Beach totes that you can make or just refashion yourself are the key to stylish summer beach ware, particularly if you’re trying to add thrifty style without anyone else knowing that you’re pinching those pennies. From simple refashions that use a few basic embroidery stitches to a complete reversible tote bag sewing pattern designed by Amy Butler, these tutorials offer the inspiration and know-how to create your own beach tote bag this summer.
This minimalist tote has a unique feature where the straps immediately close the beach tote when it's lifted, great for dodging those late afternoon thunderstorms. White and dark brown create a striking contrast while the leather strap — which could be harvested from an old belt — adds brightness.
Designer Renske Solkesz shares this free beach tote how-to on Design*Sponge.
Paint colorful triangles onto a tote that needs just a little sprucing. A triangle template/stencil imitates the shape on canvas while paint goes over the front of the beach tote. You can have tons of fun with this craft creating your own patterns!
My Trash and Treasure shares how to make your own beach tote.
Mesh creates a utilitarian but trendy beach tote bag. Sandproof and breathable — great for moist environments that attract mildew, this carrier uses window screen material to create this beach tote bag. There are also instructions for an oil cloth–covered bottom to reinforce the bag’s shape as well as a matching zippered pouch.
Head to Between the Lines to get the free mesh tote bag sewing pattern.
Bold prints create a stylish and organized beach tote. Fusible interfacing strengthens the fabric, saving standard sewing machines from having to wrangle with stiff canvas while also offering a wider variety — since canvas selections can be limited. Consider using a waterproof lining to help with any future messes.
Get the free beach tote sewing pattern from The Renegade Seamstress.
An old cushion cover gets new life as a monster-inspired kids’ tote bag. Since this tote uses mostly straight lines, it would make a great sewing project for kids, particularly if fabric glue is used to secure the monster face. Customize this look by having kids sketch an imaginary creature on paper and then recreating on fabric.
Grab this free beach tote sewing pattern for kids from My Poppet.
Complimentary fabrics create a stylish and practical beach tote bag, which can be reversed to better match the day’s swimwear or mood. Pockets help with storage and reinforced straps with durability.
Make your own bag with this free reversible tote sewing pattern from this CraftFoxes how-to.
For the chic-minded beach goer, this metallic faux leather beach tote is not only stylish but also quick to make, demanding only 30 minutes. The faux leather prevents the stretching often seen with real leather and offers more resistance to the beach’s water and weather.
Learn how to make this beach tote by checking out All the Good Girls Go to Heaven’s free how-to.
Inspired by the top shop Free People, which uses cotton netting, sequins and costs almost $100, this crochet beach tote bag is an affordable alternative. Customize this look by dying the fabric to achieve an ombre effect or line the bag with shimmery fabric for a little more privacy.
Make your own crochet tote bag with Maize Hutton’s free pattern.
Image credits (from top): Banyan Hippo, Renske Solkesz, Trash and Treasure, Between the Lines, The Renegade Seamstress, My Poppet, Amy Butler, All Good Girls Go to Heaven and Maize Hutton