DIY Ikea Signe Rug Bag

It’s been years since I’ve stepped foot into an Ikea. I’m sure it’s because at some point in my twenties, I finally swore off ever having to assemble another dresser with a hex key again. Never again. After my first real job, there was a lot of pride in thinking I was above build-it-yourself furniture, paper lanterns, plastic waste baskets and Swedish meatballs. Oh, how out of touch I’ve been. My recent visit to Ikea set off a hundred lightbulbs and I was probably most excited when I came across a huge bin of $3.99 woven rugs. Hello!! This is what I’ve been missing out on? DIY, DIY, DIY, DIY. The Signe rug is far too small for its intended use. It is, however, the perfect size for so many other things, including a large market tote. Bingo. After brining home the rug in every color way (I had forgotten how you always spend more than you plan to at Ikea), I experimented and created the easiest method to creating the perfect summer beach bag. And just you wait, there will be many more Ikea inspired tutorials (or should I say “hacks”) coming soon!

You’ll need:

Start by ironing your rug flat with an iron on a steam setting. After the rug is dry fold the ends in about 2 inches and pin them in place.

After each end is folded in, sew a straight line right above the fringe. Because the rug is so thick, you’ll want to use a heavy duty, leather sewing needle.

Also, because the material is so weighty, you might want to use your hand to guide the rug underneath the machine’s foot so that the rug doesn’t misalign. Once both sides are sewn, fold the rug in half with the fringe sides facing in.

Now sew the vertical edges together. When you get to the top, over the folded section, you might want to guide your machine manually if the machine is having a hard time getting through the thickness.

Once both vertical sides are sewn, pinch the bottom corners and pin them in place.

Sew the corners, using the vertical lines of the rug as a guide. Repeat on the other side.

Turn the bag right side out. See how sewing that corner give you a nice tailored frame?

Now it’s time to reinforce the edges. I also like using the vertical lines of the rug as a guide here. Sew the edges together, with the smallest hem you can leave. Here, I’m about 1/8″ from the edge.

You can stop sewing right before you get to the fringed fold.

Add the leather handles by first threading your needle with waxed linen cord. Tie the end of the cord into a double knot and pull the needle from the bottom of the bag, through one of the pre-punched holes of the strap.

Make your first stick and bring the needle back up, skipping a stich. And then back down, completing the stitch. This is called a back stitch.

Continue doing the back stitch until you’ve sewn the entire base of the strap to the top of the bag. Repeat on the rest of the sides.

Add a couple of tassels and voila, you just turned a $3.99 bag into a cute (and sturdy) tote!

(images by HonestlyWTF & Andrea Posadas)

Leave a Comment

53 Comments

  1. Kay wrote:

    Such a cute bag! I love rustic and eco-friendly bags like this <3

    https://www.myblackcloset.com/

    5.10.17
    Reply
  2. Making a bag from a rug — genius! It looks really professional.

    5.10.17
    Reply
  3. Rita Kate wrote:

    I am way older than you and have passed the age of putting together furniture. Except bookcases. But the accessory department is too good to miss.

    5.10.17
    Reply
  4. The bag is very ethnic and beautiful when used for women to travel. The simple and elegant design is also very creative. I like it very much
    http://www.travel-umroh-haji.com/2017/03/paket-umroh-ramadhan-2017.html

    5.10.17
    Reply
  5. Bi wrote:

    Super! AS usual))

    5.10.17
    Reply
  6. Lorena wrote:

    Superb idea. Looks amazing.

    5.10.17
    Reply
  7. Michelle wrote:

    This is so cool, wow!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

    5.10.17
    Reply
  8. thiscache wrote:

    Oh my god. I was just thinking of doing something like that the other day while I was at IKEA. I never got round doing it though. Hahaha procrastination at its best.

    http://thiscache.blogspot.com

    5.10.17
    Reply
  9. Mmm, food for thought with this bag. Check out mine….

    5.10.17
    Reply
  10. Jane wrote:

    Cool! It looks awsome with your red shirts!

    5.10.17
    Reply
  11. veronica wrote:

    seriously can’t wait to make this!!! will definitely pick up some rugs this weekend (maybe even some cacti)! the plant section at ikea always gets me!
    : )

    http://vintagezuhause.etsy.com

    5.11.17
    Reply
  12. Olivia wrote:
    5.11.17
    Reply
  13. Shelley wrote:

    Love the ethnic, boho vibe! Very creative and great for the beach.
    https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/EarthChildArt?ref=hdr_shop_menu

    5.12.17
    Reply
  14. Sam wrote:

    Love this. Makes me want to run over to Ikea today! 🙂

    5.13.17
    Reply
  15. This looks amazing, I don’t have the patience to try it out but wow this is absolutely awesome
    City Style and Living: The Editors Notebook | Instagram

    5.13.17
    Reply
  16. Charlotte wrote:

    The bag looks so highend with the reinforced stitching and leather handles! In awe of your DIY skills!

