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Multi-pocket Canvas Tote Bag

Multi-purpose, quick drying and durable: this multi-pocket tote bag is the perfect bag to take when grocery shopping, going to the beach, picnic, or even traveling. With 8 pockets of different sizes and one large compartment, it will store your items securely, and you will grab whatever you need with ease, without having to take everything out.

Store fragile items securely, without breaking or squishing them under all the other items. No more broken jars or eggs, no more squished bread or tomatoes. If you carry a water bottle or two – pop them in the side pockets and they won’t clash with the items in the main compartment.

The constructions is really durable, featuring double layered bottom and sturdy French seams. This comfy tote bag is just the right size and shape for a comfortable fit

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make a multi-pocket canvas tote bag

Supplies and tools


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How to Sew a multi-pocket canvas tote

Watch the diy multi pocket tote bag video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
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Multi-pocket tote bag VIDEO TUTORIAL


STEP 1: Cut the fabric pieces

Finished size of the tote bag: 33 x 28 x 13cm (13 x 11 x 5 1/8”)

Metric measurements (for imperial, scroll down)

MAIN – 76 x 36 cm

BASE – 36 x 18 cm

SIDES (2) 16 x 29 cm

FRONT POCKETS (2) 25 x 44

SIDE POCKETS (2) 20 x 27

Handles (2) 94 x 3cm wide – polypropylene webbing

IMPERIAL measurements

MAIN – 30 x 14 1/4”

BASE – 14 1/4 x 7”

SIDES (2) 6 1/4 x 11 1/2 “

FRONT POCKETS (2) 10 x 17 1/2

SIDE POCKETS (2) 8 x 10 5/8

Handles (2) 37 x 1 ¼” wide polypropylene webbing


Fold the long sides of the base 1cm towards the wrong side, press. Pin and set aside


Fold the short sides of the MAIN 1cm and press. Fold again 1cm. Press, pin.

Sew along the inner fold


Fold the top long edge of the FRONT pockets 1cm, press, fold 1cm again, press and pin

Sew along the inner fold


Fold the top short edge of the SIDES 1cm, press, fold 1cm again, press and pin

Sew along the inner fold


Fold the top short edge of the SIDE POCKETS 1cm, press, fold 1cm again, press and pin

Sew along the inner fold


SIDE POCKETS: place on worktop with right side (RS) facing up, fold in the side 1” (2.5cm) and press

Turn the piece wrong side (WS) up, fold 1cm and press. Measure to make sure the short edge is 16cm (6.5”)

Repeat for the other side of the pocket


Take one side pocket and place it on top of the side piece. Right sides facing up on both pieces. Align bottom and the sides. Pin. Sew ¼” SA along sides and bottom


mark along the bottom long edge: mark 10cm in from each short edge

On the left side of the front pocket, mark 2 cm on the left from the first mark, then 3cm to the right, and then 2 more cm to the right.

Mirror the markings on the right side of the front pocket

STEP 10:

Place RED pins on both the innermost marks

Insert BLUE pins on both outermost marks

STEP 11:

Turn the front pocket with WS up, fold the right short edge along the pin mark and press

Open up and fold along the second pin mark and press to create creases

Repeat for the left side of the front pocket

STEP 12:


Turn the front pocket with RS up

Fold the right blue pin mark to the mark on the left and create a pleat. Pin top and bottom

Fold the left blue pin mark to the mark on the right. Create a pleat, pin top and bottom

Fold the right red pin mark to the mark on the right, pleat pin top and bottom

Fold the left red pin mark to the mark on the left. Pleat, pin top and bottom

Measure along the long side, it should be 36cm (14 ¼”). PRESS, repeat for the other front pocket

STEP 13:

Take the MAIN piece RS up, fold to meet the short sides and create a crease along the middle. Open up

STEP 14:

Place the FRONT POCKETS on top (RS up), 5cm (2”) in from the short sides of the MAIN piece

Pin and sew along the sides and the bottom of the front pockets using ¼”SA

STEP 15:

Attach the handles, placing them in the grooves that we created. Align the handles with the bottom of each front pocket

STEP 16:

sew the handles

STEP 17:

Fold the short edge of the base to find the midpoints.

Align base and the main middles. Pin base to main

STEP 18:

Sew along the base ¼”SA, then make a second seam 1cm in from each long side of the base

STEP 19:

Take the side pieces (sides with the attached side pockets) and pin to the long raw edge of the main piece (WRONG sides together).

STEP 20:

Sew along sides and bottom ¼”SA, leaving 1cm gap on each side seam (we are making French seams here)

STEP 21:

Trim seam to 5mm, turn the bag inside out

STEP 22:

Roll the seams to push then out. Pin along the side seams

STEP 23:

Sew along the sides 1cm (3/8”) SA

STEP 24:

Turn the bag around, give it a quick press and it’s finished

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