Strong and Durable: DIY Shopping Bag

Julia Rafael
by Julia Rafael
7 Materials
45 Minutes

This tutorial goes out to my mother! I am making this DIY reusable shopping bag for her. The fabric is stiff and durable and makes for a great thrifted option when looking for environmentally friendly shopping bag options.

Tools and materials:

  • Tablecloth
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Old jeans
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
DIY reusable shopping bag

Cut out a rectangle 

To start, I measured and traced a rectangle on the fabric. The size of the rectangle should be 45x55 centimeters or approximately 18x22 inches. Cut out two of them. 

Shopping bag upcycle

Cut your jeans 

Using an old pair of jeans, cut out two more rectangles. This time, make the rectangles 8x125 centimeters, or approximately 3x50 inches. Sew the rectangle together by the edge. 

How to make a DIY shopping bag

Create your handle 

Once you have one long rectangle made of jeans, fold it over (the long way), right sides together, and sew the edges together using a straight stitch. Next, turn the tube right side out using a paper clip and put them aside. 

How to make a reusable shopping bag

Hem the bag 

Take the two tablecloth rectangles and palace them together, right sides touching. Then, double-fold one side (long side), about a centimeter each time. Next, pin the fold to secure it and sew it down. 

How to make a shopping bag

Attach your handle 

Fold the rectangle in half and mark off the center. Measure out six centimeters, or about 2.5 inches, on each side and pin the spot to mark it - this is where you will add your handles. Next, place your handle over your fabric - right sides together - and pin it down. Sew your strap in place. 

Easy DIY shopping bag

Sew the bag together 

Place the rectangles together - right sides together - and pin down the edges. Then, sew the pieces together using a straight stitch. Once that’s done, pull the bottom of the bag in either direction until the corners look like triangles (see image). 

Mark off the sides of the bag

Next, mark off ten centimeters, or approximately four inches, from the edge of the triangle and sew across - closing off the triangle from the rest of the bottom. You can choose to either cut those corners off or fold them over and sew them to the bottom. 

Finished shopping bag

There it is, the tutorial on how to make a shopping bag! I’m happy with how it turned out, it’s really durable, and the polka dots are nice and charming. Of course, you can choose any pattern tablecloth you want to make your bag your own. 

Suggested materials:
  • Tablecloth
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
See all materials

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