Easy and Compact Foldable Shopping Bag

Sewing Times
by Sewing Times
7 Materials
3 Hours

Don't get caught at the market without a reusable bag again with this simple foldable shopping bag tutorial! It's easy to make and folds up small enough to fit in your purse so you're always ready for an impromptu shopping trip.

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric
  • Strip elastic
  • Sewing button
  • Scissors
  • Clips
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
DIY foldable shopping bag

Cut out your fabric 

Cut out a large rectangle that is 21 ¾ by 35.5 inches. Next, cut out four smaller rectangles, two that are 21 ¾ by 5 ¾ and two that are 3.3 by 27 inches. Lay the large rectangle out and fold it over, right sides touching. Measure and mark 10 ¾ inches from the top (unfolded) edge and sew (as pictured above) leaving about half an inch of the seam allowance. 

Make a foldable shopping bag

Sew the body 

Snip off the folded corners and then bring those snipped sides up to meet the sewed sides. Meaning, the snips from the corners should lay on top of the end of your thread. Clip the sides down and then bring the fabric back over so it’s laying in four layers. (For a clearer understanding of this watch the video at 2:10). 

How to make a foldable shopping bag

Measure and mark four inches along the bottom from the side edge and draw a diagonal line from the end of the thread to that line. Next, flay the bottom flaps (with the clips) flat on the surface and roll the body of the bag in and out of the way. Repeat the same process with the second set of corners, drawing a line to the edge of the thread. Sew along your markings. 

Sew a foldable shopping bag

Make your straps 

Cut off the excess fabric on the corners (from where you sewed) and turn your bag right side out. (If you’d like, here is your opportunity to iron the edges down). Now take your 3.5 by 27-inch strips and fold them over the long way, right sides together. Sew, leaving about half an inch of seam allowance. Turn the tubes right side out and sew again. Measure 6 ¾ inches from each side and place your straps in by your mark. Leave 1 ¼ inch over the top edge (pictured above). Repeat on both sides and sew. 

How to sew a foldable shopping bag

Add a band 

Clip your strip elastic in the middle of one of the straps and sew it down. Now take your remaining two pieces of fabric and place one on the other, right sides touching. Pin and sew the short edges together, leaving about a one-inch seam allowance. Place the new band of fabric over the bag, right sides together. Pin the top edges together and sew with a half-inch seam allowance. Lift the band up and then fold the bottom edge down over the straps and elastic. Sew the edges of the straps down onto the body. Fold the raw edge in half an inch, and clip it down. Then fold the rest of the band over and sew along the top edge. Finally, pin the bottom edge of the band down and sew again

Simple foldable shopping bag

Finish with the button

Fold the bag up by first folding each side in so it’s folded in thirds. Fold it again so that it’s a square and then roll the bag up tightly. Now take the elastic that we attacked earlier and wrap it around to see where it ends. Mark the area it ends and unfold your bag. Hand sew the button by your marking. 

foldable shopping bag tutorial

foldable shopping bag sewing tutorial

This DIY foldable shopping bag is the perfect answer for those looking to save space. Big enough and durable enough to bring your groceries home and small enough to be hidden away when not in use. Choose a fabric you love and create this DIY shopping bag for yourself! 

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Strip elastic
  • Sewing button
See all materials

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