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No Sew Ruffle Tote with Tutorial

(Looking for more free patterns? Be sure to check out my free patterns and tutorials page here.)

No Sew ruffle tote tutorial

I received this blank canvas tote bag and a few other supplies to try from Fashionartprojects.com.  I have several ideas for making some easy embellished tote bags.  Luckily, I can buy more of these totes at Walmart.  They sell for about $6 for a package of three.

For this project, I wanted to make a project that anyone could do.  So I tested out my theory that I could create a ruffled tote bag with absolutely no sewing. And guess what?

It worked!  This bag is awesome! (For all the seamstresses out there, you can totally sew this project and I will have some additional instructions at the bottom of the post.) (See *A)


I originally bought this fabric to make a quilt for my daughter, but I wasn't "in love" with it.  (I have already bought more fabric for her quilt.)  I thought the pinks, greens and yellows in this collection were perfect for a spring tote.  I also looked online at Walmart.com and noticed they are now selling some pretty darn cute fat quarter bundles.  (Click here to see my search results, they really have some cute ones.)  Even though a fat quarter is only 22 inches wide, you can use them for this project.  I will show you how at the bottom of the tutorial. (See *B)

Want to get started now or didn't win the give away? Here is how to make your own No Sew Ruffled Tote Bag.  (Remember, to see any photo larger, left click and open it in a new tab.)

Materials needed:
-Tote bag
-About 1/2 yard of fabric  (You can do just one fabric or mix several different colors and patterns, you will need more fabric for a larger tote.)
-Ribbon (at least 1/2 inch would be best)
-Ruler
-Scissors
-Fabric marker or chalk
-Hot glue gun and lots of hot glue

Instructions:
First of all, my tote bag measures 13.5 inches wide by about 13 inches tall. So if your bag is similar in size, then no math for you, just use my measurements!

6 strips 28" wide x 2.75" tall

To get the width of your strips, measure the width of the bag, add 1/2 inch and multiply by 2.

To figure out how tall your fabric strips need to be, measure the height your bag, and decide how far up the bag you want the ruffled fabric to go.  Take that measurement and divide by how many ruffles you want.

Add 1 inch to that number and that is how tall your fabric strips should be.  Here are my measurements as an example:
My ruffle strips were 28 inches wide by 2.75 inches tall

1.  Cut out your ruffle strips to your measurements.  (I cut 6 strips, 28" x 2.75".)  I used my Pinking Shears for the bottom edge to help with the fraying. (This is a must-have tool for sewers IMO.)  Regular scissors will be fine, you may have to trim some fraying fibers off every so often, but that is no big deal.

2.  Fold over the short edges of each ruffle strip, 1/4 inch.  Press firmly with an iron to get a good crease.


3.  Next, from the bottom of your tote bag, measure up the height of your fabric strip minus 1/2 inch.  Do this in several spots along the bottom and then draw a straight line across.  Then, from that line, measure up your fabric strip height minus one inch and draw another line.  Keep repeating this for the number or ruffles you have.  See my picture below for a better explanation.

(Ignore my folded up bottom and please excuse the poor quality photo, it was very late...)
The next step is to "hem" the fabric strip edges.  We will use hot glue.  I must give this warning...  Hot glue is very hot, please be careful!  These would be a perfect protective tool to use while working with hot glue.

4.  Open the folded edge of your fabric strip and add a small line of hot glue, then fold the fabric back over and press.


Do this on all of your fabric strips.

5.  Grab your fabric strips and fold into fourths.  Make a mark with your fabric marker on each fold.  This will divide your fabric in to four equal sections and will help you distribute the ruffles evenly.  Do the same thing with the tote bag.

See how the blue marks divide the bag into 4 equal measurements?
6.  Starting at the bottom of the bag, add a 1 inch line of hot glue along the line you drew on the tote bag.  Quickly line up the edge of your fabric strip, place it in the hot glue.  Using your fingers, slide the fabric backwards to make a ruffle.  (Remember, the glue is very hot.  You have a very small window of time from when the glue is cool enough to work with, but not so cool that it is starting to harden.)


Keep going until all your ruffles are glued on.  Go back and add more glue to any loose areas.


