Tutorial: DIY Yoga Mat Bag, v.2

Now, this might sound silly, but it’s true – almost six years ago, I Googled my little heart out, trying to find a cute, affordable, and sturdy yoga mat bag, but came up short. Too pricey, too flimsy, or too fancy…then it hit me: why not make it myself?

Yoga Mat Bag, v.1

Of course, six years ago, I was sans sewing machine, but I did have some random crafting supplies, and determination! I found a easy-enough looking tutorial online (from a sadly now-defunct website) and hatched my plan to create my one-of-a-kind yoga mat bag.

In my many Internet searches, I had decided that I wanted to use some sort of durable fabric that would withstand the abuse of being thrown in and out of my car, scrunched into lockers, and more. Plus, since I was practicing Bikram Yoga very regularly at the time, it needed to have increased airflow capability to dry out a bit after sweaty sessions.

Believe it or not, the perfect material presented itself one day when I was shopping at Marshall’s. I am sure you have seen them – those cute, 99 cent shopping totes that are hanging by the check out area! I bought an armful of them, headed home, and got to work in creating my first bag! Now, it took a few hours, but I really was proud of my project and proceeded to use the bag for the next few years (really) – and the other totes sat lonely in a large Tupperware bin, moving with us from Florida, to Virginia and back again.

About two years ago, I re-visited my totes, and worked on two more yoga bags – one, I gifted to my sister, and the other, I had planned to blog about, as a possible fundraising option (selling the bags in exchange for charity donations – still thinking about doing this in the future!) But, life happened, and the bag was stuffed back into the bin…until now.

Now, with the aid of my trusty sewing machine, I am proud to share this DIY Yoga Mat Bag tutorial – adapted from the original, but free-styled and simplified.

DIY Yoga Mat bag

Supplies Needed

  • 99 ct Shopping Tote
  • Seam Ripper
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Needle/Coordinating Thread
  • Rotary Cutter (optional)
  • Sewing Machine (optional)



  1. Choose a cute shopping tote.
  2. Remove the stitches/edging length wise around the tote.
  3. Separate pieces – tote ‘body’ and ‘sides.’
  4. Lay out flattened tote body, measure 30 inches, trim off excess.
  5. Lay out ‘sides’ – stack fold, and sew together to make a 34 inch bag strap.
  6. Turn trimmed body inside out.
  7. Fold 1″ tab on bottom of body, sew.
  8. Place strap edge in the bottom corner of body.
  9. Sew length-wise, approximately 1″ from edge.
  10. Turn entire project inside out (like a wind sock).
  11. Sew straight line to secure strap on bottom.
  12. Sew top of strap


New and improved DIY Yoga Mat Bag!

I love how this particular tote -turned-yoga-bag turned out – and now that I have the steps pretty well worked out, I am eager to collect some more totes for conversion. And, with this new design, I eliminated the need to purchase additional components (ribbon in version one) and with the documented measurements, I still have a big piece of tote left, which can be used toward pouches (possibly coordinating zipper pouches?) or other fun things! Additionally, with my new embroidery machine, there’s potential for personalization, too!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial – let me know if you try it! 

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