Laundry Tote

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

That includes laundry.


I wanted to share my latest project…

…a white, cotton canvas laundry bag 

with a chalkboard label and hemp trim.

I’ll be adding the bag to my handmade wares shop

when the doors open.

But I know some of you 

(if you’re anything like me)
just looked at the bag and thought,
“Oh. I can make that.” 

So I thought I’d share the basics on how I made this easy tote.

It’s a large bag, 

measuring 29 in. (h) x 24 in. (w)
and will hold a full load of laundry
(not just a few unmentionables).

Step 1

Fold a 60 in. x  25 in. piece of white cotton canvas or duck in half (right sides together) to get a 30 in. x 25 in. folded piece.
The fold will be the bottom of the bag.

Step 2
Stitch a 1/2 in. seam on either side. 
I double fold the ends to 1/4 in. so that there are no raw edges but you don’t have to. 
You can simply straight stitch the seams and then run a zigzag stitch close to the raw edges (a bit like serging). And if you have a serger, I’m totally jealous.

You should have a basic bag at this point.

Step 3

Fold the top edge of the pouch down 1 inch 
and then another inch for a double fold.  
 Set it aside for a moment.

Step 4

Cut two 3 in. x 20 in. strips of cotton canvas 
to make the handles and fold each in half lengthwise.

Step 5

On each folded strip,
Stitch an 1/8 in. seam along the folded edge.
On the opposite side, fold each edge under 1/4 inch
and stitch another 1/8 in. seam.

You should now have two 1-1/4 in. x 20 in. handles.

Step 6

Grab your bag which should still be inside out.
On one side of the bag, tuck each end of one handle
under the 1-inch fold at the top, spaced about 6 inches apart.
Lay the handle flat against/down the side of the bag.

Step 7

Do the same thing on the other side.

Step 8

 Run a 1/2 inch straight stitch around the top of the bag.
(Be careful not to stitch it closed though.)

Step 9

Turn the bag right side out.
Pin the hemp trim around the top edge,
bring the handles up,
 and straight stitch all the way around the bag opening.
(Hemp purchased at JoAnn.)

It should look like this:

 The hemp trim is 1 inch wide and comes folded to a half inch.
You can use it this way, or iron it flat for thicker trim.

Step 10

Use Frog or blue painters tape to
tape off a rectangle on the front of the bag.

Step 11

Paint at least three coats of black acrylic paint.
(You’ll want a nice, thick coating.)
I use DecoArt Americana Lamp (Ebony) Black
That’s it!

Use a piece of white chalk to customize the chalkboard label.

 Here are some suggestions:
“Your child’s name”


for those of you who looked at these steps
and thought, “I can’t make that,”
here’s an even easier suggestion:


Take a standard, white cotton pillowcase
(It’s smaller than the canvas bag above but will work just fine.)


Stitch or fabric glue the hemp trim 
around the opening of the case.


Buy ready-made handles like this,
 cut to the length you want, 
and stitch to the top of the pillowcase.


Paint your chalkboard rectangle.


for those of you who want one
but don’t want to make one,
just email me.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

This post is linking with

Under the Table and Dreaming

post signature

Due to “scraper” websites that earn revenue by scraping feeds (like an automatic copy & paste) and stealing the creative content of others, I can no longer provide FULL blog posts via email subscriptions. I apologize that you now see a partial post and have to click over to my blog for the rest. I try to create lovely and original content so I appreciate your understanding. If you don’t, I am sorry to see you leave and thank you for being a part of my journey while you were subscribed. {Jami}


  1. Jami says:

    That is a beautiful idea for a mundane item! You are so talented! I’m signing up as your newest follower!

  2. What a fabulous idea!

    Thanks for linking up!!

  3. What a fabulous idea! I especially love the chalkboard part of it. And I LOVE the idea to make this with a pillow case!!

    This would be great for travel to put all your dirty clothes in!

    Thanks for linking up!

  4. Heather says:

    Love this idea, very simple and chic. Please come link it up to Fabulous Friday (open till Monday night @ midnight!)

  5. Angie says:

    This is so pretty. I love simple items, with that natural look and this definitely is a great way to motivate me to do my laundry.

  6. How very generous of you to offer both options of your laundry bag, with tutorial pictures and all!

  7. Kristi says:

    completely original and very cute. love this !

  8. Jami Your bag is adorable! I love the canvas and hemp – adorable combination! I didn’t know chalk would work on plain acrylics – how neat! Fantastic job! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  9. Very Cute. I love the colors and chalk board paint idea. Thanks for entering the DIY Club –I did not see any pictures or mention of our clients products,though.


  10. I love this idea! Everything about it is perfect! Thanks for sharing the how to’s also. I’m a little confused on the folding. How do you fold it so that each side is facing the right side and coming out half of what it started?

  11. Thank you songofsongs! You just caught a typo for me. (I wrote 60 in. x 50 in. instead of 60 in. x 25 in.) If you go back and look, it should make sense now. Just fold in the middle (right sides facing). The fold will be the bottom of the bag.

  12. Proper Prim says:

    I can’t thank you enough for sharing this tut with us all. I think you just gave me a great idea for the kids for Christmas.

    I just hope mine turn out as nice as yours. Fabulous job and a fantastic idea.

    I found you over at Rose’s Confessions of a Curbshopper… she featured you today.

    Hugs, Deb

  13. Such a great tutorial! I love the bag and it would be great to keeps hand washables separate. Love the trim you used. I used the same one on my huge lamp shade!

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