Grab your sunnies and your sandals and get ready to hit the sand, surf, pool, or park with this great DIY that will leave everyone at the beach saying "where did you get that?" Turn an Ikea rug and nylon rope into an adorable and feminine nautical tote you can take absolutely anywhere, even if you're not headed to have a beach day. How's that for bang for your buck? This super simple sewing project is easy for even the newest beginners. Let's get started!
For this project we wanted to create a tote bag that was sturdy enough to take on all our favorite summer hangouts, but didn’t sacrifice anything in the looks department. We used some pink dyed rope left over from our Pet Projects: Custom Leashes and Petcessories project, and a $3 Ikea rug (see another full tutorial on to use Rit dye in this post on making hand dyed Ikea sheepskin rugs). Then we got to work sewing this easy bag that any beginner can make!
Step 1: Lay the rug out onto a flat surface and trim about 2 inches off of each of the long sides of the rug. You want the rug to be one long rectangle. Pro Tip: You can use the stripes on the rug as a guide to make sure you’re cutting in a straight line.
Step 2: Use a ruler to measure 2 inches down and one inch in from each corner of the rug. Make a cut at the 2-inch mark, parallel to the fringe. Fold the flap over and sew to make a finished edge. This is where your rope handle is eventually going to go. When you’re finished with this step, you should have four notches sown-in, one in each corner of the rug.
Step 3: Take the fringed edge and fold it over. Sew along the fringe seam to create a 2-inch wide pocket that runs the length of the bag. Make sure you’re folding the fringe over so that your seams on the outside edge are the finished ones with the sewn side down.
Step 4: Fold the rug in half with the fringe side on the inside. Sew a 1-inch seam to join the outer edges of both sides and create your bag! The folded part will become the bottom and the fringe side will be the bag opening.
Step 5: Feed your rope through the hole on both sides of the bag. Make sure they’re even on both sides- we don’t want a lop-sided tote!
Step 6: Join the ends of the rope together using hot glue and twine. First, glue the two frayed ends together, but don’t worry if they’re not super secure yet. Tie one end of the twine about 2 inches from where the ends of the rope meet. Then wrap the twine around the rope, adding a little drop of hot glue now and then to secure the twine to the rope. Double back the other way, this time twisting the twine very close together to make a tightly wound handle. Tie off with a double knot!
Once the glue has cooled and dried, you’re ready to take your tote on the road! Head to the pool, the beach, or just down the street to your favorite outdoor restaurant. This also makes a great travel bag for your next weekend vacay!