Oh, sure, we try to hide them. We stash them under our kitchen sink or in the back of a drawer.
I'm speaking, of course, of the evil wad of plastic grocery bags (more than 500 billion of them are used every year worldwide). These ubiquitous little devils seem to multiply like crazy, and we know they're no good for the environment. To learn more about the environmental effects of disposable grocery bags, please read Step 7:Get informed.
The best solution is to carry your own re-usable sacks. You've probably thought about it before or seen them in your local grocery store. You were probably turned off by their cost and dreadful appearance, usually featuring a big corporate logo.
With this instructable I'm going to show how you can make your own durable, stylish tote bags for very cheap, even if you have little to no experience with sewing. I use a very simple design to create a fully lined bag which will be amazingly strong (no more chasing your canned good around the parking lot!) The next time that greasy little bagboy asks you if you want paper or plastic you can tell him to stop pushing those evil things on you... or you could just ask him politely to use your totes instead.
This instructable is written assuming that you have little to no experience with sewing.
The sample items made in this tutorial are also available to be purchased at my etsy page http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6135809
Step 1: Everything you'll need to get started!
1. The supplies need to be cheap
2. The bag has to be strong enough to hold groceries
3. the design has to be easy enough for anyone to follow
Here are your required materials:
-- 1/2 yard of fabric
If you've never bought fabric before, just go to a local sewing or craft store and start wandering around. When you find the one you like, just grab the big thing of fabric (the 'bolt') and take it up to the cutting counter. They'll cut it to any length you need. For this project I'll suggest that you stay away from anything that stretches. it probably isn't worth the trouble. Prices are generally printed on one end of the cardboard center and refer to the cost per yard. Depending on what fabric you choose, you shouldn't have to pay more than a couple of dollars for your fabric. (If you're using the same fabric for the straps as the main bag you will need to add 8-12 inches to the length you buy.)
Note: A standard pillowcase is usually the right size to use in place of the fabric, this can make the project even cheaper!!
For the straps of your bag you can choose to sew them from the same material as your main bag, from a contrasting fabric, or use 'webbing' or 'strapping' (that's the stuff they use on most backpacks) If you want to sew your own you'll only need 8-12 inches of fabric (a little more for thicker straps)
--Sewing machine or needle and thread
You just need to be able to sew a reasonably straight line.
-- Straight pins
although not entirely necessary, they will make things much easier
makes bumpy things smooth, or make creased folds
any stuff you want to sew/glue/iron on to make your bag unique (Step 6 has a few ideas for decorating your bag)