Free Design of the Month: Embroidered Tissue Tote

January 1, 2020By Joanne BankoFree Design of the Month, Projects, Sewing 44 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

This embroidered tissue tote is super easy to make! It comes in handy for everyday use and travel too! Our Brother Free Design of the Month is just the right size to accent the opening at the center. Look closely and you’ll see that it’s a scrolling design with a heart shaped motif in the middle. It’s designed so the lining peeks out as trim along the opening. You can coordinate your thread color with your lining fabric for an elegant look. This useful tissue holder is a great item for gift exchanges, craft tables, wedding party favors, you name it! Are you ready? Let’s go sew!

Materials and Supplies

  • Brother sewing and embroidery machine with 4-inch hoop capability. Note: This project features a combination design stitched in a 4-inch hoop.
  • Brother Embroidery Thread, Bobbin Thread, and size 11 embroidery needle for embroidering.
  • Basic Sewing notions including thread to match fabric and a removable marker or chalk.

Fabrics for tissue holder:

  • One piece of single faced, pre-quilted fabric measuring 8-inches square for outside of tissue tote.
  • One piece of cotton fabric measuring 8-inches wide 6-inches long for lining tissue tote.
  • Travel size package of tissues.

Brother Free Design of the Month:

Note: Here is a direct link to the design on iBroidery.
Note: Machine used for this project is the Brother NS1750D with Edit mode for creating a combination design.

Steps to Create Tissue Holder

1. Transfer design to machine. Create a combination design with two motifs facing one another, spaced approximately ¾-inch apart. Figure #1.

Figure #1

2. Center pre-quilted fabric in 4-inch hoop and embroider the combined design. Note: With pre-quilted fabric and a lightweight design, no additional stabilizer was necessary. See enhanced photo in Figure #2.

Figure #2

3. Remove fabric from hoop, washout markings, and press. Cut embroidered piece in half, cutting directly on the center line. With design centered on the edge of the strip, trim each half to equal a length of 6-inches. When cut, each half piece should measure 4-inches wide X 6-inches long.
4. Set up machine for sewing. Place the two halves right sides together and pin along the edge opposite the embroidery. See Figure #3.

Figure #3

5. Using a ½-inch seam allowance, sew along the 6-inch edge to form a bottom seam. Press seam open. Select lining piece and prepare to finish your tissue tote. You only have a few more steps to go. See both pieces below:

6. Layer embroidered piece with lining, right sides together and raw edges matching. Observe that the lining is now larger than the outer piece. This allows for a mock binding effect at the opening of the tissue holder. See Figure #4a and Figure #4b.

Figure #4a
Figure #4b

7. Sew these two edges using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and press flat. See both sides in Figure #5a and Figure #5b.

Figure #5a
Figure #5b

8. With embroidered side facing up, fold long edges toward the center. Pin along short ends. See Figure #6.

Figure #6

Next, sew both short ends using a ¼-inch seam allowance, stitching the seams twice for durability. Use an overcast stitch to finish the seams. See Figure #7.

Figure #7

Turn right side out and press. Insert a travel size package of tissue to finish. See below:

Options and ideas:

  • Customize the holder by adding initials, a name, or a special message. You can add this to the top or the bottom of the tissue tote.
  • Download the instructions here.


  • Hi Dolly!

    Congratulations on entering the exciting worl of machine embroidery! I’d love to help you get started but first I need to know the model number of your machine. Let me know here in the comments and we’ll get back to you.

      • Hi Marlece,

        Brother model SE600 has a USB port on the side of the machine so you can use portable USB media to transfer the design. There are many that will work. Brother has a specific list of compatible media here:
        Computers and operating systems can vary but here are some general directions for transferring the design to your machine:
        Start by clicking on the blue link in this project to download the design to your computer. It should go directly into your download folder. Once the USB media is plugged into your computer you can transfer the design from the download folder to the USB. There are a few ways to do this. My preferred method is to right click on the design and select Copy. Next, open the USB media, right click again, and then click Paste. Now eject the USB from your computer. Put the USB media into your machine, and then touch the USB icon on the face of the machine to retrieve the design.

        Let us know if you need any more help with this. Happy Sewing!

    • Hello Clovis!
      Glad you liked this. Using pre-quilted fabirc makes it fast and easy, plus it looks nice on the inside too. I hope you get time to make some.

    • Hi Beal!
      Thanks so much for leaving a comment 🙂 The mock binding gives this a pop of color and it’s nice to coordinate the embroidery thread with the fabirc. As far as boxing the corners, the pre-quilted fabric I used isn’t very bulky so you should be okay. However, you may have to play with the size a little as the boxing would change the dimensions. In the past I have made some tissue totes with the boxed corners but this one is my super fast version.

    • If you box the corners, it will make the size of the tissue holder smaller. Tissues probably wouldn’t fit inside. You could enlarge the size of the pattern but that would take a bit of time to figure out how much to enlarge it.

      • Yes! You are correct Joyce. Boxing means the piece will need to be enlarged. These questions have prompted me to work on version two of this tissue holder. It will feature boxed corners and one other little “extra embellishment. Stay tuned!

    • Hello Linda!
      It’s nice to know you liked the design. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment! Happy sewing 🙂

  • Joanne,
    I am also new to the embroidery scene and am looking for ways to increase my knowledge and skill. I have the PE750D with a ped basic card reader system. Would I download the pattern online and transfer it to the card then insert it into the machine.

    • Hello Pam!

