How to Transform a Branded Bag into a Cute Pocket Tote {A No-Sew Tutorial}

No-sew DIY tote bag
A huge thanks to my SNAP conference roomie, Danielle from Busy Mom's Helper for taking pictures of her tote for me!

Before leaving for SNAP Conference last week, I went to get my hair done. I spent the better part of my time at the Ulta salon staring at the back of these really adorable burlap tote bags. I thought they would make a perfect canvas to do a freezer paper stencil of my logo for carrying around at the conference. When I went to buy one I saw it was on clearance for $1.99! So I bought extras to make roomie gifts for the ladies I stayed with (Read more about them here. They're pretty awesome.)

One of the other things I noticed when I bought it, though, was that it had a huge ULTA logo across it. Nothing against Ulta....I just didn't want to carry around a huge branded tote (and I guessed my roommates weren't going to want to either). So I devised a plan to cover the logo with a large pocket. 

I was originally going to sew the pocket on but I was running out of time so I used my trusty high temp glue gun instead - and it worked really well! The high temp glue gun melts the glue enough that it gets into the pores of the fabric to really help it bond and create a sturdy seam without sewing!


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Step 1: Cut pocket
Measure the size of the logo on your bag that needs to be covered. Decide how large you'd like your pocket in order to both cover the logo and balance out the dimensions of the bag. Add one inch to the finished size desired and cut out a piece of fabric (so I wanted a 6.5" x 10.5" piece so I cut mine 7.5" x 11")

Step 2: Hem the pocket
To create a hem, finger press 1/4" of the edge in toward the center on the two short sides. Place the fabric on a piece of paper and run a line of hot glue down the inside of the seam. Fold the hem over, using the paper as a barrier between your fingers and the fabric so you do not burn yourself. Repeat with the other short side.

To miter the edges, place a small dot of glue on each of the corners and fold in dog-ear style. Again, use the paper or a chopstick as a barrier to prevent burning your fingers.

Now draw glue lines down the long sides and fold in 1/4". Doing the edges and corners this way will give you pretty mitered corners like so:

Step 3: Adhere to tote
To prevent melt-through sticking to the opposite side of the bag, place a piece of scrap cardboard or paper inside the bag.

To adhere the pocket to the tote, run hot glue along two short sides and one long side of pocket. Center over the logo you are covering and press down firmly. Once again, use paper as a barrier to prevent burnt fingers.

That's it! Easy!

As long as you are using a high quality, high temp glue, your tote will be sturdy enough to carry quite a bit of weight in the outside pocket.

Photo credits: Thanks again to Danielle from Busy Mom's Helper for photographing her finished tote for me! Be sure to pop over and check out her site, too! She's got lots of great crafty goodness happening over there.

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1 comment

  1. What an easy way to add pocket! Love the chevron fabric, it goes really well with the burlap (Ulta) bag ;)


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