Making Race Number Bibs Into a Tote Bag

Having done a number of running races, I’ve accumulated a pile of race bibs, as well as medals on various kinds of ribbon. I’m not one to stockpile things I’m not using and wondered what they might be good for after a while.

After repurposing some food and beverage wrappers into bags and other items, I thought these would make a cool tote bag as well.

I’m sharing instructions and photos for other crafty people who have been saving these up.  It’s a great way to put them to good use while creating a unique bag that brings back positive memories, and keeps materials that aren’t easily recycled out of landfills. (Race t-shirts are great material for bags you can make with one shirt easily and quickly)

1. Gather race bibs and ribbon from race medals, and an old tyvek envelope if you have one. Lay out race bibs in order to be sewn.

2. Sew together using a top-stitch zig zag (less likely to tear/perforate material than straight stitch on backsides in traditional sewing). I sewed mine into a continuous loop versus piecing together 4 sides, since I didn’t have the right number of rows to make 2 sets of even sides and maintain the zig zag stitch…and it’s easier and quicker.

3.  Fold resulting loop where desired to make the bag size you’d like. Most race bibs are tyvek-type material so they hold the fold, no iron needed.  If you can avoid putting the folds on the stitching lines, this will keep stress off the seams

4. Cut tyvek envelope, other scrap tyvek or more bibs to shape needed for bottom, allowing a little extra room for seam allowance and  any adjustments needed.

5. Pin bottom on and baste using a long top stitch length.

6. Cut ribbons and sew together to make length needed to cover bottom seam you’ve basted. Pin on, folding over top and bottom evenly, and sew with a top-stitch zig zag.

7. Cut and sew ribbons for handles. Attach where you have zig zag stitches and sew over the zig zag for a cleaner look, and less additional holes in the material.

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20 Responses to Making Race Number Bibs Into a Tote Bag

  1. Pingback: notorias.com » DIY: Race Bib Tote Bag

  2. Thank you for sharing. I have been wanting to make one of these for a long time. Now I’m going to give it a shot.

  3. Emily says:

    Cute idea, thanks! I have them all stacked up in a drawer just WAITING for something to do with them!

  4. Sarah says:

    I only have one race bib so far, but now I have a goal!! Great idea 🙂

  5. NorthernGirl says:

    Love it, perfect post-run tote to carry wipes, hand towel and change of clothes.

  6. Mary says:

    Such an awesome idea! And I love that the Ukrop’s 10K bib (based in my hometown) is displayed front-and-center. 🙂

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  9. Carolyn says:

    LOVE this idea, made my own and went to the Run Expo for the Around the Bay Road Race and even John Stanton commented on how cool it was. Needless to say I gave props to you and posted the link to the blog/instructions again so we could spread the cool idea around!

  10. Ali Mc says:

    I love it!!!! great idea 🙂 super creative.

    Ummmm did I just see you at the ATB expo with John Stanton????

  11. Pingback: Turn Your Old Bib Numbers Into A Something Useful | Fifth Third River Bank Run | Charity Partners

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