Re-usable Bags




Introduction: Re-usable Bags

About: I'm a girl with a couple of kids, chickens and bees, and yes, let's not forget Mike, my husband. I'm always running down the rabbit hole with some new idea. I'm learning to temper my passion for everything wi…

This is by far the simplest bag pattern I have used.  Years back I had a re-usable bag someone had given me.  It fit two 1 gallon jugs of milk in it perfectly.  When I gave it a good look-sie I was surprised to see how easy it would be to make my own bags.

1 yd of Fabric- (in this demo I used oil cloth) 
Ribbon (go nuts- make your bag fancy)
Sewing machine 
cardboard (to make the pattern)

Step 1: Cutting Out the Pieces

I like to cut my pattern out of cardboard for this project.  You can make the pattern just as easily from fabric.
There are two pieces:
1) the main body- a large rectangle that is 36"x16"
2) the sides- a smaller rectangle that is 7"x16"
*on piece #2 at one end of the width curve the corners. 

Now that you have the patterns, use them on your fabric and cut it out.
Note that with piece #2 you need to cut 2 of these out.

If you want to get fancy cut piece #1 from one fabric and #2 from a different design of fabric.

Step 2: Cutting the Straps

Cut two straps at 3" x 25"

Step 3: Sewing the Sides

Sew piece #2 to each side (or width) of piece #1.
Go slow as you go around the bottom of piece #2.

If you are not using oil cloth press the seams open.

Step 4: Turn the Bag

Step 5: Sewing the Straps

The type of fabric you are using will determine how you sew up the straps.

Oil Cloth:
You need to fold it in half and then each end is folded under about 1/4".  The 'right' side of the fabric is facing out.
On the sewing machine stitch it together.

Other fabrics:
You need to make a tube, sew it shut (wrong side out), and turn it.
1.  fold fabric in half- wrong side out
2.  Sew it down the length with a 3/8" seam, at the top turn and sew it closed
3.  At the closed end (using a pencil with the eraser end) push the fabric through and pull it right side out
4.  Press 

Step 6: Attaching the Straps

1. Fold the top of the bag over (and inside) by about 1 1/2" 
2.  Pin it (press if you are not using oil cloth)
3.  Sew a seam all the way around the top of the bag about 1" down.
4. Take the straps and pin in place.  I like to attach them about 2-3" from the outer edge of the side piece.
*each strap goes across the wide part of the bag- not over the top of the bag
5.  Stitch the straps into place

Step 7: Finish Up!

Now go as wild as you want.  For this one I added a simple red velvet ribbon to the top.  

I make these bags in batches.  I'll pull out a crapload of fabric and start cutting.  From start to finish it takes me under an hour to complete one bag.  Have fun!

If you liked this Instructable subscribe to me and come on over to our site where my husband, Mike, and I tinker around our mini-farm (AKA our backyard).

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Lots of great pictures and I love that you do your patterns in cardboard too. I do that so they don't rip or go all funny when I store them. :D

    Chicken Girl
    Chicken Girl

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I 'stack' all my cardboard patterns for easy storage. My other alternative pattern material is muslin. Every year or so I buy a bolt of it for about $.50 a yard.