Easy to Make Insulated Water Bottle Tote

In an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle, many people are using refillable water bottles rather than buying water in plastic bottles. Thanks to the new information about the dangers associated with plastic bottles, this is a worthy trend. By creating an easy-to-make insulated water tote, you are able to keep your water cooler longer and protect your water bottle as well.

Pick Out the Fabric

This part is the most fun, for you can make the outside of your insulated water bottle tote out of literally anything In keeping with the whole reduce, reuse, recycle theme, making the tote out of something you have lying about the house, makes the project even more satisfying.

Pick Out the Padding

The padding is an important part of the insulated tote, for it serves the double duty of providing padding for the water bottle as well insulation to keep your water cool. You may be able to use something you already have around the house such as an old ironing board cover, or the old foam camping mattress that has lost its loft. If you don't have any of these kinds of things, your local fabric store should.

Measure the Water Bottle

The first step in making a tote is measuring your water bottle so you can create a pattern. Measure your water bottle's diameter and its height. Write down these measurements, then add 1 inch or 1 1/2 inches to each measurement for some leeway. This will allow you to use the tote for more than one water bottle, even if the bottles are different sizes. If the padding is especially thick, you may have to add even more to the measurements to allow the water bottle, or any water bottle, to fit inside.

Make the Pattern for the Bag

Cut open a paper bag so that you have one large sheet of paper. Use a ruler and a pencil to make a pattern from your measurements. Make a pattern for the bottom of the insulated tote. Place the bottle on the paper and trace around it. Draw the circle again so that it’s 1 or 1 1/2 inches larger (see above step), or find another container that matches the dimensions you need and trace around that.

Make the Pattern for the Strap

Decide how long you want the strap to be. If you like, you can measure the strap of a favorite purse and use that to make the pattern. Make a pattern out of brown paper using the strap's measurements.

Cut Out the Fabric

Lay the pattern on the padding and trace around it. Add ½ inch for a seam allowance. Fold the fabric you have chosen for the tote in half, right sides together. Place the pattern on top of the fabric and trace around it. Remember to add ½ inch for a seam allowance. Fold the fabric in half for the strap. Lay the pattern piece on the fabric for the strap, and trace around it. Add ½ inch for a seam allowance. You do not need to insulate the strap. Cut out the fabric and the padding for the tote.

Sew the Sides of the Tote Together

Lay the fabric for the tote on the table, right sides together. Lay the padding on top and pin the pieces together. Sew along the top and the bottom, but leave the sides open. Turn the body of the tote right side out so that the padding is in the middle. Pin the unfinished sides together; sew them.

Make the Bottom of the Tote

Make the bottom of the tote for the water bottle. Lay one of the fabric pieces for the bottom right side down. Lay the padding on the fabric, then lay the last fabric piece on top of that so it is right side up.

Sew the Tote Together

Pin the bottom to the body of the tote. Sew them together. Turn the tote right side out so that all the seams are on the inside.

Sew the Strap

Pin the two fabric pieces for the strap so that they are right sides together, then sew them together along the sides. To turn the strap right side out, attach a safety pin to one end of the strap and feed it through the middle until it comes out the other side. Tuck the unfinished ends of the strap inside and sew them closed. Sew the strap securely to the inside top of the tote.


About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.