DIY Reusable Shopping Bag

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On November 8th, California became the first state to ban plastic bags. I lived in Germany for three years after I left the Army and they ban plastic bags as well. If I didn’t remember to bring a bag, I’d load my cart at checkout and dump everything in my trunk until I got home. It used to annoy me that I had to pay for a bag but after awhile I got used to bringing my own.

I tried to keep using reusable bags when I moved back home to California but it was too convenient to forget my bags when I would go to the store. I’m a huge supporter of reusable bags but I always seem to forget my bags at home! I’m really happy this law passed because it will keep me accountable.

Today I decided to make a bag from an old shirt that I was going to donate to the Good Will. I plan on making several more of these. I like to separate my groceries and I’m particular about it. I already have ideas to sew in big pockets to keep stuff organized.

DIY Shopping Bag
Old Shirt
Cut the sleeves off and save for later. Cut an opening where the shirt would rest on the shoulders.
Cut the sleeves off and save for later. Cut an opening where the shirt would rest on the shoulders.
Pin back the cut part for sewing so it will not fray.
Pin back the cut part for sewing so it will not fray.
Sewing the edge to prevent fraying.
Sewing the edge to prevent fraying.

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Pin the sides down where the sleeves were and sew over several times.
Pin the sides down where the sleeves were and sew over several times.
Sides should look like this.
Sides should look like this.
Next, sew the bottom several times to make extra sturdy.
Next, sew the bottom several times to make extra sturdy.
Take the sleeves and cut at the smaller point.
Take the sleeves and cut at the smaller point.
Sew two ends together to make an extra long handle.
Sew two ends together to make an extra long handle.
Once done sewing, cut in half.
Once done sewing, cut in half.
Fold over, pin down and sew over several times for extra sturdiness. Do the same with the other one.
Fold over, pin down and sew over several times for extra sturdiness. Do the same with the other one.

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Sew over one end on each and cut the remaining material.
Sew over one end on each and cut the remaining material.
Once sewn, turn the straps inside out.
Once sewn, turn the straps inside out.
This will take a little work. Once turned right side out, fold the opening in and sew over.
This will take a little work. Once turned right side out, fold the opening in and sew over.
Sew one strap on each side. See over 5-10 times to make sure the straps stay on when carrying heavy loads.
Sew one strap on each side. Sew over 5-10 times to make sure the straps stay on when carrying heavy loads.
My straps were too long so I tied a knot at the top. In the future, I won't need to combine the sleeves by making the strap longer which will make it easier and faster for me.
My straps were too long so I tied a knot at the top. In the future, I won’t need to combine the sleeves by making the strap longer which will make it easier and faster for me.
Small enough to throw in my purse. Easy to wash when needed.
Small enough to throw in my purse. Easy to wash when needed.

I hope this tutorial will inspire you to make something of your own!

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