DIY Foldable Reusable Grocery Bags

DIY Foldable Reusable Grocery Bags

If you are like me you are always looking for a new sewing project that is also useful for everyday life. This project was inspired by my latest quick trip to the grocery store as they asked me if I wanted to purchase a reusable grocery bag. Of course, I said no because I thought first those are boring and drab, plus I can make my own at home. Thus I created this DIY Foldable Reusable Grocery Bags Tutorial. With any sewing project, you can customize the fabric or colors to your own liking. I think the grocery bag turned out great and am planning to make a few more as my bigger trips to the grocery store will need more than one bag.

Foldable Grocery Bags

SUPPLIES FOR FOLDABLE REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS

Fabric
Baker’s twine
Optional – Charm or Button (I used a Rose Charm)
Thread
Scissors
Rotary cutter and mat
Sewing Pins or clips
As with most sewing projects you will need an iron, ironing board, and sewing machine.
  • 1 Yard of Fabric – I went with a thicker, home décor type fabric. I knew the bag would be holding some heavy items and I wanted a fabric that’d be up to the task!
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Sewing Pins or clips
  • As with most sewing projects you will need an iron, ironing board, and sewing machine.

DIY FOLDABLE REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS

Bag Fabric Washed and Ironed

I choose a colorful floral fabric so my bag would stand out as grocery shopping is boring enough by itself. Make sure to wash, dry and press the fabric so the DIY foldable reusable grocery bags end result has fewer flaws or issues.

Fabric Matching Edges

Measure and cut out your fabric. A cutting tip, Fold your fabric so that your selvage ends line up together across the bottom of your cutting mat. Fold again so that the top fold touches the selvage ends. Using your rotary cutters and clear ruler, cut a straight edge along the end. Then you can cut through 4 layers of fabric at once for faster cutting! Simply move your ruler down however many inches you need, then cut using your cutters and ruler.

Cutting Grocery Bag Fabric

When cutting your fabric for your DIY foldable reusable grocery bags, be sure the print/pattern is facing the way you’d like it to on the finished bag. Remember that one side may look upside down since we are using one rectangle for the bag piece! I chose a print that could go sideways to avoid this problem. You will need a Bag piece (One 40” x 21” rectangle), and a Handle piece (Two 30” x 6” rectangles).

One Half inch press

First, we will need to hem the top edges of the bag. On one of the 21” sides, fold the edge down ½” and press all the way across.

1 inch press of fabric

Fold-down again 1” and press. Pin to hold the fabric in place. Repeat for the other 21” edge.

Sewing Bag

Top stitch along inside folded edge of the 1” hem you created – very close to the edge of the fold. Your seam allowance on the left side may be around 1/8”. Then, top stitch again along the other folded edge (very top of the bag). This will create a nice, one-inch stiffer edge along the top of your bag.

Pin Along Raw Edges

Fold your fabric in half so that the hemmed edges meet across from the fold, right sides facing out. Pin along raw side edges.

Sew Raw Edges of Grocery Bag

We will create a French seam, which will encase the raw edges inside of the bag. Using ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the pinned raw edges.

Turn Reusable Grocery Bag Inside out

Turn the DIY foldable reusable grocery bags inside out. Gently push out corners and sides of bag. Trim bottom corners of raw fabric to cut down on bulk in the corners. Press to help fabric lay flat, then pin in place along the freshly stitched sides of the bag.

Using ½” seam allowance, stitch along the sides of the bag. This will catch the raw edges inside the bigger ½” seam to hide them.  

7 inch triangle line

Fold the bag so that one inside corner becomes a triangle. Make sure you do this step one side at a time! Using a clear ruler or measuring tape, mark a pencil line across where there’s a 7” width. Pin the triangle to hold the fabric in place.

Stitch Across Triangle Line

Stitch straight across the line you just drew. Repeat this process for the opposite corner/triangle.

Triangle of Bag

If you want to cut off the excess fabric from the triangles, you can do so. I chose to stitch mine down to the bottom of the bag to reinforce the corners of the bag. If you’d like to do this as well, follow this next step. If not, cut them off and skip to the handles step.

Pin Triangle

Inside the bag, ensure the triangle piece is lying flat on the bottom of the bag. Pin once in the middle to hold the triangle still.

Sewing Down Triangle under Foot

Very carefully guide fabric under your presser foot to where you can stitch the triangle.

Sewing Down Triangle under Foot 2

Stitch close to the edge of the triangle in a “v” shape. There is no need to stitch the top of the triangle – you did this in the previous step.

Repeat for the other triangle on the opposite side.

flipping grocery bag back out

Flip your DIY foldable reusable grocery bags right side out.

To add handles to your reusable grocery bags, follow these directions below for your reusable grocery bag. You do not have to make your own handles if you’d rather not. You can always pick up some cording/belting and use that as your handles instead. But I wanted mine to coordinate to I made the handle for the grocery bag.

