and one 3/4"x 12" strip of paper for the bottom.  Stitch handles and then stitch the bottom piece. 

4.  Using the scores as a guide, adhere bag top to box using strong adhesive (I used Scrapbook Adhesives Crafty Power Tape).  

5. Add a decorative flower and you're done! 

Enjoy the remainder of your summer!

From the Flower Child Collection: Wondering Geo 1683, Groovy 1642, Flower Child Plaid 1639, Swirling 1648.  Pearl brad (American Crafts), thread (Coats & Clark)


  1. Just darling! What a fun project - I'm pinning this for inspiration for making some special gifts!

  2. WOwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!! This is just GORGEOUS!!!!! I love love love it!! Thanks for sharing how you put it together!!!!!!!!

  3. That is totally awesome! I don't have a working machine you think it will work with hand stitching?

    1. Jojorenee, hand stitching may be difficult, so I would recommend faux stitching--just make lines with a fine tipped pen to make it look like stitching. So much easier and it will look fantastic!