Don't be afraid to practice your ruffling first.  I practiced on paper and scraps from an old t-shirt:


7.  Next we will add the ribbon trim.  Cut a piece of ribbon to the length of your bag plus 1/2 an inch.  Use a lighter to heat seal your cut ribbon edges.  Fold over one of the ends of the ribbon 1/4 inch, add a drop of glue and squeeze with your fingers; like this:


8.  Starting with the edge of ribbon you folded over, add hot glue to the back of the ribbon and attach it along the top edge of your top ruffle, concealing the glued ruffle part of the fabric.


9.  Add a spot of glue to any extra ribbon and fold over to make a smooth hemmed edge, then add a little more glue and secure to the bag.

Yuck!  I hate it when my camera focuses on the wrong subject.  Bad camera!
You are done!

I added another color of smaller ribbon and a fabric flower for a little pop!  (You can find the fabric flower tutorial here.)




*A.  Sewing instructions:  After you cut your fabric, fold over the short edges of each ruffle strip, 1/4 inch.  Press firmly with an iron to get a good crease.  Sew along the pressed edge, 1/8 inch from the edge.  Do this on all of the short edges.


Follow the ruffling tutorial found here to ruffle your fabric strips.  Pin your ruffles to the bag and sew right over the ruffling stitch.  Do this for all of your ruffles.



When you get to the last ruffle, follow the instructions at step 7.  You can sew your ribbon on or just glue it.

*B:  Using fat quarters:  Cut enough fabric so when you line up the fat quarters, they will equal the fabric strip width you figured earlier PLUS 1/2 inch.  Fold, iron and glue all the short edges to make a nice side hem on all the fabric strips.

Divide the fabric in to 4 equal parts and mark like we did in step 5.  (Pin the two fabric end pieces together if that helps.)

Start attaching your ruffles.  When you get to the end of one fabric piece, just start with the other and finish the ruffle.  You can barely tell where one piece ends and the other begins.


If you are inspired to create something based on this tutorial, I would love to see it!  I have created a new Flickr Group for you to share your creations.  Here is the link: Creations inspired by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.  (Please share, you might get featured!)

Good luck!
_____________________________________________________________________________________



And just to prove it is not all cupcakes and roses all the time over here.  That face, oh my...



If you like this project and want to see more, please consider becoming a follower.  You can subscribe using the Google Friend Connect widget, through a reader, or signing up via email.  Just click on one of the icons below:
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I will be linking up to some of the linky parties listed on this page.




124 comments:

  1. So very cute! LOVE the fabrics you chose!
    Amanda

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  2. Love it! Great idea for a quick project!

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  3. This is such a creative idea! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via: ourdelightfulhome@yahoo.com

    Mrs. Delightful
    ourdelightfulhome.blogspot.com

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  4. This is so adorable. I want a grown up version of it :)
    I'd love for you to come link this up to my *Get Creative* party this week
    http://www.justalittlecreativity.blogspot.com/2012/02/get-creative-linky-party-and-features.html
    Hope to see you there!
    -Molly

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  5. Really just the cutest bag:) Plus, you don't even have to sew, how perfect!

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  6. This is so cute! And amazing that its no sew - I have recently invested in a glue gun so I might give this a go!
    heronscrafts.blogspot.com

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  7. Ohhhh....everything you do is so pretty! Would you link this beautiful tote as well? Thanks!
    Stacey of Embracing Change
    http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com

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  8. So adorable! I never would have thought I could do no-sew ruffles, think I'm going to have to give this a try. Have you had any problems with the ruffles coming off?

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  9. This tote is so stinkin' cute - the fabric you used is so fun - LOVE IT! I love that it's a no-sew project, learning to use a sewing machine is still on my to-do-list! I saw your adorable share at Catch a Glimpse Thursday - so happy I clicked! Looking forward to seeing what you post next! Cheers ~ Mary

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  10. I can't wait to try your no-sew method. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Oh so cute! I've made some of these before, but not no-sew!! So much easier! Will have to give this a try. Just found you're blog today and will be following you from now on! What great stuff!

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  12. Oh My goodness - this is delish - I have some fabric that I have been meaning to make a mini quilt with also - and some cnavas bags - thanks for the jump start - will post my finished photo in your flickr group. TFS

    found you via crafty soiree - love the blog
    xo
    tina

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  13. Great tutorial! I have a glue gun :) You have a fabulous blog!

