Charm Pack Puff Tote Tutorial!

By Em & Bear, April 20, 2023

Have you ever made a puff quilt before? What about a puff tote bag? Our friend, Emily of Em & Bear, wrote a tutorial for you all to make your own! We are absolutely in love with how it turned out. Keep reading to see Emily's tutorial!

Reading Nook Puff Tote

A puff quilt was my first sewing project and the catalyst for my whole sewing journey. That said, even a baby size puff quilt can be quite the undertaking. That's why I decided to combine the fun fluffy style of the puff quilt, with a quick sewing project, a tote bag. And thus, the puff tote was born!

To make the puff tote you will need:

  • Charm Pack
  • (42) 4.5 inch squares of scrap fabric
    • these squares won't be seen in the final product so they can be any color/pattern scrap fabric you have. If buying new you will need 3/4 yard of fabric
  • 1/2 yard of lining fabric
  • 1.5 yards of strapping
  • Puff stuffing of your choice, I use Poly-Fil, a small bag will be plenty.

Part 1 - Sewing Puffs

  1. Place one 5-inch square on top of a 4.5-inch square with the right side facing up, lining up the top right corners of both squares.
  2. Using a scant 1/4-inch seam, sew a few stitches, pinch and pleat the 5-inch square so that the bottom of both squares are aligned, and continue sewing until you've reached the end of that side. The goal is to make the edge of the 5-inch square line up and fit with the 4.5-inch square.
  3. Repeat on 3 of the 4 sides of the squares leaving one side open.
    *If you need help with this step, reference this video from my Puff Quilt series on Tik Tok.

Part 2 - Layout

Arrange your puffs in the following layout ensuring that the open end of the puffs faces the same direction on every puff.

  • Row 1: (4) Puffs
  • Row 2: (4) Puffs
  • Row 3: (4) Puffs
  • Row 4: (4) Puffs
  • Row 5: (3) Puffs
  • Row 6: (4) Puffs
  • Row 7: (4) Puffs
  • Row 8: (4) Puffs
  • Row 9: (4) Puffs

Part 3 - Sewing Rows

  1. Place one puff on top of another right sides together. Ensure the opening of the puffs are both facing towards you as you align the puffs with your sewing machine.
  2. Using a true 1/4-inch seam, sew along the right side of the puff.
    *If you need help with this step, reference this video from my Puff Quilt series on Tik Tok.

Part 4 - Stuffing Puffs & Connecting Rows

  1. Starting with Row 1 add a handful of stuffing to each of the 4 puffs.
  2. Sew the puffs shut using a scant 1/4-inch seam. Be sure to add the final pleat as you sew the puff shut.
    *Refer back to Part 1 - Sewing Puffs of this blog for direction.
  3. Once all puffs are sewn shut, place Row 2 on top of Row 1 right sides together.
  4. Using a true 1/4-inch seam, sew the rows together.
  5. Repeat Steps 1-4 until all puffs have been filled and sewn together.

Puff Tote Tutorial
When at Row 5, align as shown in the video below to ensure proper alignment with the surrounding rows.

Part 5 - Assembling the Tote

  1. Fold your puffs right sides together so that Row 1 and Row 9 align.
  2. Using a true 1/4-inch seam sew along the left and right sides. This will result in a hole on both sides of the shorter Row 5. Puff Tote Assembly Diagram
  3. Grab both corners of the outer puff square on the bottom Row 5 and pull taut until the piece edges are aligned with each other and lay flat. Pin in place and sew using a 1/4-inch seam. The seam sewn in Step 2 should fall in the center of the puff square on Row 5. Puff Tote Assembly Diagram
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Measure the length and width of the inside of the puff tote and cut 2 lining pieces to this size.
  6. Place lining pieces right sides together and sew along the left, right, and bottom sides. Leave a gap in the bottom seam. 
  7. Create a tote sandwich with inside out puff outer piece, both strapping pieces, and right side out lining.
  8. Using 1/4-inch seam, sew completely around the top of the tote bag.
  9. Flip inside out through the hole in the lining.
  10. Stitch the lining hole shut with an 1/8-inch seam.
  11. Using a longer finishing stitch, top stitch around the opening of the tote 1/4-inch down from the top of the tote.

Part 6 - ENJOY!

Puff Tote Puff Tote