Reusable Grocery Bag Handle Step 1

Fold one of the handle rectangles in half lengthwise and press to create a crease down the middle.

Reusable Grocery Bag Handle Step 2

Unfold fabric. Fold in one side of the rectangle to meet the crease you made. Press. Repeat for the opposite side of the handle for the DIY reusable grocery bags.

Reusable Grocery Bag Handle Step 3

Fold the whole rectangle in half lengthwise again, along the original crease. Press.

Reusable Grocery Bag Handle Step 3

To not have raw edges at the ends of your handles, trim off the corners and fold the end inside the folds about ¼” – ½”. Then re-fold the handle, pin and press well. Stitch very close to the edge of each side of the handle.

Handles Pinned to Reusable Grocery Bag

Measure and mark where you’d like your handles to be. My handles were about 6” in from each side, which was also about 7” or so apart from each other. Place ends of fabric at these marks and pin in place. Be sure your handles are in the same place on each side of the bag.

Handle stitched X

Stitch a rectangle with an “X” in the center of each handle end (four times total). This will reinforce the strength of the handle.

DIY Reusable Grocery Bags Completed

You’re done! Take your DIY foldable reusable grocery bags along to the store, and go shopping! Now you know you can say no to the plastic bags and just use the unique DIY foldable reusable grocery bags you just made.

Easy DIY Reusable Grocery Bags

If you enjoyed this DIY reusable grocery bags tutorial take a few seconds and pin it to your favorite Pinterest board or share it with friends on social media. If you decide to make the reusable grocery bags take a picture afterward and tag us on social media as we love seeing the fabrics and color choices others make.

Yield: 1

Foldable Reusable Grocery Bag

Foldable Reusable Grocery Bag

Easy to follow tutorial to make a Foldable Reusable Grocery Bag. No more plastic bags, plus you can customize it and use the fabric of your choosing.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $8.00

Materials

Instructions

  1. Wash, dry and press the fabric.
  2. Measure and cut out your fabric. You will need:
  3. Bag piece: One 40” x 21” rectangle
  4. Handle piece: Two 30” x 6” rectangles
  5. First, we will need to hem the top edges of the bag. On one of the 21” sides, fold the edge down ½” and press all the way across. Fold down again 1” and press. Pin to hold the fabric in place. Repeat for the other 21” edge.
  6. Top stitch along inside folded edge of the 1” hem you created – very close to the edge of the fold. Your seam allowance on the left side may be around 1/8”. Then, top stitch again along the other folded edge (very top of the bag).
  7. Fold your fabric in half so that the hemmed edges meet across from the fold, right sides facing out. Pin along raw side edges.
  8. We will create a French seam, which will encase the raw edges inside of the bag. Using ¼” seam allowance, stitch along the pinned raw edges.
  9. Turn the bag inside out. Gently push out corners and sides of bag. Trim bottom corners of raw fabric to cut down on bulk in the corners. Press to help fabric lay flat, then pin in place along the freshly stitched sides of the bag.
  10. Using ½” seam allowance, stitch along the sides of the bag. This will catch the raw edges inside the bigger ½” seam to hide them.  
  11. Fold the bag so that one inside corner becomes a triangle. *Do this step one side at a time! Using a clear ruler or measuring tape, mark a pencil line across where there’s a 7” width. Pin the triangle to hold the fabric in place.
  12. Stitch straight across the line you just drew. Repeat this process for the opposite corner/triangle.
  13. If you want to cut off the excess fabric from the triangles, you can do so. I chose to stitch mine down to the bottom of the bag to reinforce the corners of the bag. If you’d like to do this as well, follow this next step. If not, cut them off and skip to step 18.
  14. Inside the bag, ensure the triangle piece is lying flat on the bottom of the bag. Pin once in the middle to hold the triangle still.
  15. Very carefully guide fabric under your presser foot to where you can stitch the triangle.
  16. Stitch close to the edge of the triangle in a “v” shape. There is no need to stitch the top of the triangle – you did this in the previous step.
  17. Repeat for the other triangle on the opposite side.
  18. Flip your bag right side out.
  19. To add handles, follow these directions below.
  20. Fold one of the handle rectangles in half lengthwise and press to create a crease down the middle. Unfold fabric.
  21. Fold in one side of the rectangle to meet the crease you made. Press.
  22. Repeat for the opposite side.
  23. Fold the whole rectangle in half lengthwise again, along the original crease. Press.
  24. To not have raw edges at the ends of your handles, trim off the corners and fold the end inside the folds about ¼” – ½”. Then re-fold the handle and press well.
  25. Stitch very close to the edge of each side of the handle.
  26. Measure and mark where you’d like your handles to be. My handles were about 6” in from each side, which was also about 7” or so apart from each other. Place ends of fabric at these marks and pin in place. Be sure your handles are in the same place on each side of the bag.
  27. Stitch a rectangle with an “X” in the center of each handle end (four times total). This will reinforce the strength of the handle.
  28. You’re done, Enjoy your foldable reusable grocery bag!

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