How-To Customize Any Tote Bag with Terial Magic!

Heidi Emmet | June 26, 2017

Let's start thinking about Spring! Don't you love the tote bags and cross-body bags out there? Let's add some raw-edged circles to make them playful and fun.

I chose to add circles because when they're cut from fabric that has been treated with Terial Magic, there is very little fraying. So, gather a few items together, and let's create! 



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What You'll Need

  • One tote bag or cross-body bag of any size, color and material (Note: This technique works on leather, faux leather, plastic, etc.)  
  • 1/4 yard of several cotton quilting fabrics (Note: Smaller designs will show up better)
  • 1 yard of cotton muslin
  • Thread to match fabrics
  • Basic machine sewing supplies
  • Terial Magic fabric stablizer
  • Fabric glue
  • Iron 

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Step 1

Let's get started! Before we cut the fabrics we want to treat them with Terial Magic so we will have nice clean cuts that lay flat and are fray-free. Watch this short video on how to  treat fabric with Terial Magic to make sure you are treating it correctly. It's simple: 1) Spray to saturate 2) hang for 5-10 minutes to let it soak in 3) iron to dry and smooth. From here cut each of your fabrics in half so they measure approximately 9" x 22 1/2". Next, decide where you want to place the circles and measure across that area.

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Step 2

Since this area measure 9" across, I'm going to make the largest circle 3" across. Every tote will be different, so measure, then draw a little sketch. Maybe yours will have 4 or even 5 circles across. And the amount going up is dictated by the height of your tote. 

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Step 3

Search around the house for items you can trace. You will need two, one larger than the other. Using ap encil and on the back or inner side of the fabric, trace abunch of cicles. Then cut them out. 

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Step 4

Your fabric circles should feel paper-like if you followed the instructions for use above, so you can see how clean and fray-free the treated fabric cuts! Begin stacking a smaller cicle on top of the larger circles. No gluing or pinning is necessary as they stay together as is. 

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Step 5

Set up your sewing machine with thread to mach, a new needle (I used size 12 universal) and a regular sewing foot (a clear one might make it easier to see). Start sewing in the center of the circle. Slowing sew to the outside edge of each layer in a continuous spiral motion. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Then trim the threads. Repeat with all other circles. 

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Step 6

Mark the halfway point on the width of the tote at the bottom area where the first row is. With fabric glue on the back of a circle stack, place the first cicle on that mark. Continue glueing and placing circles on either side of the center circle. Eyeball the placement of those. Mark the halfway point on the next row up and continue with subsequent rows in the same way as the first. You did it! Wasn't that fun? Here's the final result with the coral cross-body bag on the left.

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Topics: Fabric Art, Terial

Heidi Emmet
Heidi Emmet on June 26, 2017

My name is Heidi and I live in Grass Valley, in northern California, near Lake Tahoe. People have asked about my past experiences in fabric arts and design. It all started when, at my mother’s sewing table, I’d design and make outfits for my Barbie doll. I love anything to do with fabric and clothing and accessories. I owned a full service fabric store for 16 years and took 12 years off to be a full-time wife and mother. I have a very supportive husband and one son who is a junior in college.