Patchwork Hankie Tote

By  Rebekah Meier 

Can you believe this stunning patchwork tote was created from handkerchiefs? Repurpose vintage hankies or buy brightly colored new ones and follow these easy steps to create a one-of-a-kind patchwork design.

  • Closeup View
  • Patchwork Hankie Tote


  • Hankies, six to eight
  • Fabric fat quarters, three
  • Dritz Home Curtain Grommets, four
  • Timtex Interfacing or other heavy-weight interfacing, 3"x13"
  • Pellon Shir-Tailor Fusible Interfacing, 2 yds.


  • Sewing machine and cream thread
  • Disappearing ink marker
  • Straight pins
  • Iron and pressing board

Basic Supplies

  • scissors, yardstick
  • 1. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply fusible interfacing to wrong side of hankies.
  • 2. From two fat quarter squares, cut two 16"x17" rectangles.
  • 3. From fusible interfacing, cut two 16"x17" rectangles. Fuse interfacing to wrong side of fat quarters from Step 2.
  • 4. Cut hankies into patchwork pieces to fit the 16"x17" dimensions of fabric. These may be any size as long as they fit the 16"x17" lining size. Add a 1/4" seam allowance for all pieces.
  • 5. Repeat Step 4 for opposite side of tote.
  • 6. Using a 1/4" seam allowance, machine sew patchwork pieces together. Press seams open. Repeat for opposite side of tote.
  • 7. With right sides facing, machine sew patchwork panels on three sides leaving the top open. To make the bottom of tote, fold each corner of tote aligning the side and bottom seams, creating a triangle. Using a disappearing marker, mark 2" line from point of triangle. Machine sew on traced line. Trim off point leaving a 1/2" seam.
  • 8. Repeat Step 7 creating the lining for tote using fabric from Step 3. Leave a 3" opening for turning.
  • 9. With right sides facing, insert lining inside patchwork tote. Pin in place. Machine sew around top of tote. Insert Timtex interfacing piece so it sits at the bottom on tote. Turn tote inside out through 3" opening of lining. Use needle and thread to slip stitch opening closed.
  • 10. Follow manufacturer's instructions to create two holes on each side of tote for grommets.
  • 11. Cut two 42" strips from fabric. If using fat quarters, stitch strips together creating a long strip of fabric. Cut interfacing to same dimensions as fabric and fuse to wrong side. With right sides facing, fold each strip in half so it measures 1-1/2" in width. Press with iron. Machine sew 1/4" from each edge of strip. Leave a 3" opening to turn right side out. Turn right side out. Trim seams and press. Use needle and thread to slip stitch openings closed.
  • 12. Insert one strap created in Step 11 through each of the grommet openings and tie bow.