Making My Own Shopping Bags
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  1. #1
    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    Default Making My Own Shopping Bags

    Knowing that sooner or later, the stores around here are going to charge for plastic bags & eventually eliminate them, I decided to make my own. I really hate the way the ugly green bags look and the stores are always trying to up-sell them. I had a bunch of jean scraps, so, I sewed them together-kind of like a crazy quilt & zig-zagged the seams flat. That added to the appearance. Then,using one of those ugly green bags that someone gave me, I measured the pieces and used the measurements to cut pieces from the denim & scrap fabric for a lining. It takes about an hour to make and you can add your own embellishments. The home made bags are much sturdier & won't fall apart easily....not to mention, they are prettier I would suggest that if you are going to use your home made bags for groceries, bring a small garbage bag with you to wrap the meats up to cut down on germs.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    Way to Go!

    Your bags sound lovely. I bet you will get several compliments on them when you shop.

    We made our own bags our of t shirts.
    like these FASTEST RECYCLED T-SHIRT TOTE BAG

    They did not look that sturdy to me but we have been using and washing them for years now.

  3. #3
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    We've been using canvas bags for years now, since long before it was trendy. They're used at least once a week and have been for at least twenty years, and get washed frequently. They hold up extremely well. I had a small business making canvas bags years ago. My bags are the same size as a brown paper grocery bag and hold two one-gallon milk containers nicely. I have one I made for a particular business here in town that holds three one-gallon jugs. I need to make at least a couple more of those for hauling water.

    I've made the T-shirt bags but don't really like them that much. They're too soft to hold their shape when we're trying to load them, and they stretch so much that if there's heavy stuff in them, they scrape on the ground if I carry them the way a bag like that is normally carried. Which reminds me I have a could of them laying around the sewing room that need to be shortened, which might make me like them better. I carry spare bags folded into the pockets of the canvas bags in case we need extras, and they'd probably work okay for that.

    I also made some bags out of the woven plastic bags that stuff like cat food, sunflower seeds, field corn, and stuff like that comes in. They're very sturdy, but they also make a lot of noise and are kind of stiff. However, they wipe clean easily and are good for wet things. I use those for spare bags in the canvas bag pockets, too.

    I hate plastic shopping bags. I hate how stuff gets all jumbled together in them, and I REALLY hate how worthless they are to hold anything sharp or heavy. I just cringe when people pack glass jars of stuff in them, especially stuff like half gallon jars of olives or pickles. They just break too easily. The only time we don't use our canvas bags is when we're running low on plastic bags to recycle into trash bags and bags for cleaning out litter boxes.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    I like to make these for gifts (most of my friends shop at Aldi's, like me)

    ikat bag: Strawberry Bag

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Those are really nice!

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I would love to see pictures of your jean bags!!! They sound lovely!

    I much prefer cloth bags. They can be washed easier.

    Our local grocery store (Fred Meyers) started having reusable bags a few years ago. They would offer free bags if you bought so much. I got almost all of mine for free and I have a ton of them. And, the bags have a lifetime warranty. I wind up getting a round of new bags about once a year as the bags get damaged and worn out. I had planned on making my own before Freddies came out with the bags. I can't see putting effort into making my own since I got them for free and they get replaced as they get worn out.

  8. #7
    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    the strawberry bags are too cute!

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    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Deer View Post
    We've been using canvas bags for years now, since long before it was trendy. They're used at least once a week and have been for at least twenty years, and get washed frequently. They hold up extremely well. I had a small business making canvas bags years ago. My bags are the same size as a brown paper grocery bag and hold two one-gallon milk containers nicely. I have one I made for a particular business here in town that holds three one-gallon jugs. I need to make at least a couple more of those for hauling water.

    I've made the T-shirt bags but don't really like them that much. They're too soft to hold their shape when we're trying to load them, and they stretch so much that if there's heavy stuff in them, they scrape on the ground if I carry them the way a bag like that is normally carried. Which reminds me I have a could of them laying around the sewing room that need to be shortened, which might make me like them better. I carry spare bags folded into the pockets of the canvas bags in case we need extras, and they'd probably work okay for that.

    I also made some bags out of the woven plastic bags that stuff like cat food, sunflower seeds, field corn, and stuff like that comes in. They're very sturdy, but they also make a lot of noise and are kind of stiff. However, they wipe clean easily and are good for wet things. I use those for spare bags in the canvas bag pockets, too.

    I hate plastic shopping bags. I hate how stuff gets all jumbled together in them, and I REALLY hate how worthless they are to hold anything sharp or heavy. I just cringe when people pack glass jars of stuff in them, especially stuff like half gallon jars of olives or pickles. They just break too easily. The only time we don't use our canvas bags is when we're running low on plastic bags to recycle into trash bags and bags for cleaning out litter boxes.
    When the stores started going from paper bags to plastic, I was irritated. I actually preferred the paper bags....not only did they have a "million" uses, there was a store that would pay you to recycle them. I used them as trash bags, wrapping paper, crafts, writing paper (grocery lists),envelopes, sewing patterns,etc. I'm considering stenciling a message on my jean bags "#Bring Back Our Paper Bags!"lol. The useful ways that we use the plastic bags are for trash bags,dog doo, removing dead animals from the back yard- using a bag as a glove (compliments of the huskies hatred for opossums),bagging up items for donations. I've made floor mats with them and I have a BIL that has only one arm that says they are more convenient for him to use b/c he can carry one by looping the handles over his stub (still has his elbow).....but for me, I really don't like them....I have to double tie them b/c the canned goods find their way to the floorboard by the time I get home - the baggers at the store won't tie them. Alot of times the groceries have to be double bagged b/c the bags tear & it seems like some stores' plastic bags are getting thinner & thinner.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Walmart has the worst plastic bags on the planet. I do my best not to forget my bags on the rare occasions we go there.

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    Registered User Toffeekit's Avatar
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    In England, the government has decided that shops must charge us for plastic shopping bags - and why not? I already had my own collection of various-size canvas and hessian bags that I've been using for several years now but I was thinking about making my own cotton ones so I read this thread with interest.

    I was thinking of recycling t-shirts into shopping bags so the comments that they do tend to be stretchy and sag with heavy loads are very helpful.

    SpiritDeer mentions woven material that cat food comes in; if we had this, I would use it, for sure.

    Any more Make-Your-Own links I might use? I do have a sewing machine but it's vintage (hand-cranked) so doesn't do anything tricky, just straight seams.

  12. #11
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    The cat food bags are woven plastic, not a cloth like the old-time flour sacks were. I'm old enough that I actually wore dressed made from flour sacks when I was a kid.

    Dang, I'm ooooolllllllllddddddd!

    The stretchiness of the T-shirt bags is easy to fix. Just cut a couple inches or whatever you need to off the hem edge so when it stretches, it doesn't drag on the ground. If you're taller than me of have shorter arms, it might not be a problem for you. Give one a try and see. The bigger problem is if you can only straight stitch with your machine, you might have problems with the stitching breaking in stretchy fabric.

  13. #12
    Registered User many houseapes's Avatar
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    Speaking of flour sacks....I really wish that they would come back. I guess I'm old too.lol...I can remember buying flour when my oldest 2 were still in diapers - I made their summer shorts out of the flour sack bags.

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Flour sacks made the best dish towels.

    They'll never come back. The new stuff is cheaper. And maybe stuff is safer packed in something less porous, I don't know.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    The last time I was at Winco, they had flour in material bags. It was spendy though. Some of the bags had really really super cute prints and would have been great for quilt material (or a little girl's dress).

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    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    As you can see, I don't get out much...

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