Add DIY pom poms to a basic straw tote, and you’ll have an adorable and affordable summer bag. This is a quick and easy craft project to do during the summer. Tutorial and step-by-step photos below.

DIY straw tote

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Last week, my family had the pleasure of vacationing in Destin, Florida, where the water was crystal clear, the sand was soft, and fun was had by all. While we were there, we took a day trip to the picturesque town of Seaside. I knew within minutes that Seaside was going to be my new happy place. It’s a quaint little beach town full of galleries and cute shops that I would have happily spent hours exploring…if I weren’t accompanied by two little girls who only had eyes for ice cream and the beach.

I did manage to spend a few minutes browsing through an outdoor marketplace, where I was immediately drawn to this display of colorful straw totes adorned with brightly colored pom poms.

pom pom totes

I loved the texture and fun pop of color that the pom poms gave to the otherwise ordinary totes. But when I saw the price tags ranging from $60 – $75, I didn’t think I could quite justify the purchase. My inner crafter, who has been asleep for the past few months, suddenly woke up and shouted, “I can totally make this for a LOT less!”

Since I have pom pom making experience (thanks to my daughters’ pom pom puppy kit), I knew that if I could find an inexpensive straw tote, I could make one just like the ones at the boutique. FYI: Assuming you don’t already own said puppy making kit, you can buy a cheap pom pom maker on Amazon or check out this pom pom making tutorial, which shows you how to make pom poms with simple household items like a fork and a toilet paper roll.

As soon as we got home from vacation, I went to work sourcing a bag for my project. A quick google search led me to this plain straw tote bag, currently on sale at Target for $22.99.


I also saw some cute options on Amazon and a few other stores around the web, so surely you can find a tote that works…and you might even score one for less than I did!

After I picked up my tote, I headed to a fabric store for some yarn. My daughter and I settled on a neon pink acrylic yarn, which cost only two dollars with a coupon.

As soon as we got home, I got to work making my pom poms. About 45 minutes later, I had this cute pom pom bag that only cost $25 to make and was every bit as cute as the $75 version.

pom pom tote

Here’s how to make your own pom pom tote:


  • 1 plain straw tote (preferably unlined)*
  • 1 pom pom maker (optional)
  • approximately X yards of yarn
  • scissors with thin blades

*Ideally you’ll want to try to find an unlined tote so that it’s easy to tie the pom poms on; however, if you have a lined one you’d like to use, you can simply cut small openings in the lining when you’re ready to tie on your pom poms.


Make pom poms according to the directions on your pom pom maker or via the tutorial I shared above.


Trim pom poms to desired size, leaving two long strings. Position the pom poms on the bag where you want them to go.

pom pom tote 3

Starting with the center pom pom, push the two strings through the holes in the straw, from the front to the inside of the bag. Tie the strings in a knot on the inside to secure.


Repeat with remaining pom poms, working from the middle out to ensure symmetry. Trim the strings on the inside, and your bag is done!

This project was so simple, and I absolutely love how it turned out. Now I’m wondering what else I can put pom poms on. My shoes, perhaps? The mailbox? I see a potential pom pom intervention in my future.

If you decide to make this project, I’d love to see your finished product! Share on Facebook or Instagram, and tag me in the photo. :)

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