01 of 06
If you buy bagged pet food, rock salt, or any other items that come in large bags, you are also purchasing packaging that you can re-use once it's empty. This tote bag is a great re-use re-think kind of project that takes a used material and stops it from ending up in the landfill while creating a robust and durable bag that will be safe to use for years. Given the kind of material the bags are made of, it easily wipes clean, so it is no big deal if a grocery item leaks.
Continue to 2 of 6 below.
- An empty feed bag made from woven tarp-like material
- 1" wide webbing strap: two 18" to 20" pieces
- Double fold bias tape (optional)
- Sewing Machine
02 of 06
Prepare the Bag
First, you will need to trim the bag to the desired size.
Continue to 3 of 6 below.
- Flatten the bag as much as possible. Be careful to fold in the sides of the bag using the original creases.
- Cut the bag at the desired location, taking care to ensure that your cuts are perpendicular to the sides of the bag. You will want a bag area large enough to make a usable bag.
- Turn the bag inside out and thoroughly wipe down the material. Allow it to dry completely before sewing.
03 of 06
Sew the Bottom
When sewing the bottom of the bag, the first step is the sew the bottom seam. We recommend using bias tape to protect the seam and add durability.
Continue to 4 of 6 below.
- With the bag still inside out, lay it flat.
- Line up the bottom edges and sew a seam 1/4" from the edge.
- Zigzag the seam allowance edge so that the needle goes off the edge enclosing the "fabric" threads.
- For a secure seam that will hold a large number of groceries, enclose the bottom seam allowance in the double fold bias tape. Do not worry about enclosing the ends of the folded bias tape as the ends will be cut off in the next step.
04 of 06
Squaring the bottom makes the bag easier to pack and able to stand upright.
Continue to 5 of 6 below.
- Lay the bottom of the bag on the side seam, creating a triangle corner.
- Measure from the tip of the triangle up approximately 2" and sew across the bag as shown in the photo.
- Trim the seam allowance to 1/4".
- Turn under the end of a piece of double fold bias tape and enclose the end of the seam.
- Attach the bias tape, enclosing the opposite end as you did the beginning.
- Repeat for the opposite side of the bag.
- Turn the bag right side out and finger press the seams flat. Experiment with a wooden seam pressing bar to create sharp creases.
- Finger press the side fold lines to match the new corners of the bottom of the bag.
05 of 06
Hem the Top
Hemming the top edge will give your bag a clean, finished look
Continue to 6 of 6 below.
- Turn under 1/4" of the top edge to the inside of the bag.
- Turn under again to enclose the raw edge.
- Finger press well.
- Sew the hem in place, sewing as close to the inside hem edge as possible.
06 of 06
Attach the Straps
Finally, add the straps.
- On the outside top edge, decide on an even distance from each folded side edge for your strap placement, placing 1" of the end of each strap on the bag.
- Evenly place both straps, so both straps are in the same location on each side of the bag.
- Sew the straps in place by sewing a square on the 1" of the strap that is on the bag.