Instructables
Picture of Feed Bag Tote Bag
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!

 
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Step 1: Clean out a bag.

Picture of Clean out a bag.
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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.

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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!

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The finished bag.

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.

I used a "16" needle and heavy duty thread (made for sewing denim). I hope this helps!
kim.spangrude3 months ago

My sister started making these - I don't think she had seen the tutorial first but I can't be sure. They are so cute and make a great present or even the bag that holds the present. Now that California has passed a law banning the use of plastic grocery sacks in stores, these will be very useful and important to have!

jflaca3 months ago

Great Idea!! I came online to specifically search for ways to "upcycle" my feed bags and ran across your instructable. I have goat, pig, and chicken feed bags. Also dog and cat food bags. I hated tossing all those good strong bags in the trash so I started looking for ideas for ways to reuse them. Thanks!!

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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star17064 months ago

awesome idea!

Brookings10111 months ago
This is an awesome idea, I am saving all my feed and scratch bags now and even asking friends for theirs. I too, had a problem with my needle breaking, how I remedied that was not sewing so fast with the foot pedel, slowed it down and it all worked out just fine. I am giving them out to friends as gifts, they just love them. You are right, I would have just thrown them away, and this is excellent recycling. They are extremely strong, I filled one with only bottles of water, soda and millk and it held up perfectly. I love how it's water proof. There are so many uses for this, not just groceries. I am pretty sure they will last a very long time, really difficult to tear or rip. Thanks for the idea. :)
jgs7271 year ago
I LOVE this bag, I just wish I needed chicken feed so I could have the bag to make the tote!
morahlaura1 year ago
Love this! I used your ible to make camp bags for the kids this summer; they held up really well to wet bathing suits and the rocks and things kids like to bring home. I'm going to make some new ones for the kids to bring their snow clothes back and forth to school in. Thanks!!
Awesome!!! I'm so excited. I've been saving feed bags, but couldn't find the instruction. Thank you so very much.
LeFleche1 year ago
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.
craftydabbler (author)  LeFleche1 year ago
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.
jeldie1 year ago
Such a great idea. Thanks for the easy to follow instructions. Off to the chicken feed bags :)
HorseyGal3 years ago
I work at a horse farm and we use Purina feeds (which usually has super cute pics on the front) and I was THRILLED to see your tutorial on this! thank you for sharing! I got a sewing machine as an early Christmas gift and went to work on these last night! I did it! I have never sewn in my life and I actually have made two of these now! SUPER EASY and SUPER DURABLE project! Thanks! Oh and I used a 14 needle for this one..
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I am wondering if anyone on here that does these bags would be willing to make some for a Humane Society? Mostly Cats...Is what I am looking for.
I would be willing to pay a small fee or whatever you would find reasonable.
I would have this as a continuing thing and have them as Fund Raisers. Is anyone willing to help out somebody that does not sew at all?? For a good cause? Thank you, my email is: karenhickmanloogootee@gmail.com
Did anyone offer to do this for you? My boys and I are looking at making them for their 4H recycling project - we'd be glad to try if still interested. You can contact me at siouxbaum@gmail.com. Thanks
craftydabbler (author)  HorseyGal3 years ago
Congratulations on your first sewing project....I LOVE how they turned out!!! Thank you for sharing :-)
thanks!!!!
jadedladi2 years ago
HI
I am liiking for these feed bags to make my own market totes. If anyone is interested in selling me in unfinished bags please contact me!!!
jadedladi1955@yahoo.com
thanks
Mary Jo
Lee-in-Iowa3 years ago
Thanks! I've just gotten chickens (6 months ago) and have been feeling guilty about tossing all these sturdy bags into the trash (actually, I"ve used them as trash bags, but still, it's a waste). I'll try this. I may also just reinforce the bottoms, add a few slits for drainage, and use them as "grow bags" like the "Tater Totes" on this site.
Lee
You can use these as florist cloth to keepeds out of your garden,just cut hte bags open and lay it down and put mulch on top keep the weeds off. You may want to poke some holes to let in the water.Just a thought.
rosewood5132 years ago
Wow I thought I had a original idea, I do this with chicken feed bags.
You really did an excellent job, much nicer than mine.
Trying to find someone that would be interested in making these for my Humane Society? I do not sew, and these would be great for Fund Raisers. I am willing to pay for what ever you think is reasonable. I am looking for Cat bags.. Thank You, Please email me at:
karenhickmanloogootee@gmail.com
daisy1032 years ago
Thank you! They are super cute and practical too. I don't have the feed sacks myself but have some friends I could get them from. Very cool! http://sweetandsassygirl.com
daisy1032 years ago
These purses are really cute. How well do they hold up to everyday use? http://sweetandsassygirl.com
craftydabbler (author)  daisy1032 years ago
I use this as a grocery tote mostly. It's held cereal boxes, rice bags, canned goods, jars, frozen foods, etc. I also use them to take presents to parties, hold craft items for projects, books to Half Price Books. Very sturdy.
HorseyGal2 years ago
@Lee: what a great idea! Use them as grow bags!!! If anyone on here has some chicken feed bags they would like to "trade" for some horse feed bags, please message me! We can ship them to eachother flat and use them for whatever! :-)
So cute...
craftydabbler (author) 3 years ago
Thanks! If you have a pet lover on your Christmas list you could make one and fill it with a bag of dog (cat, bird, etc) food, playthings, treats, food dish, collar, leash, gift card to local pet store, pet-themed photo frame, and a book or magazine about their particular pet. Fill it half full first with shredded paper from your desk shredder.
sunshiine3 years ago
I have made a few of these from onion bags. I love the chicken! I will have to talk to my friend and see if they have any bags. These totes would make super gifts for pet lovers and country pumpkins. Thanks for sharing your hard work.
mary candy3 years ago
very clever idea !
I love it.
Fashion and recycled ;)
norml3 years ago
Wonderful idea. It'll make anyone the envy of their local farmer's market. Farm-girl chic.
l8nite3 years ago
my dogfood comes in the same kind of bags, they come in handy (even unsewn) for wet and sandy towels coming home from the beach or pool. Leak resistent they make great recycling bags for drink cans in the house. Stuffed with plastic grocery bags and a lil ducktape sealing they make comfy outdoor cushions. Really nice "ible" maybe I should find a sewing machine (and learn how 2 use it)
craftydabbler (author) 3 years ago
I forgot to add that I used a "16" needle and heavy duty thread (made for sewing denim). I hope this helps!
jxross3 years ago
Clever. I have several of the exact same bag "laying" around because I "just knew" I could use it for something. Looks like I need to pull out the sewing machine. Thanks for sharing the idea.