How to Sew Super-Easy DIY Reusable Grocery Bags

Sewing Times
by Sewing Times
7 Materials
1 Hour

Plastic grocery bags are quickly becoming a thing of the past, and the environment is all the better for it. But the reusable bags you buy in the store can get pricey. So, here’s a tutorial for DIY reusable grocery bags that you’re going to love!

This is a super way of using extra fabric and making your grocery bags stylish at the same time. These reusable grocery bags are also easy to fold and store when they’re not in use.

Tools and materials:

  • Scrap fabric
  • Fabric elastic
  • Fabric elastic
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
Reusable grocery bag sewing pattern pieces

1. Cut your fabric

Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 49.5 x 44 centimeters (19.5 x 17⅝ inches) each.

Also, cut two pieces of the same fabric measuring 12 x 36 centimeters (4.75 x 14⅛ inches) each.

Finally, cut one 15-centimeter (6-inch) piece of fabric elastic.

Making the bag handles

2. Make the reusable bag handles

With right sides facing in, fold and pin each smaller rectangle piece of fabric in half lengthwise. Sew the long open edge of the rectangles closed, 1 centimeter (3/8”) from the edge.

Pressing the handles with an iron

Turn the handles right-side out and press flat.

Topstitching along the long sides

Topstitch along both long edges of the handles. 

Attaching the handles to the bag

On the larger pieces of fabric, mark 8.7 centimeters (3.5 inches) in from each side of the top of each piece. That is where the handles will be attached.

How to make a reusable grocery bag

3. Attach the handles

With right sides facing each other, pin one end of each handle just inside the marked line and then mark 2.7 centimeters (1⅛ inches) down the handles from the top. That will be your sewing line.

Sewing the handles to the bag

Sew the handles to the bag at the top edge and at the 1⅛ inch line.

How to sew a reusable grocery bag

Repeat for the other end of the handles on the second piece of bag fabric.

Attaching elastic to the bag

4. Attach the elastic

Fold the two sides of the bag together, with right sides facing out, and then fold the bag in half lengthwise.

Snipping at the corners

Snip a tiny corner at the folded bottom corner of the bag.

Pinning the elastic to the bag

Now fold the elastic in half and pin it to the bottom center of the bag.

Sewing the reusable grocery bag

5. Sew the bag

Topstitch the two sides and bottom of the bag at ½ centimeter (0.2 inches) from the edge, catching the elastic in the seam.

Easy-sew reusable grocery bags

Turn the bag inside out and sew the side seams again at 0.7 centimeters (¼ inch) from the edge.

DIY reusable grocery bag tutorial

Mark 8.2 centimeters (3½ inches) in from each side at the bottom of the bag.

Making pleats in the bag

6. Make the reusable bag pleats

Fold in the sides of the bag along the mark you just made. Pin in place and sew along the bottom edge of the bag at 0.7 centimeters (¼ inch).

Finishing the top of the bag

7. Finish the top of the bag

Tuck the handles to the inside of the bag and turn down the top edge of the bag 1 centimeter (⅜ inch).

Folding over the edge to hem

Fold over the edge once more, this time 2 centimeters (¾ inch.)

Hemming the grocery bag

Pin the top edge in place and sew it at both the top edge of the bag and the bottom edge of the fold, on the inside of the bag.

Pressing the bag with an iron

Lay the bag flat and press it, including the inside of the pleat.

Folding the bag to store it

8. Fold and store your reusable grocery bag

Fold the bag over twice, lengthwise.

How to fold a reusable grocery bag

Fold the handles down and then fold the bag in half so the top meets the bottom.

Folding the grocery bag into a pouch

Now fold it over twice so have a nice little packet.

Tying an elastic around the bag

Pull the elastic over the packet to hold it all in place.

DIY reusable grocery bags

DIY reusable grocery bag tutorial

That’s all there is to making these simple DIY reusable grocery bags. They’re strong, washable, and environmentally friendly. What a great use for all those extra pieces of fabric you have.

Make lots because you can certainly use the bags for more than groceries. Leave me a comment to let me know how you liked this DIY reusable grocery bag tutorial.

Suggested materials:
  • Scrap fabric
  • Fabric elastic
  • Scissors
See all materials

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