I shrunk my shopping tote down for doll play.  No magic tricks involved, promise!

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It looks and feels like the real thing because I made it out of an extra shopping tote I got for free from somewhere.

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I guess that’s where the magic comes in, with some simple sewing, I transformed an extra bag into a fun doll accessory!

It’s a quick and easy project and can be adapted depending on the supplies you have on hand and your skill level.


  • fabric from reusable totes or felt
  • scissors
  • pins
  • ruler
  • sewing machine or needle and thread

Making the Shopping Tote

Our doll sized shopping tote is made of a real reusable shopping tote.  This is a perfect repurpose craft if you are like me and have collected these reusable bags.  They are the cheap version that are handed out for free sometimes by businesses.

The fabric these bags are made out of is easy to work with.  It’s no fray, lightweight but still substantial enough that they are easy to sew on.  They also come in fun colors!

Don’t fret if you don’t have an extra bag you can use for this project.  Another great option is felt.

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Use a ruler to measure and cut out the pieces.  I laid my fabric on a mat with a grid to cut it so my edges would be straight and the corners square.  If you don’t have a mat like this you can first make a paper pattern and then use the paper pattern to trace the shape onto the fabric with chalk and then cut out your shapes.

Fabric pieces needed:

  • Cut 2- 5″ X 4 1/4″
  • Cut 2- 1/2″ X 6 1/2″

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Lay out the fabric for the tote lengthwise.  Fold down the top edge about 1/4″ and pin it in place on each piece.

Stitch it down next to the cut edge.

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Lay the pieces right sides together.  Pin and stitch along the 3 cut edges.

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Fold the 2 long strips in half and pin in place.

Stitch the strip close to the cut edge.  If you have trouble starting the stitches on the end with the sewing machine, begin 1/2″ in.  Come back and finish the last 1/2″ from the opposite direction.

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Clip the bottom two corners of the bag at a diagonal, close to the seam.

With the bag still inside out, pin a handle on the front and the back of the bag, 3/4″ from the sides and down just below the top fold.

Opening up the bag, stitch the handles onto each layer.  I sewed a small square, outlining where the handle attaches to the bag.  To make it easier you could sew the handles where they attach to the bag along the top edge and then the bottom edge of the folded over seam

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Turn it inside out

I love the fabric!  It makes this bag so true to life!

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You may need to push out the corners of the bag with a pencil.

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I like the scale of this bag but if you are a newbie to sewing or want to make this with someone that is new to sewing you can make a few adjustments to make it even easier to sew.

  • For the top edge of the bag fold it down 1/2″ (instead of 1/4″) and stitch it with 1/4″ seam allowance.
  • Cut the handle wider, 3/4″ X 6 1/2″ (instead of 1/2″ X 6 1/2″)  Use a 1/4″ seam allowance, sewing next to the cut edge.

Then this bag will be even easier to sew!

Remember if you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t be deterred, this bag can be stitched up the same way with a needle and thread.

I hope you enjoy this simple shopping tote for dolls!

Just in case you are interested, here is more about today’s post.

Craft, sew, make, play.