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  14. I just pinned this. It's sooo cute! Thanks for the tutorial.

    Erin
    takingtimetocreate.blogspot.com

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  15. Very cute! Love the fabric you used!
    Thanks for linking up to this week's Catch a Glimpse Party! I'll be featuring this tomorrow!

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  16. Oh my goodness, I LOVE it. You are the no sew queen!

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  17. Love it! Such an adorable bag!

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  18. This tote is adorable! You had me at no sew! I featured you this week in my Friday I'm In Love favorites!

    http://socialsalutations.blogspot.com/2012/02/friday-im-in-love-spring-is-in-air.html

    - Jenn @ Social Salutations

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  19. so cute! We just posted our Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday Link Party and would love for you to share this! http://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.blogspot.com/2012/02/kitchen-fun-and-crafty-friday-link_23.html

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  20. What a cute bag. As a NON seamstress, I'm loving this idea!

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  21. Really cute! Newest follower! Love for you to check out my place as well! Love for you to link up some of your projects on my "Homemade By You" party on Wednesdays!

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  22. Gorgeous bag! I love the colors!

    -sara @ applestonedrive.blogspot.com

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  23. I love this! Going to make some for the women and girls in my life! I'd love to sign up via email for your posts. tracypulliam@uwmail.com

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  24. I love your no sew version. I have had a sewn version on my list to do forever, (I have the bag and material already) but this looks easier!

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  25. So cute! I definitely need the "no-sew" version and your instructions are great!

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  26. How fun! I think I would have trouble NOT skipping around if it was mine!

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  27. You had me at No Sew! Love it...going to have to make one for my Kate! I am hosting a Link Party today and would love for you to add these, and anything else you like!

    http://www.mom4realky.blogspot.com/2012/02/4-real-friday-link-party-2.html

    Jessica @ Mom 4 Real

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  28. Never in all my day would I have thought that a ruffle could be made without sewing! I can't sew a stitch, but I can glue with the best of 'em.

    ~Bliss~

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  29. this is really darling and I'm impressed with your directions - simple & clear. thinking this would be a fun summer project with my girls. thanks!

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  30. This is a No Sew?!?!--- right up my alley! : ) It's so cute!!

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  31. This is adorable!
    I’d love if you would come link this up at From Scratch Friday!

    ~Christina
    www.marriagefromscratch.blogspot.com

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  32. This is really cute...Thanks for linking up @CountryMommaCooks....have a wonderful weekend:)

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  33. Sew cute, er uh no-sew cute! Cheesy, I know. Pinned it!

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  34. Gorgeous! Thanks for linking up at Classy Clutter!

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  35. Super cute bag! Thanks for the tutorial!!
    I'm now a new follower!!!:)

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  36. I also "liked" you on FB and shared this link! :)

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  37. SO cute. My daughter would love this.

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  38. So cute! and love the springy colors!! :)

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  39. NO SEW in your title had me!! This is really adorable!! Visiting from Six Sisters Linky Party!

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  40. Thank you for sharing this beautiful design-so pretty!

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  41. So cute, love the bright fabric, it's hard to believe it's no sew!

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  42. I love this project because it is no sew. I was love for you to link up at my Linky Party I have going on right now. http://www.thesweettalkshop.com/2012/02/sweettalkin-sunday-linky-party-7.html Plus any other projects you would like.
    Smiles,
    Lisa

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  43. This is adorable!!


    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2012/st-patricks-day-ideas/

    Have a great weekend!

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  44. Really love it and am back again to tell you I featured this project in next week's A Crafty Soiree. Please come by next Thursday to see it!

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  45. I just made one of these tonight. The no sew method was super easy and it took me less than 90 minutes! And all with scrapes and leftover craft items I had laying around so it didn't cost me a cent. Now the only problem I have is who's it's gonna be. My daughter's or mine! Thanks again for the inspiration!

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  46. This is a perfect project for my high school Fiber Arts class! I'm really trying to get them to create things that resonate with their style, and this could be something that could be tweaked in a lot of different directions.

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  47. That's really cute!!! And I have that green fabric with the ladybugs on it totally awesome. especially for those of us who don't know how to use a sewing machine!!

