In DIY/ Style

Weekend DIY: Lattice Tote


I’m so excited to share a faux leather tote I’ve been working on! When I came across this crazy cool DIY leather plant hanger on Design Sponge, it got my wheels turning as I loved the shapes that were created simply by making slits in the leather. Since we’re not huge indoor plant people (other than the baby fiddle leaf fig tree that we affectionately call “Figgy”), I used the technique as inspiration, and created a tote instead.

Of course the slits had to be smaller, more frequent and linear in order to be functional as a tote, and I love the unique texture they create! I made this baby in about 3 hours, which also included alot of experimentation. I bet it could actually be done in under two. A fun accessory for the autumnal days ahead!

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Materials List:

  • metal ruler
  • pen
  • exact-o knife
  • two 14″ x 14″ (or larger if you prefer) piece of vegan leather or genuine leather
  • sewing pins
  • coordinating thread

Special Equipment:

  • self-healing cutting mat
  • sewing machine


Step 1. Measure, draw, and cut with an exact-o knife, 1″ strip on two sides of each leather square.  These will be the straps of the bag.


Step 2. Draw a line 1/2″ in from the edge on three sides. Repeat with 2nd square. This is your seam allowance guide.


Step 3. Place the side of the square without the seam allowance mark at the top of your work surface.  Measure 4″ down from the top and draw a solid horizontal line. Below that line, draw 1-1/2″ staggered dashed lines every 1/2″ until you reach the bottom of the square. Repeat with the 2nd square.


Step 4. Place square on the cutting mat and using your exact-o knife and ruler, cut slits on the dashed lines. Repeat with 2nd square.

Step 5. Pin the “right” sides of the bag together so that the “wrong” side faces outward. Sew on the 3 seam allowance lines you drew in Step 2. Trim threads.


Step 6. Trim the two bottom corners at 45° angles.

Step 7. Turn the bag right side out, and use the wrong end of a pen (or anything pointy) to create square corners at the bottom of the bag.


Step 7. To create the strap, fold one end of the strip (that you cut in Step 1.) in half lengthwise and secure with pins. At the corner, trim the end at a 45° angle, to help reduce bulk. Fold over the other end of the strip and secure with pins to conceal the 45° angle. Repeat with 2nd strap.


Step 8. Sew along the cut edge of the strap at 1/8″ seam allowance. Repeat with 2nd strap.


Step 9. Next mark out where to insert the straps. Measure and mark 1-1/2″ down from the top and 3-1/2″ in from the left side. Measure and mark 1-1/2″ down from the top and 3-1/2″ in from the right side. Repeat with other side of the bag. Use sharp scissors to poke holes at these marks.

Step 10. Insert strap from the inside of the bag, through the hole, to the exterior, and tie a single fisherman’s knot to prevent the strap from slipping back through the hole. Repeat at 3 other holes.


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  • Sandi
    September 22, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I luv this!!! Quick and easy to make with big impact. I will be making this! I’m glad to see you are using the sewing machine.

    • francoisetmoi
      September 22, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Thanks Mom! You should. I am LOVING the sewing machine, now that I have “winding a bobbin” and “threading the machine” mastered, it’s much less intimidating!

  • Tutorial: Leather lattice tote – Sewing
    September 23, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    […] Weekend DIY: Lattice Tote, by Francois et Moi […]

  • shrapnelchic
    September 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Love this tutorial – just the summer bag I have been looking for!

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