The winter months are a great time to catch up on projects you’ve been planning but have been putting off for a while. In my case it was making reusable grocery bags out of canvas.
To get started, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and high quality canvas wasn’t really necessary so I purchased a durable canvas drop cloth (for around $9) which saved me at least half. The weave was comparable to fabric off the bolt, so it was a win-win.
For instructions, I followed this excellent tutorial https://www.themakeyourownzone.com/how-to-make-a-reusable-grocery-bag/. Since the tutorial was geared for using plastic materials, I made a few changes along the way…
Because I was using cotton, I was able to press seams with an iron and I used my hot ruler for accuracy.
I also had the issue of fraying, so once the seams were sewn and the body portion of the bag was assembled, I ran a zigzag stitch along all the raw edges. A serger would work nicely if you’ve got one.
Notice the nice hem along the top? When cutting, I planned to have the factory sewn edge up top for a professional look. It was also a more substantial edge for attaching the handle and it added extra durability.
Overall, the tutorial allowed me to achieve the same results just with different materials. If you decide to make your own reusable bags, I should point out a few things regarding plastic vs. canvas.
First of all, the canvas bags won’t stand up like plastic! But they’ll definitely last longer and they can be laundered which is a definite plus.
With both types, you’ll want to be sure to add something to the bottom for support. I used fitted cardboard to give the bags a more defining shape and added strength.
My husband does the grocery shopping (he actually likes to) 🙂 and he loves these bags. And of course, if it’s green and eliminates plastic waste I’m all about it!
From start to finish, these bags (I made 3) took just a few hours and they’re a really easy make.
2 thoughts on “Making Reusable Canvas Grocery Bags”
I made similar bags with outdoor canvas, the fabric used for pads on outdoor furniture, and nylon webbing for the straps. Bias tape covers the inside seams. You can make five or six bags from a single yard of the very wide canvas fabric. They have held up well to heavy grocery loads, are washable, and still look fantastic five years later.
That’s a great idea Sandy. If I make any more I’ll go the route of using that type of canvas. So far these have held up to wear and washing but I think fabric for outdoor use would be more sturdy. Thanks for sharing!