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9 Handbag and Tote Bag Designs on a Budget

Handbags are the ultimate fashion accessory, but there’s no reason why they should cost more than your entire outfit. If you’re looking for arm candy that won’t break the bank, here are nine budget-friendly handbag and tote bag designs, easily made with Aleene’s Glues.

Tassel and Pom-Pom Embellished Handbags

Starting off our list of affordable tote bag designs are fun and fuzzy embellished handbags. Brighten up any simple straw bag or clutch by attaching your favorite color pom-pom trims and tassels with Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive and Aleene’s Super Fabric Adhesive. Three cheers for your newest accessory, not to mention all the money you just saved!

Easy Clear Handbag Makeover

Full transparency, this stadium bag is the best option for music-lovers who’d rather spend money on concert tickets than accessories. To begin, choose a see-through handbag or fanny pack, then use Aleene’s DIY Craft Super Glue Gel to apply faux pearls, crystals, or any other bling of your choice. Who has the most festive, functional bag at the music festival? You do, clearly. 

Color Block Summer Tote

This DIY project is one of the easiest on our list! Grab a bag with sturdy handles, select some yarn in a few of your favorite hues, and apply color blocking with Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. Add a couple flowy pom-poms and tassels for the final touch, and you’re all set for summer!

DIY Applique Tote

Keep money in your pocket and plastic off the planet by freshening up your reusable canvas totes with this inexpensive DIY applique technique. Choose any inspirational word or phrase that energizes or motivates you (or anyone else who might read it!) and simply apply using Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. Your new bag is ready to rock as is, or you can opt to add more detail with fabric markers. It’s TOTE-ally up to you!

No-Sew Patchwork Bag

Great news - the buzz around town is that patchwork on clothes and accessories is an upcoming trend. Get the look without breaking the bank by following this no-sew patchwork bag tutorial! Aleene’s Fabric Fusion makes it super easy to try this cute, quilted technique out on other items like jackets and jeans, too! 

No Sew DIY Denim Clutch

Just like your favorite pair of Levis, denim bags have that relaxed fit that suit any style or budget. Breathe new life into old jeans by creating this no-sew (and practically no-dough!) denim clutch using scissors, a zipper, clothespins, and Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. Following the simple step-by-step guide, you can pattern out and seam up your clutch, which features a zip-pouch, an external pocket, and a cute little hem loop to boot!

No-Sew Pom-Pom Waist Pack

Don’t waste your money on expensive waist packs! Just snip a bit of pom-pom, lace, ribbon, or any other festive trim, and apply the strip onto a basic pack using Aleene's Quick Dry Fabric Fusion. This bargain-lover’s bag really packs a punch in the personality department. 

Trim-Embellished Canvas Tote

Here’s one of our easiest low-cost tote bag designs featuring Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Tape. Spruce up any standard canvas tote by applying a few fun and frilly strips of trim over our adhesive tape strips. No mess, no fuss, and no dipping into your savings account!

DIY Upcycled Purse

Remember that purse you went gaga for a few seasons ago but feel kinda blah about now? Or maybe your favorite bag got soooo much use, it’s starting to show signs of old age, like stains and scuffs. Instead of spending beaucoup bucks on a new bag, try this quick DIY upcycle approach using Aleene’s Super Fabric Adhesive and any rhinestones, studs, or gems that are speaking your current style love language. Whether you’re freshening up or covering up, this upcycle hack will have you going gaga all over again!

Who says knock-offs can’t be knock-outs? Be sure to post pics of all the stunning tote bag designs you try and tag us on social @aleenesdiy.