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Dad’s Day Gift Tote and Gift Bag

What you’ll need

Featured Design

Other designs which would work for this project


  • Because tote sizes differ, instructions are written to show how this project was created. You will use your tote and package measurements to personalize your tote and gift bag.
  • The tote makes a great part of a Father’s Day gift. It will hold the gift packages for a Father’s Day gift presentation, and then the tote can be used to hold many other things such as fresh shop towels and magazines.
  • Be sure to chose fabrics for the project that will personalize it for the recipient of the gift.
  • Please be sure to read through all the instructions before beginning.


  • Choose your tote. This one was purchased on Amazon. It is a thick and sturdy felt material. As of this writing, it is still available and comes in several colors and sizes. The smallest size was used for this project: felt tote
  • White cotton fabric was used for the embroidery.
  • Polyester embroidery thread was used for stitching.

  • Originally it was planned that the embroidery would be done directly on the tote, but the felt is too thick.
  • Instructions are included for the tote assembly as shown.

Create the Band

  • Even though the tote is constructed of a thick felt, a band was made to make it sturdier.
  • Measure around the tote and add about 10”.
  • Cut a band this length by 6” out of the themed fabric.

  • There should be ample fabric to wrap around the tote so the grommets can be attached.
  • Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together.
  • Stitch the seam using a ¼” seam allowance.
  • Use a pressing stick (or a dowel) to press the seam open.
  • Turn the piece right side out: a turning tool really helps!
  • Center the seam on the back side and press the band.

  • It is so easy to apply the grommets.
  • Snap the two sections of the grommets together.
  • Place one end of the band through the garment.
  • Fold under the edge of the band ½” and pin in place.
  • Stitch the fold in place first in one direction and then turn it around and stitch along the first stitching line to make it sturdy (or if your machine will allow, use a triple stitch and stitch once.)
  • Repeat the stitching 1/8” away from the first.

  • Fit the band to the tote by wrapping it around, and placing the other end of the band through the grommet and pin.
  • Trim the end of the band, turn under ½” and stitch as was done before.
  • Place the band on the tote, with the grommet centered on the front.

Making the Gift Bag

  • The embroidery design is stitched and placed on fabric to create a gift bag which can later be used to hold tools or other things.
  • Measure the box being used so you know how much white cotton fabric to cut.
  • Press the fabric and hoop it with a layer of cutaway stabilizer.
  • Load the design on the machine and choose the thread colors.
  • Stitch the design following the color sequence.

  • Remove the embroidered fabric from the hoop.
  • Using the gift box as a guide, fold the fabric in half and determine the placement of the design on the box for the gift bag. Place pins at the edges.
  • Trim the piece leaving ½” all around from the pin placement.
  • Measure the remaining length of the box, plus the depth, plus seam allowances.

  • It is best to oversize the measurements so the bag will be ample size for the gift box and later use as a bag.
  • Cut the themed fabric for the gift bag using the measurements—again, leaving ample fabric to make the bag.
  • Turn under what will be the top portion of the bag over the top of the box, including a seam allowance.

  • Finalize the measurement for the embroidered fabric and mark the line to turn under a seam allowance.
  • Press the seam allowances to the underside and press well.
  • Center and position the embroidery as planned toward the top of the bag.
  • If the themed fabric shows through the white fabric, you may need to cut and add a piece of batting and/or another piece of stabilizer underneath the embroidered piece.
  • Pin the embroidered piece in place.
  • Set up the sewing machine with sewing thread and a blanket stitch.
  • Stitch the embroidery to the bag; using a foot with a blade keeps the stitching along the edge!

  • Complete the bag.
  • With right sides together, sew the center back seam and press it open.
  • Turn under the top edge ¼”, and then fold again and press; topstitch in place.
  • To box the bottom corners of the bag, find the center front of the back at the bottom and match it to the center back seam.
  • Sew a 1/2” seam.
  • To box the corners, bring the bottom seamline to the side fold on each side.

Final Steps

  • Measure to determine how far from the point to stitch the corner.
  • For this bag, the seam was sewn 2” from the corner; repeat for the other side.
  • Turn the bag right side out and form the corners well.
  • Slip the gift box into the bag.
  • At the top, for the corners like would be done for wrapping paper.
  • Cut a piece of hook and loop tape to fit inside the open edges.
  • Sew the soft side of the tape to the underside of the top edge, and the loop side to the top side where it will fasten to the other side.


  • Wrap other gifts as desired to fill up the tote for gift giving.


Congratulations! Whether for yourself or a gift, learning new ways to use embroidery designs increases your enjoyment of stitching. There is no doubt your project will be a “Grand Slam!”

By the "Grand Slam Designs" Team

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