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Recycled Block: Trick-or-treat Tote Bag Tutorial

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Hi, Makers! 

Spooky season is here! One of my favorite holidays is Halloween because we get to do so many fun projects here at the studio. This time around the marketing team and I were thinking about all the projects we can create this season so we started looking for inspiration at things we’ve done in the past! 

That’s when we came across a super sweet quilt block I sewed for Instagram! Where I pieced some strips of Halloween-inspired colors from our Pure Solids range, applied Decostitch Elements in “Stellar” on top, and reverse appliqued to reveal the fabric strips underneath! If you’d like to learn how to reverse applique, click here and watch our Reels video that I filmed to show you a quick tutorial on how to create it! You can also click here to download the bat stencil. 

We received such great feedback from that post, I knew this was the block I had to dig out of my cubby to see what we can do with it. 

 *Pure Solids featured in Honey, Dried Carrot, Vanilla Custard, and Crystal Pink.

Trying to think of ways to recycle this block while still being an easy project, we thought a trick-or-treat tote would be perfect! This way you have the opportunity to recycle some past projects or UFO quilt blocks to give them a new life. This brings us to today’s post, where I show how to create a tote bag using a previous block! 

What I love about this tutorial is that you can easily adjust the size of the tote according to the size of your block and you also have the chance to use 2 blocks that are the same size in one bag (front and back)! 

Let’s get started! 

Take a 12'' square of your choice of fabric for the back of your tote (our block measured 12'') or the same size as your existing quilt block, and quilt it.  

Place the back of the tote and the front right sides facing together and sew all three sides, leaving the top unsewn. Pin in place.

Take two (1) 12’’ fabric squares of the desired color for the lining and sew the three sides leaving the top part unsewn. Make sure to leave about 3’’ of opening on one side in order to turn your tote inside out. 

Insert the lining fabric inside the exterior fabric with right sides together. Line up side seams.


Blog-photos_10Create your handles first. Then, insert one of the bag handles between the exterior fabric and lining fabric about 3” from the side seams (like a sandwich). Be sure your handles are straight and do not twist.

The raw edges of the bag handles should be placed side by side, approximately 5” apart. 

Pin in place and repeat on the opposite side of the bag.


Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch around the top edge of your bag.

Turn your bag right side out and carefully press the top seam.

Push the lining fabric into the bag and press the top edge.

Topstitch around the entire top of the bag using a 1/8” seam.

Blog-photos_14And ta-da!! You have yourself a cute trick or treat bag for Halloween!!

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I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! It was a fun one for me to create and I can’t wait to give it to my niece so she can use it this Halloween. I definitely want to use the tutorial again for some of the blocks I have laying around that I can transform into an everyday tote for my groceries! You can even get fancy with it and make the tote bigger by adding borders, have fun changing up the hand straps- there are so many ways you can personalize this project. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or tips you’d like to share! 

As always, please share your totes if you recycle one of your old blocks on social media by tagging us in your photo with the hashtag #artgalleryfabrics

Checkout our Reels tutorial below, to recreate this reverse applique block.

Until next time, happy sewing!