Introduction: Onion Bag Shopping Tote

I've been seeing a lot of mesh on my favourite fashion bloggers' blogs and in my favourite designers' designs lately. After going through a bag of onions I realised that the bright red mesh bags would be a fun and cheap way to get some mesh into my own wardrobe.

I decided on a shopping bag because the mesh stretches beautifully to fit all my groceries and it folds up into almost nothing so its fits easily in my purse.

Step 1: Materials


  • An mesh onion or orange bag
  • about .5 square metres of fabric (depending of desired strap length)


  • Sewing machine
  • thread
  • blunt needle/ crochet hook

Step 2: Prepare Bag

Cut the top off the bag. Also remove any labels.

Step 3: Cut Fabric

Cut one strip for the top of the bag and two strips for the straps (I cut four strips for the straps but sewed two together).

The strip for the top should be more than double the height of the band you want at the top because it will be folded over and we must allow for two seams.

The thickness of the strips for the straps should also be over double the thickness you want your straps in the final product because we must fold the over and allow for seams.

Step 4: Sew Top Band

Sew the bottom edge of the band to the inside of the bag. The inside of the bag should be against the right side of the fabric because we will fold the fabric over to enclose and hide the seam. The photo here shows the inside of the onion bag face up and the wrong side of the fabric face up. The second image depicts the bag when the fabric has been folded back up . Here, the outside of the bag and the wrong side of the fabric is face up.

Step 5: Sew Side Edges Together

Now sew the short ends of the band together.

Step 6: Keep Sewing the Band...

We now sew the right side of the fabric to the outside of the bag.

Fold the edge of the fabric over so the messy edge is not visible from the right side. I recommend ironing the edge to make it easier to sew to the bag. It is also a good idea to iron the fold at the top of the bag too (I didn't do any ironing out of laziness.)

Sew the folded edge to the outside of the bag. try it keep it in line with the seam on the inside of the bag. This will mean both seams are neatly enclosed .

Step 7: Sew Straps

Sew the long edges together so the wrong side of the fabric is on the outside.

Step 8: Turn Straps Inside Out

Turn straps inside out to enclose the seam.

I do this by threading a long piece of string/thread through the entire strap using a blunt needle of crochet hook. I then fix the string firmly to one side by tying it to loose threads at the end. I then start to pull the string back through the strap from the other side. You may need to push the fixed end into the hole in strap to start it going.

Step 9: Attach Straps

Sew your straps onto the inside of the bag.

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