Feed Bag Tote Bag





Introduction: Feed Bag Tote Bag

About: I live in Texas with my husband, 5 children, 3 dogs, 3 chickens, and a parrot.

We get our chicken feed in bags made of woven plastic. If they were paper I'd put them down under the mulch in the flower beds, but was stumped what to do with these. Then I realized that the bags we use for groceries were made from the same type fabric (DIMPA from IKEA). So I whipped out the sewing machine and came up with this version. I'm not that good at sewing, rather sloppy actually, but I managed to make one that I wouldn't be embarrassed to carry!

Step 1: Clean Out a Bag.

Lay your bag out flat on the table.  Cut the string from the bottom strip and then even up the bottom of the bag.
Stitch along the bottom of the bag 1/4" from the bottom. 
Turn bag inside-out and sew along the bottom 1/2" from the bottom.  This gives you a French seam which encloses the cut edge and helps make it more durable.
Stand the bag open end down on the table and take the two corners and make "dog ears".  I measured 2 1/2"  from the corner and sewed across the corner.

Step 2: Sewing the Top.

Turn bag right-side out.
Cut two 3 1/2" strips from around the top of the bag.  These will be the handles. 
Zig-zag the cut edge of the top.  Fold down 2" all around and sew.
Cut the handle strips 20" long and hand press 1/4" to the inside on both long sides.  Fold in half and sew down the long side.

Attach the handles to the bag as shown. 

And now you have successfully recycled a feed sack into something useful!

Step 3: Yay!

The finished bag.

2 People Made This Project!


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Just an FYI that I thought you might be interested in. I just listed on E bay item # 192447065359 83 Bulk Lot 81 Horse, 2 Cat Feed Sacks Bags Empty Woven Plastic Crafts Upcycle. It starts at $155. No shipping fee if you pick up.
Feel free to ask any questions.


Ironing won’t help. After the polypropylene threads are woven into fabric and the labels printed, a thin sheet of clear plastic is laminated on. Ironing or steaming will only make the laminate come apart faster.

Great instructions! Here is a tip that helped me. I plan out several projects at once and use an assembly line process, beginning by removing all the strings and soaking several bags together in a tub with enough water for them to float. After a few minutes in warm soapy water, I use a large soft brush to clean out all the remnents of feed. I then rinse and hang over the tub with pants hangers until they are dry. If this is not feasable, you can skip the soaking step. After removing the string seam, lay each bag out flat on driveway, spray with garden hose, sprinkle with a bit of dawn and brush away the grime & rinse. These dry quickly on the clothesline It's nicer to have fresh clean materials to make your projects. Thanks again for sharing your instructions!

The directions are great. A few people suggested ironing the finished bag. I did iron the bag, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Any suggestions?

This is the easiest set of instructions I've seen so far, and looks every bit as good as others out there. I can sew a bit, but I would never consider myself a "seamstress". I have saved hundreds of horse feed bags thinking I'd give them away to people with more talent than I. It seemed so wasteful to me to throw them away. Now I can do something with them! Maybe even give away a few to people at the market, or to little girls who would like a tote bag with a picture of a horse on it. Now I am off to dig my sewing machine out of the closet and get started!

1 reply

How did making these work out for you?

Hello there everyone ... hopefully this page is still being monitored and someone will be able to answer my question. I am wondering what sewing machine foot everyone uses for this project. Did you find you needed a teflon or a walking foot? Appreciate hearing opinions. Thanks so much!

Has anyone figured out HOW to iron these bags? I make them, but some are wrinkled, how to iron?

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I just found this and can't wait to try it! I have been saving bags to use in the garden but the animal faces are just too cute to cover with dirt :) When I start mine I am going to try and just put a thin towel over the bag and iron the towel. I have used this trick on other delicate items and it works well. You may have to iron a bit longer though.

I used one of those webbed belts that comes with virtually every pair of pants/shorts for the handles. Makes it quicker and the bag larger.

Im trying to figure out how to make a sleeping bag cover from one and this gives me a good direction to go from

Please Help! I am trying like crazy to make these bags and can't make it work! I have a new Brother sewing machine that doesn't do it. I used regular thread and needle and the thread just broke. So then I've tried a heavy duty needle and quilting thread, it balls up on the bottom. I borrowed an old White Rotary Machine, it balls up/knots up on the bottom also! Also using a heavy duty needle and heavy thread. Tried normal thread in the old machine and thread just broke. It seems like everyone else can do this and I'm totally frustrated! I have people that want to buy these from me but I can't get it to work right.

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I have a Brother also, and it has loops on the underside and jams up like it's metal on metal. Will take it apart and oil it and adjust the feed dog too. Then, I will get another feed dog for the top. My old machine had one of these and they work awesome.

I'm so sorry you're having problems with your machine! I have a Sears Kenmore and mine was doing the same thing. I tried everything: rewinding the bobbin, changing both tensions, using different threads, when I finally gave up and took it to the Sears store for them to have a look. They sent it off, and the tech called me and said that it just needed cleaning (it was still pretty new!) and that I should be using plastic bobbins in this model (I was using metal). That did it - it worked like it was supposed to after that. Google your model and see if anyone else has your problem. It could be something just as simple. I hope this helps.

How do you remove the grease like film and smell from bags like dog food and cat food bags

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I wiped them down with 409 and a sponge. Worked just fine.

I use windex and the grease and pet food smell is gone.

They are so easy to make and 101 uses too, I have also made a few "Aprons" which are great for in the garden, chook shed and even in my rabbit shed :)

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Beautiful! Do you have more detailed pictures? I make all kinds of totes out of feed-bags with my Brownies (we use duct tape instead of sewing, since little girls won't be carrying anything that heavy). But aprons would be awesome!

For the feed sack bags. I added a cloth liner which made them even nicer and you could also add an interior pocket.

Can you tell me what size needle and type of thread you used. I haven't sewn in ages, but would think with the slick/thin material you'd need a certain type of needle.