When you go to the market next, take your reusable shopping bag - but take these bags too! We fill our reusable shopping bags with smaller plastic bags or paper bags (maybe re-use a few times then throw away).
With the exception of access to a sewing machine all the materials are cheap and easy to find - you may already have most of what you need. Look to things you have left over to use first.
4 years ago I started shopping at the local market and made my own shopping bags to re-use. But I found that I was still filling up this bag with lots of smaller disposable plastic and paper bags! I bought some netting fabric and made my first bags for weighing my fruit and veg. And I've been using them ever since. Since no one else noticed, I decided it was time to spread the word and get more people interested so I started making them to sell on my website www.onestringbag.com and now open sourcing how to make them to encourage others to do the same!
Step 1: Materials & Equipment
Not essential but you will be there a long time sewing by hand without one, and the stitches won't be as tight.
Ask around friends and relatives, there is bound to be one hiding in a cupboard somewhere, or you may even find some one willing to sew them for you!
Otherwise you will need a needle to thread, (and maybe a few band-aids for poking yourself).
To hold the string in position while you sew.
Dedicated fabric scissors are best for clean easy cuts. If buy or borrow a good pair of scissors don't use them for paper as you will blunt them!
Use cooking twine or any other string you prefer for the draw-string.
Cotton or polyester thread
to sew with.
Fabric for the bag
1m of fabric will make 8 bags. Their final size depends on the width of the fabric.
Recommended: tulle netting. It's the tutu netting used for costumes. It comes in lots of bright and interesting colours.
If you get together a group of friends you can buy a metre each of different colours and then swap bags so you all have different colours!
Or if you have odds of fabric about the place you could just square up the pieces and start sewing right away!
If you want to buy it, tulle usually comes in 2 sizes.
One is flat () and one is folded (the folded is usually about 145 cm wide).
Tulle is an easy fabric to use as the cut edges do not fray easily and will require minimal sewing.
It also means you can store your fruit in these bags and they will have air-flow around them.
If you have used a different fabric you may need to fold the fabric an extra time to prevent raw edges of fabric from fraying away. These instructions have been written for tulle netting, so sewing and finishing is very quick and easy.
To make a cool branding tag (makes the bags look a bit special).