No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat BlogHello!! I’m Janel from NellieBellie

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I’m excited to be here to show you my favorite way of adding something special to standard totebags! I use this method to make special bags for gifts and events. It gives them a custom look without all the muss and fuss!

All you need are a few simple and easy to find supplies, and you can make a fabulous ribbon applique:

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog


Tote Bag
Ribbon (wired ribbon will not work)
-I used Cameron and Dress Stewart Classic Tartan and Yellow Gold Lodge Plaid
Heat n Bond (I use the sheet version)
Iron or Hairdryer
optional: Temporary Adhesive

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

1- Cut a large sheet of Heat n Bond about the height and width you want your applique to be. Remove the backing.

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

2-Place your ribbon in strips on the sheet of adhesive. Use your iron to set it according to the directions.
(tip: use spray adhesive to temporarily stick the ribbon so that you can work with it)

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

3- Flip your sheet over and sketch your image on the back (remember that it will be a mirror image!).

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

4- Cut out your image.

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

5- Follow the directions on the adhesive and attach your image to the tote bag.

6- Optional: use fabric paint to outline your image and add elements to it.

No Sew Ribbon Applique Tote Bag - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

Now you have a darling, custom applique with very little work! You can use varying ribbon, images, and tote bags to customize your own bag. How darling!

Thank you Janel! What a fun and easy way to dress up a boring white tote bag. I love the cute dog you made out of ribbon. It would be so fun to use all kinds of images and different ribbon designs to dress up your bag. Thank you for sharing your talent with us today and for showing us how quickly you can transform a plain bag to an upcycled masterpiece!
For more awesome and innovative projects by Janel, visit her at NellieBellie where she shows how to create delicious recipes, organize your life, and become a Mrs. Fix It!

What a great bag! I absolutely love the dog image and idea of creating any image out of your favorite ribbon. The possibilities are endless with all of the different ribbon options to choose from and fun and easy images out there. You could create a star or flag for the 4th of July with our patriotic ribbon, a sweet heart with our Valentine’s Day ribbon, a lucky shamrock with our St. Patrick’s Day ribbon, or something sunny and bright for summer with ANY ribbon you want! We have every design you could imagine…pretty close anyway! 🙂

Thank you for joining us for another day of our Brilliant Bag Lady Series! I am having so much fun learning to create these adorable bags. Do you need a quick recap of the bags we have seen so far…

The Messenger Bag
Messenger Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

The Hailey Bag
The Hailey Bag Tutorial - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

And of course…our 20+ Brilliant Bag Round Up where we shared ALL of our existing and wonderful bag tutorials in one place!

What ribbon and image would you use to create a brand new tote bag? I would love to hear all of your ideas.

Happy Creating & Happy Bag Ladies!
Signature - The Ribbon Retreat Blog

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  1. Posted January 15, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    This is really cool!
    A great way to use up small bits of leftover ribbon

    • Posted January 16, 2014 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Hi Lisa! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your sweet comment! I love the idea of using up your ribbon scraps for this cute bag! Great idea! Have a wonderful rest of your day! Michelle 🙂

  2. Posted January 7, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    This is the cuttiest tote bag that I have ever seen 😀
    Thank you for sharing. I will definitely give it a try.

    I love how you do the handle, that is so neat!

    • The Ribbon Retreat
      Posted January 9, 2015 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Hi J.B.! Thank you so very much! I am so glad that you love this fun bag! I hope you give it a try! Good luck and have a wonderful day! Michelle 🙂

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