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How To: Make Fabric Shopping Bags

Did you know that each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide?

To do your part to reduce this huge amount of waste, make your own fabric shopping bags with these easy instructions from Kristina J. Millar when you


What You Need

  • heavy-duty fabric, such as canvas or upholstery fabric
  • thread
  • scissors
  • sewing machine

How To Make It

  1. Choose some fabric — something heavy like canvas or upholstery-grade cotton. It can be as plain or as fancy as you like.
  2. Measure out a long rectangle for the bag (your finished bag will be about half the length of your original so decide how big you want your bag to be, then double the length). Measure out two long rectangles for the handles that are about 6 inches wide (if you want long handles measure out long rectangles; the ones above were 20 inches long).
  3. To sew the handles, fold the long edges of your rectangle into the middle, fold in half then topstitch it together.
  4. Sew a half-inch seam along the short ends of your long rectangle on each side (they need to face each other when you fold the edges together) and attach the handles approx 4 inches in from the edge on the sides with the seam.
  5. Fold the good sides together and close the two long sides (the bottom of the bag is made up of the fold, which is why you cut a long rectangle). As this bag won’t be lined you should zig-zag stitch the seam to prevent fraying.
  6. Turn right side out and enjoy your shopping!


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