For most of the last 30 years, plastic bags have been the standard at the grocery stores, with an occasional offering of paper bags. Most of us never think twice about what it means to take those plastic bags home with us. Before I show you how to “Make Your Own Reusable Grocery Bag”, let me share just a little about how much money those little bags are costing you and how they damage the environment in ways you never considered.
Americans use billions of those plastic grocery bags, most of which are never recycled. The cost for those billions of plastic bags is about 12 million barrels of oil.
Yes. Plastic is made from oil.
Breaking that down further, for every 14 plastic bags made, the oil that was used could have driven your car about one mile.
So, let’s just recycle more, right?
The kind of plastic used for bottles, bags and other food containers not only takes over 1000 years to break down and decompose (if you want to call it that, it just changes into something else), they are full of chemicals that act as “endocrine-disrupters”.
There’s nothing good happening with plastic bags, and I was really thrilled when I heard that many grocery stores are doing away with them!
So how will you get your groceries home?
With your own reusable market bags!
Now, you could go out and purchase some tote bags for the grocery store, but why not try your hand at making some?
It’s easier than you think, let’s look at some different options: crochet, no-sew and sew.
Reusable Grocery Bags to Crochet
I really love the look of a crocheted market bag, don’t you?
If you know how to crochet, or know someone who would teach you, these crochet market bags come together very quickly and will last you for years!
No-Sew: How to Make Reusable Grocery Bags from T-Shirts
Reusable Grocery Bags to Sew
I was out garage-saling one day and found a skirt, made with fabric that I thought would look really adorable as a market bag!
The colors made me really happy, so I brought the skirt home and went to work at the sewing machine!
The principle is very simple. With “right sides in”, fold your skirt (or other garment) in half, then fold it in half again. That’s what you see here.
You can pin the layers together if the fabric is slippery, but I didn’t need to with this particular piece.
With a pencil, I sketched where my handles would be, and then cut them out. Be conservative, you can always cut more, but you can’t put it back on!
The beauty of this project is that it doesn’t have to be perfect, your market bag is going to look great!
Unfold your garment and take a look at it. You may choose to cut your market bag’s handles a little deeper, but I’m pleased with mine.
This would be fine the way it is, but I think I’m going to round off those bottom corners just a bit.
Now, with an iron, fold 1/4″ seam allowance on your handles and press, then fold another 1/4″ and press.
We’re ready to hit the sewing machine! See how fast this goes?
I chose to zig-zag this seam, but you can do it any way you like. I also use white or beige thread for almost all my projects, for simplicity’s sake.
Awesome, we’re almost finished sewing your market bag!
You should have two pieces that look like this, with finished handles.
Putting right sides together again, seam around the outside of the bag with a straight line seam. Then, to keep it strong, let’s go back over that seam with a zig-zag stitch, if your machine has it.
Turn your bag right side out and there you have it!!! Isn’t it super cute??
Grab hold of a couple of these ideas and make some new reusable grocery bags!