    Stacey
    www.silvergriffondesigns.artfire.com

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  48. What a cute bag!! I follow your blog through Google Friend Connect. Thanks for the
    chance to win!

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  49. I "like" you on Facebook, and shared your post.

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  50. This tote is adorable. I have a similar one to try this on!

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  51. Stopping by from the Pink Sundays Hop! http://queenofsavings.com

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  52. My grandaughter would love a bag like this. Very cute

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  53. I would love to make a bag like this for one or all of my granddaughters ...such a cute idea...love it!

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  54. what a great idea! I'd love to win, as we're giving my daughter a ladybug party for her birthday and she'd love a bag like this!

    THANKS

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  55. Adorable bag and great idea!! Pinning it:D

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  56. These are cute and I have alot of totes that I have gathered over time that I can use.
    :-)

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  57. Super cute!! I will have to make one for my daughter....she will LOVE it!! Thanks for sharing!!

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  58. This is so adorable! I'm pretty sure a bag of some sort is going to be my first craft project once I get moved in a month, and this one is perfect!!

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  59. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't sew!!!! I LOVE no sew projects!!!

    I hope you'll come over to The DIY Dreamer and share it :)
    http://thediydreamer.blogspot.com/2012/02/from-dream-to-reality-linky-party-4.html

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  60. So cute a teen would want to have it as a gift

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  61. Adorable, and I've recently taken up sewing, but am currently completely infatuated with RUFFLES<3

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  62. Now, I have only ever sewed ruffles, but this looks like something to try out. I will have to remember about that glue being HOT. I have burned my fingers before and for some reason or other, forget and burn my fingers a lot.

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  63. I love this! The ruffles, the colors! You are one talented lady! Thanks fot sharing!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

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  64. Very cute, thanks for the tutorial - found my weekend project (like I needed another one...)
    Stephanie

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  65. Just pinned this - I LOVE IT!! :) Great tute.

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  66. So cute! I featured this on my blog, here: http://punkprojects.blogspot.com/2012/02/make-it-monday_27.html

    -Katie

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  67. Very cute! Love ruffles. Nice tutorial also!

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  68. GREAT job, love it and of course, I am pinning this!!!!

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  69. Cute! Love that it's "No Sew!"

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  70. Love love love it! So cute and fun.

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  71. Hi there
    Love Love Love the tote :)
    What a greast idea
    Cheers
    Catie

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  72. This is super cute! I always get free totes from grocery stores, so I have a lot on hand. I'm definitely going to try this out and I'll post it to the group link you've provided above! Thanks :)

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  73. An incredibly adorable bag, but being the sewer I am I would have to sew it! Love you color choices. Thanks for sharing your creative inspiration at Sunday's Best Par.tay!

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  74. I love the easy peasy factor .. can't wait to try it with the kids! thanks for sharing your super cute bag with us :)
    Danielle -- craft play love.com

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  75. Cute bag! I love that you showed how to do it without sewing!
    -Brandy

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  76. Love the ruffles!! I would love it if you linked up at my party going on now! (It's my very first one!!)

    Jill
    www.jillifyit.com

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  77. This is so cute!! HOORAY for glue guns! We loved having you link up to "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We hope to have you back again soon!! -The Sisters

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  78. This is so cute! Can't believe you didn't have to SEW :)

    Love for you to share this at my Wednesday's "Made by ME" linky party here:
    http://www.jaqsstudio.com/2012/02/made-by-me-20-linky-party.html

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  79. This is adorable! I love that it's no sew!

    I'd love for you to link up and share: http://tutusandteaparties.blogspot.com/2012/02/pinteresting-party-week-28.html

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  80. This is so cute! I'm definitely not a sewing person so I'm going to have to try this!

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  81. I signed up for your emails and love all the ideas! Very motivating :) thank you!

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  82. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday over at Sugar Bee Crafts - you were featured today!!
    --Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  83. The outcome is really cute! So easy and so pretty! :-)

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  84. LOVE this! I've featured it this week at my *Get Creative* party, come on over and grab your "I've Been Featured" button, and link up any new craftiness you have :)
    http://www.justalittlecreativity.com/2012/02/get-creative-party-3-and-fun-features.html
    Hope to see you there again this week!
    -Molly

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  85. Jamie, this is so cute and I love that it's a no sew project! It's super trendy, too! :)
    Jenny

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  86. Adorable! I am such a ruffle fan - so girly! Thanks for the post!

