Introduction: Shopping Bag Makeover: Yellow Edition!

In this Instructable, you will take a reusable cloth shopping bag and sew on laminated food labels to make your bag unique and colorful. Mine is a yellow theme, but you can use whatever color(s) you like.


1. reusable cloth shopping bag

2. food labels--thin cardboard or paper (like can labels or cereal boxes)

3. scissors

4. cell phone camera

4. small laminating machine

5. 3 mil laminating pouches

6. sewing machine

7. thread that coordinates with your project

Step 1: Find a Reusable Shopping Bag

You want one where the material is thin/flexible cloth.

Step 2: Collect Some Food Labels

Look for food labels that are paper or thin cardboard--for example, cereal boxes, labels from cans, small cardboard cartons, etc. Note: there's a mustard bottle in the picture, but I decided it would be too thick and didn't use it.

Step 3: Remove/Trim Labels

Using scissors, remove or cut out the food labels and trim to the size you want.

Step 4: Decide on Layout

Decide where you want the food labels to be on your shopping bag. Leave a little space (about 1/2 inch) in between pieces. Take a picture of your layout with your phone camera. Repeat for the other side of the bag. Set the labels off to the side.

Step 5: Laminate the Food Labels

Turn on your laminating machine and set it to 3 mil. Arrange some of the food labels inside a 3 mil laminating pouch, leaving at least 1/2 inch (or more) in between labels and away from the edge. Trim the labels if needed, to fit. Once the machine is ready, laminate the pouch, feeding the hinged end through first. Repeat until all the food labels are laminated.

Step 6: Cut Apart the Laminated Labels

Using scissors, cut the laminated labels apart. Make sure to leave plenty of laminating film (up to 1/2 inch) around the edges.

Step 7: Sew Labels Onto Shopping Bag

Refer to the pictures of the layout you took earlier. Make sure you have the color of top thread in your sewing machine that you want. Starting with the smaller pieces first, sew the labels onto the bag, leaving about half a presser foot margin around the labels. Repeat for all the food labels.

Step 8: Trim Edges and Threads

With scissors, trim off extra laminating film, leaving about 1/8" beyond the stitching. Trim the sharp corners at an angle. Trim off thread ends.

Step 9: You're Done!

Use your beautiful new shopping bag!

Why yellow?

Yellow is the color of happiness and optimism. It is a color of the rainbow, a symbol that some people have put in their windows when isolated in their homes during the pandemic. For me personally, I have been largely isolated at home in the US with my three children since schools closed in mid-March. Many of my routines have changed. For example, I have not been able to go in-person to my favorite grocery store: ALDI. I really miss it! I made this bag as a tribute to my favorite store and because I am optimistic that "the sun'll come out tomorrow" and I will be able to return some day soon...with my newly refurbished shopping bag!

"The sun'll come out


So ya gotta hang on

'Til tomorrow

Come what may

Tomorrow, tomorrow!

I love ya tomorrow!

You're always

A day


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