DIY Boxed Corners

I just finished the shopping tote I was making for my daughter-in-law to sell at her Fall Festival that I mentioned last week.  Which means I didn’t have time to write up a tutorial explaining the size or those pockets or any of the fun stuff I added.  

But here it is….

Shopping Tote, DIY boxed corners, #madewithfabric

Yeah, you’ve seen that fabric before.  And I still have enough for a couple more bags.  I wasn’t planning on using this fabric but I messed up the first tote I made and didn’t want to go to the local fabric store and get more.  “Local” for me is a 35 minute drive.  Add the return trip and the hour I spend browsing–half a day is gone!  And I had a deadline–which, by the way was Saturday and I missed it!  I’ll be making a drive to Tampa to deliver the bag today.  

The outside of the bag has two water bottle pockets and a toggle with button for closure.  I used three fabrics–two coordinating from Premier Prints that I got from and a dark blue denim–plus muslin to line the pockets. 

Here’s the inside of the totel  There’s a key snap, phone pockets and a big pocket for your iPad.  I actually made the phone pockets bigger than usual since I saw the iPhone 6 and that sucker is huge!

Inside of toteWhile I’m not doing the tutorial for the bag, I thought I might explain “boxed corners”. 

Know what that is?  Boxed corners make the bottom of the bag nice and square. Well, square probably isn’t the right word since this is a rectangle but you probably get the idea.

The bottom is called a boxed corner. Because it’s nice and square. This is the exterior of the bag on the left and the interior on the right before I fit them together.

I used to do a different method and when I first stumbled across “boxed corners” on some anonymous blog, I found it a wee bit confusing.  So I practiced and checked out a lot of different blogs and now it’s really easy-peasy.  And they are very useful for totes, baskets, and even cushions.

So here’s the quick and easy and hopefully not as confusing explanation…..

I have a big rectangle lined with fleece, 41″ x 17″, I brought the two 17″ ends together and using 1/2″ seams sewed the one side and bottom. So now it’s 20″ wide by 17″ tall.

Inside out, of course. The bottom and side are already stitched, trimmed and finished.

Now it’s time to box the corners.  I’m doing the corner that’s in the upper right of the above picture.  Pick up the fabric and kind of tug that corner apart.  Put the side seam on top of the bottom seam.

I stick a pin in it to make sure I have the top seam lined with the side seam.

The “box” I am making is 8″ wide.  So I measure down four inches (half of the 8″ box) from the tip and then measure from side to side.  Should be 8″.  Make sure that the seams are lined up exactly–very important.  After I do the pinning I peek inside the box to make sure the seams are actually lined up.  


Mark the sewing line.

Marked line

And sew on the line.  I usually sew it twice for extra durability. 

Then cut that point off.  I zig zag the raw edge.

CornerDo the same for the other side.  And that’s it!

This is the entire bottom of the bag.
This is the entire bottom of the bag before I cut off the second corner.  Seems like a big waste of fabric, doesn’t it?

Here’s another look at the shopping tote I made.


 And eventually in one of these posts, I’ll let you know exactly how to figure out all the dimensions you need to calculate to get the exact size that you want your tote to be.  Do you remember when you told your Algebra teacher that you will never use those formulas in real life?  Well, this is an equation that I figured out and it works for all sizes of totes, boxes, and baskets.  And I’m going to add that Algebra was one of my favorite subjects. Seriously.

More to come!

2 thoughts on “DIY Boxed Corners

  1. Wow – you make that look so easy ! I love the Algebra comment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been cooking and pointed out to the kids that “I’m using fractions and RATIOS HERE, People !!…” Which isn’t algebra, but it’s math with an everyday application. I’ll be marking that upcoming post to show the kids as well.

Leave a Comment