Repurposing Old Bags (and I don’t mean me)

How to take and old promotional tote to a really cute bag! Repurpose and resue!

It seems like no matter what profession you’re in there will always be plenty of one thing – promotional bags and totes. Don’t get me wrong, they are so handy to have at conference to carry your stuff in. It’s so nice to be handed a bag to put everything into when your hands just can’t carry anything else. But then you get home and you’ve left with a pile of bags that have the brand logo on them. What do you do with promotional totes and bags when the event is over?

Sure you can still use them but what about when the conference no longer exists? Or what if you see a great tote bag at the thrift store that has a great style and colors but has a huge logo of a company that you really don’t want to advertise for?

Simple. You can make over those promotional bags easier than you realize. 

How to make over promotional totes


This is a bag I received at a conference a few years ago that no longer is in existence. It’s a great tote that was thick material and made well so there’s no way I could have thrown it out. I thought about donating it but I knew I could revamp it to make it great for every day use. 

So how did I do it? Easy. So easy. You don’t even have to sew. 

DIY Tote Bag


You’ll need fabric of your choice, Liquid thread (fabric glue) and sharp fabric scissors.

how to change a tote bag

Lay your fabric over the area you want to cover and center the design. Make sure that if you’ve covering a pocket area, such as this one that you’re leaving an inch or so at the top to cover over the top of the pocket flap. 

Redoing an old bag

Now just use the edge of sharp scissors to indent the fabric along the raised edges of the tote handles.

If your bag doesn’t have any raised edge and is just a flat bag use a template such as square piece of cardboard to get the shape you want your fabric overlay to be. You’ll also need something to seal the edges of the fabric to prevent fraying if there is no raised  edge to tuck it under. 

Once you have the outline of your shape on the fabric, carefully cut it out. 

Lay it over the area you want to cover and make sure it fits. On the backside of the tote I cut one edge too short but was able to pick the fabric up and gently stretch it to fit.

Repurposing old tote bags


Now take your liquid thread and run a medium sized line around the edges of the area you want covered. 

Making old bags beautiful again with liquid thread and fabric

In fact I went crazy with the liquid thread. Better safe than sorry, right? 

covering a tote with fabric

Now lay the fabric down and press the edge of the fabric under the raised edges using your fingers. Little strings might be showing but it’s ok, you can cut those off later. You just want to get all the edges of the fabric under the edge and the fabric nice and smooth.

Do the same for the top of the pocket but push the fabric up over the edge of the pocket and secure it with liquid thread. 

How to take and old promotional tote to a really cute bag! Repurpose and resue!

And there you go!

Instead of throwing it away or giving it away, you now have a great sturdy (and cute) tote to reuse.

How to repurpose an old promotional bag





Bobbie is a homeschooling mom of three girls in the Houston area. Although most of her days are spent scrubbing up paint or ungluing her fingers, occasionally she also takes the time to burn dinner.

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  1. Lisa W. says

    I haven’t commented in awhile! Cute idea and I love the fabric! It is the same fabric I used to make curtains for my kitchen!

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