These DIY bag tutorials can help you to reduce your reliance on single use plastic. You won’t need plastic shopping bags and produce bags anymore. And you can get as creative as possible. Let your bags be an expression of your personality.
Many of these tutorials require a sewing machine. If you don’t own a machine, consider reaching out to a local seamstress or sew-er who can make your bags for you. Another option, of course, is to check out sites like Amazon and Etsy for reusable bags and bag ideas.
My mom learned to sew as a hobby many years ago. She has her own sewing machine, serger and lots of cloth, buttons, and zips. So when I told her a couple years ago I wanted to make my own tote bag, she invited my cousin over and taught us both how to make a super simple and easy tote bag with zipped pockets and everything. We had so much fun learning to sew (our bent stitches were funny!) and got nice bags out of it. Years later, my cousin still uses that bag almost every day.
So if you (or a family member) has a sewing machine, consider having a sewing party. Make bags for everyone! Those bags could very well reduce the amount of plastic waste your friends and family generate. It’s so simple to do your part to help the environment.
DIY Bag Tutorials: Tote Bags
(#1) Ariane’s bag is perfect for beginners. It’s really simple and easy to make. All you will need is a yard of canvas fabric and cotton webbing.
(#2) OnlineFabricStore explains how to make a cute lined shopping bag. Here you’ll need a yard each of lining and outer fabric, and a stabilizer so the bag has a stiff base.
(#3) Debbie Shore does some of my favorite sewing tutorials. She has so many helpful videos for making totes, box bags, and more. This tote is one of the first bags I made on my own (without mom’s help… but with her fabric ha!).
(#4) I have my eyes on making this one from her soon. It has inside pockets and places to keep reusable water bottles. And it’s fully zipped – so you get safety and privacy with this one.
(#5) Sewspire’s grocery shopping tote is perfect to take to the store or supermarket. It has internal separators that can keep bottles, cans and jars separate. So there will be no clinking of glass on your way home.
Drawstring Bag Tutorials
(#6) Charley Ann repurposed an old pillowcase to make a small, adorable bulk bag with a drawstring.
(#7) Whitney has tons of sewing tutorials on her website. They’re simple and easy to follow along. This drawstring bag tutorial is wonderful for holding small bottles and mason jars.
(#8) Joan from Break n Remake repurposed old shirts and curtains to make a couple different produce bags. She even weighs them so you can see how the bags affect the overall weight of your produce. (She also has a tutorial for a reusable straw holder!)
(#9) Jenn does a great job of breaking down how to make a drawstring bucket bag. It’s fun and functional but materials like HeatnBond are highly recommended so the bag maintains its shape.
(#10) Thin, long drawstring bags are perfect for holding reusable straws and cutlery. In Jessica’s tutorial, she uses an old t-shirt, needle and thread to make a simple utensil pouch. Make a few so you never leave home without your cutlery.
Cute Lunch Bags
(#11) Melanie Ham gives a great step-by-step guide for creating a reusable snack bag that’s secured with Velcro! It’s so cool! I followed her guide and made a cute snack bag of my own; but I used Velcro across the entire top of the bag (nothing shall escape it haha!).
(#12) The SorryGirls show how to make a bag that has the same basic shape as the classic brown lunch bag. It’s ideal for packing lunch for the kids or sandwiches for a summer picnic.
(#13) With Vanessa’s snack bags, you don’t need zips or buttons or Velcro. The fabric folds over and keeps your sandwich or little snacks inside.
DIY Bags for Bottles
(#14) Ashley makes this wonderful kid’s water bottle holder bag with a cross-body strap. It’s simple enough and you won’t need to buy bottled drinks to keep the kiddies hydrated. Adjust the pattern to fit your own reusable bottles too.
(#15) You can also follow Adam’s tutorial for a bottle bag. He repurposed his old backpack to make a sleek drawstring pouch to hold his bottle.
(#16) Here’s another bottle bag design from Sonali. She used sponge and old fabric to make a cute bag with a handle. You can use an old towel, thick cloth or microfiber in place of the sponge too.
(#17) Okay, last two bottle bag tutorials are from Birdcage and Thread. The first is similar to Adam’s but has a little loop for a carabiner so you can easily attach your reusable bottle to your bag (maybe even your DIY tote!).
(#18) The second tutorial from Birdcage and Thread explained how to make rolling zippered bags for your bottles, mason jars and cylindrical containers. You can adjust the dimensions to fit your reusable water bottles too. It keeps the entire bottle covered and secure.
Pouches and Crochet Bags
(#19) Nancy has lots of DIY bag tutorials on her Youtube channel. This one is a beautiful little pouch with so many pockets! It’s perfect for keeping small utensils, cloth napkins, trash bags, and collapsible cups. Oh and it’s great as a makeup bag too.
(#20) This one from Dana is a little more advanced… at least for me! I did venture into the crocheting world when I was younger… but I wasn’t very good at it! My yarns, however, were gorgeous unicorn colors *heart eyes emoji*. Anyway, Dana does this wonderful crochet backpack with butcher’s twine; and sews in zips, webbing, a fabric base and inner lining.
(#21) Speaking of crochet, Chantelle created these really cute drawstring pouches. They are fully crocheted so you won’t need a sewing machine to make them.
Unique DIY Bag Designs
(#22) Net bags are also popular and they’re really easy to make. Anna breaks everything down in her video. She used 60 meters of cord (cut into 1.5 m pieces) and a solid wooden handle. That’s it! No sewing necessary – just a little patience.
(#23) Tara also has a great net bag tutorial using jute twine. Her bag looks so chic and strong. And all you need is twine, glue, and a little tape.
(#24) This one from Niamh is not exactly a bag – it’s a utensil holder and napkin. It’s perfect for keeping your own reusable utensils, straws, chop sticks, and more. I suggest making a couple of these so you always have a clean one ready to go.
(#25) You can also make your own bags out of paper. Old magazines and newspapers can be used in this way. And there are lots of tutorials on Youtube for different types of paper bags. I really like this one from Easy Origami.
Did you like these DIY bag tutorials? If you did, be sure to give some love to your favorites on Youtube.
And if you liked this post, then check out this one: 100 ways to reduce food waste. It’s got some great ideas on how to help the environment, cut down on wastage and even use at the farmers’ market.
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