Woven Tote Bag




About: I have been sewing and crafting for several years, my children are grown so now I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy photography, cooking, cake decorating, painting and sharing my projects with others.

This would be a perfect beach bag. I used 20 pound dog food bags for this project. You will need 3 or 4 of them. You will also need a large poster frame, scotch tape, fabric for the lining, sewing machine, scissors, measuring tape and straight pins.Cut the bottoms off the bags and then look for where the side seam is, it will be a section about 2" wide, where the sides are fused together. Cut this off. Open up the bag and wipe the inside of the bag with a damp cloth. It is very important to cut the strips on a diagonal. These plastic dog food bags are made with tightly woven plastic strings. If you don't cut the strips on the bias they will unravel. I cut my strips about 1" wide. The strips need to be as long as the poster frame. 

Step 1: Tape Strips to a Frame

I taped the strips to a large poster frame. Tape down both ends of each strip. Fill the whole frame. Place the strips as close to each other as you can without overlapping. 

Step 2: Weaving

When you have the strips taped to the frame in one direction, this is called the warp. You can now begin weaving more strips in and out of the first set of strips. This is called the Weft. When you get one row woven across, tape the ends to the frame and start weaving another row. The second row will be going over what the first strip went under and it will go under what the first strip went over. Each subsequent row will do the opposite of the one before it. Continue until you fill the frame.

Step 3: Remove the Weaving From the Frame

Tape the strips close to the edge of the frame. Cut the excess off.

Step 4: Sewing the Strips

This step keeps the weaving in place when you turn the bag right side out. I sewed down every other row. When you are done sewing the rows you can now cut off the outside edges that have tape on them. 

Step 5: Constructing the Bag

Cut out a piece of fabric (I used an old shirt) the same size for the lining. Fold the weaving in half and stitch up the side seams. open the bottom corners and sew across making the box corners. Do the same with the lining. Turn the woven bag right side out. Place the lining inside the bag. Pin the lining to the bag, matching up the side seams. Cut strips of fabric for the binding and handles. Bind the top edge. 



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    5 Discussions


    5 years ago

    Mole1 is right...these types of bags, wallets and purses are very expensive - perhaps because they are handmade. Juice bags, gum wrappers etc? This instructable is fantastic. Cutting on the bias - great point. Thank you! You put so much effort into your projects. Much appreciated!


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Very well executed!
    I really like that the strip ar cut on the diagonal because it make the lrtters d sort of disapear binging the colors out. If only I had pets. sight ;-)


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Tis looks great! It makes me want to go find some old feed bags and make one, just because it looks so cool!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Love it! It looks like something I saw recently in a travel store costing a small fortune.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It looks so nice. I would have never guessed it was made from dog food bags. :)