      Congratulations! You have started on a new and fun journey exploring the world of machine embroidery! Let me help you get this design to your machine so you can start stitching. Here are the steps you need to follow:
      1. Click on the blue link within these instructions to download the free design to your computer. It should go directly into your downloads folder and the file name will be Free Design_January_2020_Small Heart Scroll.pes.
      2. Open the PED-Basic software on your computer. Search for the file you downloaded and select it as the pattern you wish to send to the card. Click on the little card image at the lower portion of the PE-Basic window displayed on your computer. The design will go to the card and then you can take the card to your machine and insert it.
      3. On the screen of your embroidery machine you’ll see a matching card icon. Touch that and you will be able to retrieve the design and stitch it out.

      Note: If you need to view the full manual for your PED-Basic, you will find it here on the Brother support site:

      Let us know if you need any more help 🙂

  • I also am new to embroidering… How do you get two images? I know you’ll have to mirror them, not quite sure how to do that… Thanks

    • Hi Dotte,
      Congratulations on getting started with embroidery. You are in for a whole lot of fun!

      The mirror image key on the machine looks like a triangle that was cut in half and placed side by side. If you can set two designs on the layout screen of your machine at one time you can bring in the first design, move it so it’s about ½-inch from the center line and then proceed to bring in the second design. Use the mirror image key to flip the second design and then move it over so it is spaced just like the first one. See Figure #1 in the instructions.

      If you don’t have the ability to see two designs on your embroidery screen at once, I would suggest you select the first design, move it to the left and then stitch it out. You could use the grid on the screen of the machine to see where to move the design, or simply count how many finger taps you use to move it away from the center. Leave the fabric in the hoop and then mirror image the second design, move it the same distance away from the center, and stitch it out. You may want to practice on a scrap of fabric to get the hang of this process.

      Let us know if you need any more help. Happy Sewing!

    • Hello Linda, You can get the free design one of two ways. If you go through the website and click on the image that says Free Design of The Month it will take you to the free download. I just checked and it’s working so I know you can find it there.

      In addtion, there is a link within the instruction file here on the blog. It’s highlited in blue and located just above the first image of the design. I hope this helps. Happy Sewing!

  • Did anyone else have trouble downloading the design? I’m relatively new to embroidery but I’ve downloaded many designs with no trouble. Thanks for any help.
    I have a Brother Quattro.

    • Hi Sue,

      To download the design you just need to click on the blue link. Near the beginning of the instuctions you’ll find one just above the image of the design and another one just below it. Let us know if you need any more help. Happy Sewing!

  • Where can i find tissue packs that open from the middle like this? All I find is tissues that open at the top now.

    • Hi Mary!

      The tissue packs I purchased at my local discount drug store are from a well known name brand. They measure approximately 4 1/2″ L X 2 1/2″ W X 1″ H. You are correct that they don’t have a center opening at the top but you could easily flip it to the bottom side and cut a slit down the center. I took a different route and simply took the tissues out of the package to place them in the tote. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Hi Bonnie,

      You can certainly use your 5″ X 7″ hoop. The fabric size listed in the instructions is for the 4-inch hoop so you can do one of two things. 1.) Simply cut a piece big enough to fit your hoop and then trim to the size listed in step 3 when finished. 2.) You could use an adhesive backed stabilizer such as Brother SA5815 or Brother SA5906 to hold the fabric piece in place in your 5 X 7 hoop. Remove stabilizer according to the packaged instructions when finished.

      You may want to consider getting a 4-inch hoop for your machine. In the long run this will help you save fabric, save stabilizer, and give you an easier time hooping items for smaller designs. It’s always a good idea to size your hoop to match your design, not only for economy’s sake but also to provide a nice tight hold on the fabric. Just a few things to think about. Happy Stitching!

  • Oh, I Like this. If I hadn’t read the instructions through before downloading it, I wouldn’t have realized that it didn’t take binding in the center. Looks very easy to make. Great stocking stuffer for ladies!

    • Thanks for leaving your thoughts here on the blog Gailete! This is a super easy project so you can make lots of them for gifts. Enjoy!

  • Thank you for the really cute pattern and design. I will make a few Christmas present with this pattern.

    • Hi Danielle!

      Thanks for leaving us a note. Glad to know you liked the project. It’s always fun to have quick and pretty gift items to make and give.

    • Hi Rosa,

      I designed this piece to have a “faux” binding look. The binding is actually the lining peeking out on the right side. You’ll see in figure #4b that the lining (printed fabric) is wider than the quilted piece. When you sew the seams along the two shorter edges, and then turn it to the right side the lining wraps over the seam allowance to create the look of binding. You could topstitch along this edge but you really don’t need to. You only have two more seams to sew and you’re finished with the tote. I hope this helps 🙂

  • I would like to have a PDF file, because I don’t always have the time to sew out or don’t have the fabric on hand that I like to use. Is it possible to have PDF files with the monthly Projects?

    • Hi Toni!

      Brother has added a PDF file for you to download. You’ll find it just above the final photo in the instructions. Happy Stitching!

    • Hi Carla,
      Thanks for reaching out with your question. You need to sew the two sides with the embroidery designs along the edge. These are the edges ones you see pinned in figure #4a and #4b. Happy Sewing!

  • As an FYI, this PES design file downloads as a ZIP file. So before or as you are transferring to your USB device, it needs to be unzipped. Win 10 contains a file to unzip. Simply right click, choose Extract All, then browse to choose your USB drive to send the file to.

    • Hi Laura!
      We’re so glad to hear that you completed the project. Good for you!!! Each time we try something new we learn something that will help us in the future. Thank you so much for leaving your comment and sharing your success!

  • Even though I have a large hoop capacity on my Brother Stellaire XE1, I still love doing small hoop embroidery the best. Thanks for the cute project, and Thank you Brother for the free download!

  • This was so easy to make. I think I am going to make some more for stocking stuffers. Thank you
    I wish I could leave a picture of it.

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