Do you want to celebrate Earth Day with your kids but don’t have any idea to reuse or recycle anything at home? Then, come and follow our guide on “how to make tote bags from feed sacks“.
The tote bags made from colorful and sturdy feed sacks are eco-friendly, reusable, multipurpose, easy to construct, and stylish too. So, let’s turn your pet’s oats into your totes!
Check Also: How to Make Tote Bags out of Plastic Bags?
A Handy Guide to Make Tote Bags from Feed Sacks
We choose feed sacks for making our new DIY totes because they come in a durable material, and colorful patterns, and can be easily available at home. You can choose any old pet, chicken, horse, goat, or sheep feed sack.
Have fun with your kids by making eco-friendly tote bags, this earth day!
Step 1: Gather the Required Material and Tools
Firstly, make sure to involve your kids in gathering the material and tools required for making those cute eco-totes. Because you can’t involve them much in the sewing process for their safety. So, collect the following easy-to-find tools and materials:
- Old feed sack (try to use woven plastic feed sack)
- Fabric lining (optional)
- Nylon webbing for straps (optional)
- Sewing machine with #14 needle
- All-purpose sturdy thread
- Removable marker
- Rotary cutter and mat
Step 2: Preparing the Feed Sack
Before using any feed sack, make sure to clean it with the help of the following easy steps:
- Give it some shakes for removing any feed dust or feed residue.
- Wash and rinse it thoroughly inside and out with clean water.
- Finally, dry it completely before making a beautiful tote bag.
Step 3: Cutting the Bag
After having a thoroughly cleaned feed sack, now lay down it on a table. Choose your bag pattern from the internet, select a size, and choose which design you like to show on the bag.
Next, make sure to leave seam allowances before marking them for cutting. Finally, cut the bottom and top off of the sack as per the marking.
Step 4: Sewing the Bag
Before sewing, turn the bag inside out. Now, stitch the bottom seam with the right sides together and leave an approx. 1/2″ seam allowance.
Next, stitch another row of stitches with an approx 1/4″ from the edge. I prefer double seams for extra sturdiness.
Step 5: Boxed Bottom Corners
Here, comes the trickiest part. You will now decide the width of the bottom of the bag.
- Put your hand inside the bag to help flatten its bottom seam by laying the bag flat ensuring the right sides are together.
- Fold the center sides of the bag together to make two large triangles at the bottom of the bag while making sure that the bottom seam is in the middle.
- Measure and mark a 9″ line across each of the two triangles with the help of a removable marker. You can use a 45-degree line to keep it straight.
- Next, stitch across that line. Sewing again approx 1/4″ away from your first stitching line to keep your stitching durable.
- Finally, turn the bag’s right side out by making sure that it has a square bottom and can stand on its own.
Step 6: Making the Top Edge
Let’s make the bag’s top edge:
- Fold down 3 1/2″ from the top edge and crease this fold with the help of your fingers. Use clips instead of pins for keeping the woven plastic material safe from holes.
- After opening the clips, fold the raw edge to the crease line of the bag.
- Fold it again to get the finished height of your tote.
- Finally, bind the fold again with the help of clips.
Step 7: Attaching the Straps
There are two options for making the handles. Either you can purchase straps of nylon webbing from the market or make your own with the help of using the leftover material of the feed sack material. I choose the second one.
- Cut about 2 1/2″ off from the left-off material.
- Now, cut it in half by making sure that you have two strips of 3″ each.
- Cut these again by having four strips in total.
- Sew a 1/2″ seam on one side of each handle by keeping the right sides together.
- Open that strip and fold down 1/2″ on each long end with clips.
- After securing it with clips, fold these sides together and stitch down 1/4″ from the edge.
- Repeat stitch for another end.
- Place those hand-made straps on each side of the bag and stitch the top edge down 1/4″ from the folded edge of the bag.
- Finally, fold the straps back up so they stick out of the tote and stitch a square pattern with an X through the box for secure handling.
Step 8: Finishing
Fabric lining is optional, you can skip this. If you want to give it a try, then follow these steps:
- Cut your fabric 1″ larger as compared to the finished tote from all sides.
- Sew along the longest side by having the right sides together. It will form like a tube.
- Next, close the bottom seam by having a box shape by repeating step 5.
Your tote is ready to stow!
Now, you can hand over the tote bag to your kids for exploring their creativity. Give them buttons, glue sticks, beads, paint boxes, neon markers, colorful tapes, and stickers to decor their totes.
By knowing how to make tote bags from your old feed sacks, you will end up with one less feed sack for your trash box and many fewer plastic grocery bags for disturbing your ecosystem.
Make your tote bags using different recycled or reused materials that are available in your home and share your earth day story with this in the comment box below!