    Charlotte
    http://www.deconstrut.com

    5.14.17
    Reply
  17. Roxana wrote:

    PLEASE, I am desperate to know where I could find your patio door handle hardware or at least something similar?! I first noticed them in your kitchen/antique rug post and I’d love to know! Also, what paint colour is on the door frame? Looks either black or dark blue? Absolutely love your blog and your impeccable taste in everything 🙂

    5.14.17
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Roxanna our doors and handles are from Loewen. And the paint color Universal Black from Benjamin Moore. It has the slightest blue hue! Hope that helps!

      5.14.17
  18. Hi Erica,
    As part of my May column about sewing trends for Sew, Mama, Sew!, I’d love to share one of your projects. I will share one photo and link to both your project and your main blog address. (you can see past trends posts here: http://www.sewmamasew.com/?s=sewing+trends

    As per my agreement with SMS i do need your express permission to use one of your photos, so if you’d like to be included, please respond ASAP.

    thank you!
    Kelley

    5.15.17
    Reply
  19. Wow, this bag looks absolutely stunning! I’d have never guessed that it was made from a rug! It has some serious style and I am quite jealous!
    I have to be on the lookout on my next trip to IKEA – maybe I get lucky and come across a similar rug 🙂

    Awesome DIY – lots of love,
    Smarty

    5.16.17
    Reply
  20. Heather wrote:

    This is why I need to leard how to use my sewing machine. Still not totally convinced I should ever set foot again in Ikea, but loving what you did.

    5.17.17
    Reply
  21. Heather wrote:

    I meant learn… duh. Beautiful work!
    etsy.com/shop/squirrelis

    5.17.17
    Reply
  22. I love how you folded the edge over to create the extra detail! So cute. It’s such an incredible idea! I love a DIY purse.

    5.19.17
    Reply
  23. Oh wow this is gorgeous! I wish I was that talented!

    5.23.17
    Reply
  24. unomers wrote:

    This is truly amazing. I want them!

    http://www.escorts2u.com

    5.23.17
    Reply
  25. Irene wrote:

    I finalized my bag today and it turned out great even though I’m quite a bad seamstress. I’ve used cheaper cotton belt straps as handles which gives the bag a more casual look.
    Thank you for this fantastic tutorial!!!
    Greetings from Austria,
    Irene

    6.28.17
    Reply
    • Erica wrote:

      @Irene wonderful!! I wish I could see it! So glad you attempted to make the bag.

      6.28.17
  26. bubble am wrote:

    Very simple. From a scarf can make a very nice bag, just by simple seams. I definitely have to try to make myself a product like this. Thanks for your suggestions.
    bubble am, ludo king

    7.16.17
    Reply
  27. Jen wrote:

    Where is that coat hook from??? Love it

    7.25.17
    Reply
  28. anotox wrote:

    Nowadays, such situations occur, you have to get used to it.
    http://www.ukescort.com

    8.28.17
    Reply
  29. The bag is very ethnic and beautiful when used for women to travel. The simple and elegant design is also very creative. I like it very much

    9.8.17
    Reply
  30. My-mannequins wrote:
    9.11.17
    Reply
  31. Candice wrote:

    Hello! I have made 4 bags as Christmas gifts this year! So pleased with how they are turning out. The only hiccup is sewing the handles on. I have broken two needles and having trouble finding stronger ones that still go through the holes smoothly. Any suggestions?

    12.10.17
    Reply
  32. Very nice tutorial! I will try it at home expecting to be part of my money machine. Thanks for sharing, Erica…!

    1.21.18
    Reply
  33. This splendid that bag, easy to carry and magnificent end result. I’ll try one out.

    3.6.18
    Reply
  34. yify wrote:

    Well, this is my first visit to your blog! Your blog provided us valuable information .You have done a marvelous job

    3.27.18
    Reply
  35. Dearlives wrote:

    Fashionable bag it is! So great sewing tutorial it is!

    5.3.18
    Reply
  36. OMG are you KIDDING ME! I basically live at IKEA and have never come across these rugs. The tutorial is genius! Could you use a more-regular sized rug and create a weekend tote with it?

    I love the way you kept the rough edges and created a cool detail with it. Very smart.

    5.9.18
    Reply
  37. Lisa wrote:

    Erica:
    I so very much love, love, love, this DIY tote bag!!!
    So much so, I jumped onto the source you listed for the handles and ordered 3 sets for myself!
    YIKES!!!!!!!!
    Today they arrived, but be AWARE, though they are advertised as 23″ HANDCRAFTED GENUINE LEATHER but are actually low-quality vinyl and rubber AND MADE IN CHINA!!!
    I’m so disappointed and now trying to get return /refund instructions from the source.

    Erica, are your handles real leather as the source advertised?
    Love your style, sorry to be a bummer on your great DIY source!!
    ~Lisa

    5.9.18
    Reply
  38. html color wrote:

    Wow! Changing a rug to a cute bag! Thank you for sharing the tutorial! I will definitely try it. The bag is also cute.

    5.10.18
    Reply
  39. Carol wrote:

    I love the tassel detail. Such a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

    5.10.18
    Reply