DIY Plastic Bag Reusable Tote

My husband normally does the grocery shopping, since he does the cooking, but since we were going to be out and about anyways I tagged along.  I searched for our reusable bags that I normally would bring, but only found 3.  We have about 10 around the house somewhere.  I am sure they are all in my husbands car being unused.  That being said, we have a lot of plastic bags that either need to be used, or turned in at our grocery store for recycling.

I wanted to try to make my own reusable bag from this link.  Please reference that site for better pictures of the process.  I tried my best, but most times I was frustrated at something and just wanted to be done so skipped the pictures.

First thing I did was gathered all of my shopping bags.  I noticed I had two types and separated them even further by bag type.  Next, I flattened them out, cut the bottom seam off and the handles.

You need 4 bags for each panel.  I used the smaller bags for the sides and bottom, then the bigger ones for the front and back.

You will now need an iron, wax paper and either a towel and sturdy table or an ironing board.

I used a table and towel and it worked just fine.  Lay the towel on the table.  Place 4 flattened, cut bags on top, then a piece of wax paper that spans the entire bottom of the bag on top of the bags.  Ensure your iron is set to wool setting.  You will have to keep the iron moving fast otherwise the plastic will melt and create little holes.  I found this out the hard way.

DSC_1584 wax

I always ironed the middle bottom then out to the side.  Once the bottom is done, flip and do the same on the other side.  Then rotate and do the top side until all of the bags are melted together.  Do this for all 4 sides and the bottom.  Please reference the link above for sizes or you can really size it any way you want, which is what I did.

Next you will need your sewing machine set up with a zig zag stitch.  Sew the front and back panels to the bottom first, then the sides to the bottom next.  Last, sew the sides to the front and back.  I left about a half inch seam so I could cut later.

Last part you need to do is sew the handles on.  I just used scraps from my panels that I didn’t need.  I sewed 3 rows of zig zag stitches on the handles to ensure a good solid attachment.

I also stitched about a quarter inch down from the top of the entire circumference of the bag just in case the plastic bags separate.   This shouldn’t happen if you ironed it enough.

DSC_1587 bag

Now you have just used approximately 20-21 of your plastic bags laying around your house.  They will be able to be reused infinite number of times, as opposed to it’s typical single use.  I also intend to make a few fabric versions of the reusable bags coming up.  I wish you luck at bag making.  Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.