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  87. Really cute! So nice to see something in fabric that does not require a sewing machine:0)

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  88. You have been featured(again) @CountryMommaCooks Link and greet Party
    stop by and pick up a featured button:)

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  89. It came out beautifully!! The green fabric in it is what I used for curtains in my daughter's room. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday! I hope you will share with us again this week!

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  90. Fabulous project!!!
    Thank you for linking up, hope you will stop by my blog today and link up another great project...
    Claire xox
    http://polkadot-pretties.blogspot.com/

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  91. OK - this is absolutely adorable and so easy! Love no sew projects! Thanks for linking with Sugar & Spice!

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  92. What a fantastic idea! I am featuring it today:

    http://www.thegunnysack.com/2012/03/who-was-stuffed-in-gunny-sack-week-27.html

    Stop by and grab an I Was STUFFED button! :)

    ~Tonia

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  93. Aw, this is so beautiful! Just wanted to let you know that I featured this today. Thanks for sharing @ Show & Share.

    http://southernlovely.blogspot.com/2012/03/show-share-29-features.html

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  94. Very cute!! Just one question. Are the ruffles on both sides of the tote or only on one? Thanks!

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  95. Featuring YOU tonight over on my blog. You were one of the top viewed links at last week's {wow me} wednesday party. :) Thank you so much for sharing.

    Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com

    http://www.gingersnapcrafts.com/2012/03/wow-me-wednesday-41.html

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  96. Love this bag. Consider it pinned!

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  97. This is so totally cute! I was thinking that one could make a tote yourself from either diaper cover material or vinyl tablecloth material and then add ruffles. It would be waterproof (or pretty much anyway)for use at the beach. Obviously this is for the sewer's out there but who knows, maybe there are cheap ready-made waterproof totes just waiting for ruffles??

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  98. Nice to meet you! This is our first visit on your beautiful blog.The bag is very cute!!! It seems easy to do! Thank you for the tutorial.
    Ciao from Italy,

    Barbara and Analia

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  99. love this tutorial so much, i'll try it soon , smooch from indonesia (rita esti ^_^)

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  100. Wow thats gorgeous - to the shops for a glue gun!!!

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  101. I found your ruffled tote on pinterest and clicked on your blog. I love the tote and will being making one myself. I am going to foloow your blog. You are very creative.

    Hugs,
    Janet

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  102. Love this tote! I may try sewing it...great idea!! New follower and fellow crafter!! I make jewelry with my mom and sisters and we sell it at the local health centers in our area!

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  103. I made one tonight and am making another one tomorrow! I love them! I'm even gonna make a mini one for my two year old! Thank you for the cute idea!!

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  104. I found your tutorial via Pinterest and had to make 1 myself! Here is the link: http://www.jessicalambstamps.com/2012/09/adorable-no-sew-tote-bag.html
    Happy Scrapping!
    Jessica

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  105. THIS IA ABSOLUTELY CREATIVE. I AM TOTALLY BOUGHT OVER BY YOUR SITE. YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION

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  106. That is so lovely! I think I just might be able to do it. Of course I need to buy a glue gun. Thank you for sharing. I am totally pinning this beauty!

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  107. This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing! I got a cordless glue gun for Christmas that needs to be broken in. :-)

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  108. Oh my goodness, is that cute! Great tote-torial :) Stopping by from the Best DIY Project of 2012.

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  109. This is so cute! I've pinned it for a future project.

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  110. Love this tote. I'm following you now for more great ideas. Looking forward to browsing your blog.

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  111. What a darling tote, your tutorial is excellent! We would love to have you link this or any of your posts to our Saturday Show Us How You Rock Link Party. It starts Fridays at 6pm and ends the following Thursday at 10pm, hope to see you there!

    Tracy
    http://www.madefrompinterest.net/

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  112. I'm the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your tote! You can see it here:

    http://funfamilycrafts.com/sew-ruffle-tote/

    If you have other kid-friendly crafts, we'd love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

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  113. I love this no sew ruffle tote that you created! My daughter would love to have one, so I'm going to bookmark this page!

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