How to Make a Shopping Bag – DIY Grocery Bag Tutorial

DIY Grocery Bag: A How-To Guide

The next time you’re in line at the grocery store, you won’t have to decide between paper or plastic. Instead, you’ll be rocking your very own DIY grocery bag. As climate change and government policies continue to update themselves, you can be ahead of the curve by learning how to make reusable grocery bags. Making your DIY shopping bag doesn’t require a ton of skill, and you can make a statement by choosing a grocery bag pattern that fits your personality.

To guarantee that you make durable DIY reusable grocery bags, here are six steps on how to make a shopping bag.

Tools and Materials Needed

First, you need to gather some simple tools and material that will act as your reusable grocery bag pattern. You can find material at any craft shop, or if you’re really trying to be eco-friendly, you can upcycle material that you have around the house. If you have a t-shirt that you love but isn’t wearable anymore, why not make it into your folding grocery bag pattern? Have an old pillowcase that has a fantastic print on it?  It’s time to grab the scissors. If you’re looking for a more durable reusable shopping bag pattern, you might want to pick a pair of denim jeans that are stuffed in the back of your closet. At the end of the day, the beauty of crafting your own DIY grocery bag is that you won’t be adding to a landfill.

You’ll need the following items to start crafting your own grocery bag:

  • An old grocery bag (this will act as your shopping bag pattern)
  • 1 Yard of Fabric 1 Yard of Lining Fabric
  • High-tensile Thread
  • Sewing Scissors
  • Sewing Pins
  • Iron with Ironing Board
  • Sewing Machine (optional)

Step 1 – Measure and Cut

The first step is the most critical, because as the old saying goes, measure twice, cut once. Unless you have vast swaths of material, you’ll want to take your time measuring out your DIY grocery bag. If you plan on using new fabric, take the time to pre-shrink it first, as you’ll want to wash your reusable bag eventually.

You can use an old bag you have lying around the house and deconstruct it for the bag’s pattern. Use this as the pattern to cut out four shapes of fabric. Two will act as the interior lining, while the other two will be the bag’s exterior.

When cutting out the pieces, make sure you leave enough material to create a hem. These will be the selvage ends. You can also align your fabric to reduce the number of cuts you need to make, saving you time and a little energy when creating your DIY grocery bag.

Step 2 – Sew the Sides

Now is the time for the needle and thread. Using sewing pins, you want to fix the external pieces together with the exterior sides facing each other (during this part of the process, you’re constructing the bag inside-out.) After the edges are lined up, sew them together on both sides and along the bottom. Then, repeat this process for the internal lining.

After everything has been stitched up, you’ll want to use the sewing scissors to trim off any additional material to reduce any potential clunkiness, allowing for nearly a half-inch of extra fabric. After you’ve finished this portion, you already have a container of sorts and will see the bag start to take shape.

Step 3 – Sew on the Straps

Using excess material from the pattern of your DIY grocery bag or more durable fabric, you then want to add the straps. Measuring from the center point of the bag, pin the ends of the handles three inches away from the center on both sides. With the ends in place, sew across the strap, making four passes about a quarter of an inch from the fabric’s edges. Repeat this on the other side for the second strap.

Step 4 – Attach the Interior Lining

After the handles have been fixed to the bag, it’s time to attach the lining. With the exterior portion of the bag still inside-out, slip the lining, right side out, around it. Using pins to keep it in place, sew the lining to the exterior pattern. Keep in mind to avoid sewing the bag completely shut!

You can now flip the bag to be right side out.

Step 5 – Top Stitch

With your DIY grocery bag finally looking like a proper bag, it’s time for the topstitch. Folding the seam allowances, topstitch around the top of the bag, the lining, and the handles, creating a tight seal.

Step 6 – Press

To make your DIY grocery bag look less DIY, you’ll want to finish it off with a nice press. Using the iron and ironing board, go over your brand new reusable grocery bag to give it that perfect finish.

Custom Tote Bags from Imprint

If you want a faster route to a customized grocery bag, you can rely on Imprint. We offer custom tote bags that have been constructed from recycled material in a variety of colors and styles. To get your eco-friendly and personalized grocery tote, contact us today.

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