Where we come from, grocery stores have begun charging a small fee for plastic bags in an effort to cut down on their use and lower their potential to damage the environment. We were already bigger fans of bringing tote bags from home anyways, but we’ve used this new initiative as an excuse to start being even more proactive about that by making our own instead of buying them! Making tote bags turned out to be a lot of fun, so now we’re always on the lookout for kinds we haven’t tried before.
If you’re feeling just as enthusiastic as we were, if not more, about the idea of making your own reusable grocery bags, check out these awesome ideas, designs, and tutorials that we’ve come across so far in our search for inspiration and guidance!
1. Pet food sack grocery tote
Are you a pet owner who likes to buy your pet’s food in bulk, hauling those very large bags of kibble home from the store? Well, those bags might not have been the first thing on your list of home wares to upcycle, but they’re actually a great tool for it! This awesome tutorial from The Renegade Seamstress that shows you how to turn one into a reusable grocery bag is the perfect example of what we mean.
2. Free reusable grocery bag sewing pattern
Are you actually a total beginner when it comes to the world of sewing but you’re intent on learning, so you’re still feeling determined to make a fabric based tote rather than a paper one like you saw above? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at how My Golden Thimble outlines this simple pattern that also gives you a bit of easy practice in patterning out, cutting, and assembling pieces.
3. Fabric colour blocked grocery bag with durable handles
Perhaps you’ve got a little more experience in the world of sewing than what we mentioned previously and you’d rather making something vert strong and durable, even if it’s a bit more of a challenge to piece together than the first pattern? In that case, we have a feeling you’ll get along a little better with something like this colour blocked grocery bag with layered handles for reinforcement. Sew 4 Home has all the details you’ll need to make it happen.
4. DIY canvas contrasting grocery bag
Are you actually all for the idea of making a very simple bag but you’d rather a wider and slimmer shape because you find that the things you tend to carry from the store always fit better in that format than the smaller square ones like you’ve seen so far? Then we’re pretty sure Sew Guide has just the kind of thing you’re looking for! Check out their tutorial to find a full pattern and instructions.
5. Crocheted plarn eco-friendly grocery bag
If you’re a crochet enthusiast with a stash of leftover plastic bags at home that you saved from previous grocery trips instead of throwing them out, then you’ve already got just about everything you need to make this next kind of bag from Etsy Journal! Their tutorial shows you not only how to crochet a usefully sized tote bag, but also how to make “plarn”, or plastic bag yarn, and create the bag out of that rather than regular yarn! Talk about reusing and recycling.
6. Capri Sun grocery tote
Are you feeling rather intrigued now by this whole concept of making a grocery tote out of something upcycled that might otherwise have gone in the trash, but you don’t have a pet or a plastic bag stash? Well, if you’ve ever been a fan of juice packets, then we think you simply must take a look at how A Few Shortcuts made this tote bag from the empty Capri Sun pouches that their kids finished in their school lunches!
7. Large pillow case tote bag
Bags and food packets aren’t the only thing you can upcycled in order to make a useful grocery tote, of course. If you’d rather work with something softer that needs repurposing, reach for that pile of old pillow cases you’ve been considering either turning into cleaning rags or donating! I Can Find The Time shows you how truly simple it is to turn into a grocery bag that’s easy to carry.
8. Old t-shirt shopping bag
Did we almost catch your attention when we started talking about the idea of turning something fabric based that you already had at home into a tote bag but you’re just not sure you have any spare pillow cases right now? Then maybe you’d have better luck reaching for that pile of old t-shirts instead! Check out this tutorial on Martha Stewart to see how they transformed a simple shirt into a useful tote for groceries.
9. Lined, durable, and reusable grocery bag
Just in case you’re still looking for a slightly more advance fabric tote pattern because you know yours will get a lot of use and you want to make sure it’s as durable as possible, here’s a pattern that teaches you to make one with a double lining, strong corners, and good handles! Get the full details for trying it out yourself on The Spruce Crafts.
10. Sturdy knitted market bag
Have we actually really got you thinking about the idea of yarn bags after all our talk of crocheting plarn but you’ve always been more of a knitter than an expert with a crochet hook? In that case, we think you’ll be quite relieved indeed to learn that a knitted grocery tote is totally a thing you can make, and that it’s a lot of fun to do! Get the full pattern for this lovely piece on Knitting Patterns Galore.
11. Simple sewn reusable grocery bag for beginners
Just in case you’re still feeling very intent on making your own home sewn grocery bag but it will literally be your first project and you’re just not sure that any of the beginner’s designs we’ve show you so far will be quite easy enough, here’s a pattern that’s the absolute simplest it’ll get and totally doable for you! EasyToSew is here to walk you through it step by very simple step, the whole way.
12. Square shaped reusable tote
Have you actually found yourself feeling quite intrigued indeed by the idea of making a square shaped grocery tote but you can’t help wondering whether there might be an even bigger and even more square option out there, since you tend to do a lot of grocery shopping at once? In that case, we think this tutorial from Free Quilt Patterns by Stashify that teaches you how to make a large square shaped tote with a flat bottom might be a little more up your alley!
13. Reusable bag with wide straps
Are you the kind of person who tends to carry rather heavy things, like milk or juice, home from the grocery store on your shoulders and you find that the straps of the bag are always just thin enough to start feeling like they’re going to cut into you by the end of your walk? We had that problem as well, which is why we’ve actually made this particular tote from Free Tutorials that has much thicket straps several times now and been very happy indeed with the results!
14. Easily folded reusable bag
Have you actually been scrolling through our list searching for something that’s both very easy to make and very easy to store, in hopes that you can make several of them without having them scatter all over the place? Then we’re convinced this next design from Rachel Teodoro is just the one for you! Their simply constructed totes are quick and easy to put together and that fold well for convenient storage.
15. Plastic-free drawstring produce bags
In addition to making grocery tote bags that you might carry all of your things home in, have you also been wondering whether there might be an eco-friendly replacement for the little produce bags that you count pieces of fruit or veggies into? After all, it doesn’t make much sense to be putting plastic bags into the bags that you made in an attempt to avoid plastic bags, right? That’s why we were so pleased indeed to come across these awesome plastic-free drawstring produce bags outlined step by surprisingly simple step on Wellness Mama.
Have you made other kinds of awesome reusable and eco-friendly grocery bags before that you were very happy with indeed and still use but that you don’t see here on our list? Tell us all about what you created and how you did it or link us to photos of your finished work in the comments section!