Tetris Tote Bag

I'm not a big gamer type person but I did love Tetris back in the day. The shapes are so instantly recognisable I thought it would be fun to put them on a bag.

how to make tetris tote bag

I made this bag from an old pair of my sons school trousers, 2 tea towels and some felt. You could just use regular fabric, or whatever you have. 

retro gamer shopping bag

I stitched my felt Tetris shapes on but you are not really into sewing you could use a fabric glue. 

You could even just add the shapes to an existing bag if you have one. Make it as easy or complicated as you like. 

First prepare the felt Tetris pieces

I made templates from card, 4x4cm squares, in the right shapes.


The ones like the L shape you only need to do once, as you can just flip the template to cut the ones that are the opposite way round. 

These are the shapes and colours you need:

tetris shapes.jpg

Unfortunately I don't seem to have photographed my pile of Tetris shaped pieces, sorry, you'll see them in just a second.

Next prepare the fabric bag pieces

I used 2 tea towels to line my bag, so they determined how big it could be. I chopped a piece of the top to use for the handles, like so:

cut up teatowel.jpg

I used the lining fabric to measure my outer fabric from the trouser legs.

cutting out tote bag

Then I used the off cut pieces to make the handle pieces. As my fabric was limited I had to join shorter pieces to make the long handles I wanted. If you have more fabric you can just cut longer pieces all in one. Or you could have shorter handles!

So I ended up with 12 pieces:

  • 2 x 41 x 44cm outer "trouser" fabric

  • 2 x 41 x 44cm tea towel lining fabric

  • 4 x outer fabric handle pieces 7 x 41cm (or cut 2 x 7 x 79cm if you have enough fabric)

  • 4 x lining fabric handle pieces 7 x 41cm (or cut 2 x 7 x 79cm if you have enough fabric)


Attach the felt shapes

Before you make the bag you want to add the decoration to one of the large outer fabric pieces.

what can go wrong: If your felt needs ironing do it before you cut the shapes out, I did mine after and they pulled out of shape so I had to trim them again to make them fit - doh!

felt trimming.jpg

Play around with your pieces until you are happy with the arrangement, I was/am a Tetris fan so it was important to me that the pieces fitted like they would in the game. Remember if a line is all filled in it disappears (and you get points!) so you need to leave gaps on every line.

Once you you are happy pin them centrally to the bag front piece.

preparing a tetris tote bag

I attached each piece by stitching it on with a zig zag stitch, I wanted the thread colours to match so I stitched all the yellow, then all the green etc changing the threads as I went. It was a bit of a fiddle but worth it.

stitch felt on.jpg
felt stitched.jpg
all stitched front.jpg

This is what the back looked like, I kind of like it!

I secured all the threads on the front by poking them all to the back with a needle, then tying them together in pairs.

knot on the back.jpg

Now make the bag

Once the decoration was on, I joined 2 outer piece by pinning them right sides together, then sewing down one side, along the bottom and back up the other side. Repeat with the lining pieces but leave a 3" gap at the bottom middle. 

main pieces pinned.jpg

This gap is important , you'll need this gap later.

Next make the handles

Join the handle pieces you cut out earlier in pairs by stitching the short edges. If you had more fabric and were able to cut longer strips you won't need to do this.

join short end.jpg

You should end up with 2 long thin strips of your main fabric and 2 of your lining fabric.

handle pieces.jpg

Pin 1 outer and 1 lining, right sides together, then stitch down the long edges.

pin handles.jpg

To turn them right side out, put a safety pin on the end and push through the tube...

safety pin.jpg

Just sort of bunch, them pull, then wiggle it through, go gently if your fabric is as fray-ee as my tea towel fabric.

turn handles.jpg

Press flat with the iron then top stitch if you want to. I like how it neatens it up. Make the other handle in exactly the same way.

handle top stitch.jpg

Now your handles are ready you can position them on the bag. Pin them to the outer bag, one handle on the front and one on the back, right sides together. Mine were 6cm in from the edge.

position handles.jpg

Turn this outer bag inside out again and turn the lining bag right side out. Insert the lining bag into the outer bag so the right sides are together.

lining into outside.jpg

Pin then stitch the two bags together along this top edge.

pin top.jpg

Pull the lining bag out and find that gap you left in the bottom edge. 

Now this is where the magic happens!

pull lining out.jpg

Gently  pull the whole bag through that hole till it's all right side out.

pull through.jpg
making a tetris shopping bag

Stitch the gap in the lining, either by hand or by top stitching on the sewing machine. Push the lining back inside the outer bag and Voilà! A beautifully lined bag - how cool is that!

Tetris design tote bag

I top stitched that top edge to neaten it and to strengthen where the handles join, but that is optional.

tetris bag hanging.jpg
tetris tote bag

I love how this bag turned out, it's a fun nod to one of my favourite games from back in the day!

new sig 1.png

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