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What You Need to Make a Tote Bag From a Feed BagIf you buy large bags of pet food, Rock salt or many other items at the grocery store, you are buying packaging that you can re-use once it's empty to make great tote bags. This is a great re-use re-think kind of project that takes a usable material and stops it from ending up in the landfill while creating a strong durable bag that you will use for years. Given the kind of materiel the bags are made of, it easily wipes clean so it is no big deal if a grocery item leaks.
What You Need:
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- An... Empty feed bag made from woven tarp like material
- 1" wide Webbing Strap - two 18" to 20" pieces
- Optional but suggested - double fold bias tape
- Sewing Machine
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Prepare the Bag
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- Flatten the bag, fan folding the sides of the bag using the original folds in the sides of the bag.
- Cut the bag at a desired location being sure that your cuts are perpendicular to the sides of the bag. You will want a bag area large enough to make a usable bag. The bag pictured here were cut to 17" long.
- Turn the bag inside out and thoroughly wipe down the "fabric". Allow it to dry thoroughly before sewing.
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The Bottom Seam
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- With the bag still inside out, lay it flat with the desired side fold at the exact side edge.
- Line up the bottom edges and sew a seam 1/4" from the edge.
- Zigzag the seam allowance edge so that the needle goes off the edge enclosing the "fabric" threads. More about Sewing Seam Finishes
- For a secure seam that will hold up to a large amount of groceries, enclose the bottom seam allowance in the double fold bias tape. Do not worry about enclosing the ends of the folded bias tape as the... ends will be cut off in the next step. How to Stitch on Double Fold Bias Tape
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Squaring the Bag
Squaring the bottom of the bag creates a bag that is easier to pack than a bag that does not have a squared bottom.
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- Lay the bottom of the bag on the side seam, creating a triangle corner.
- Measure from the tip of the triangle up approximately 2" and sew across the bag as shown in the photo.
- Trim the seam allowance to 1/4".
- Turn under the end of a piece of double fold bias tape and enclose the end of the seam.
- Attach the bias tape, enclosing the opposite end as you did the beginning.
- Repeat for... the opposite side of the bag.
- Turn the bag right side out and finger press the seams flat. (Experiment with a Wooden Seam Pressing Bar to create sharp creases.
- Finger press the side fold lines to match the new corners of the bottom of the bag.
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Hem the Top of the Bag
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- Turn under 1/4" of the top edge to the inside of the bag.
- Turn under again to enclose the raw edge.
- Finger press well.
- Sew the hem in place, sewing as close to the inside hem edge as possible.
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Attach The Straps
- On the outside top edge, decide on an even distance from each folded side edge for your strap placement, placing 1" of the end of each strap on the bag.
- Evenly place both straps so both straps are in the same location on each side of the bag.
- Sew the straps in place by sewing a square on the 1" of strap that is on the bag.