DIY Shopping Bag

DIY Shopping Bag - HandleFrom next year Coles and Woolworths will be phasing out plastic bags in Queensland. It’s been a long time coming but I’m glad it’s finally here.

Now, I just need to remember to pack the fabric bags in the car before each shop.

And to stock up on said fabric bags. I have them. A lot of them. But they seem to tear and break frequently. Perhaps it’s because I over-stuff them with toys, swimming gear, soccer balls and library books.

So I thought I’d whip a few bags to replace the torn ones. They also look just a wee bit nicer.

Here’s how to make your own DIY shopping bag.

DIY Shopping Bag

You will need:

  • An existing re-usable shopping bag in a size you like
  • About 1m of sturdy fabric
  • Scissors
  • Some cardboard (I used an old taco box)
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine

Here’s what to to do:

  • Fold your fabric in half and use the existing bag as a pattern to cut around. Making sure that the bottom of the existing bag is on the fold on your fabric. Make sure that you completely expand the existing bag at the bottoms and the sides, as shown in the photos below.
  • Use the base of the original bag as a template and cut out of the cardboard.
  • You should be left with three fabric pieces. One large one, which will form the bag. And two skinnier pieces which will form the handles. Cut those to the width that suits you, keeping in mind a 1cm seam allowance.
  • Fold the skinnier pieces in half, right sides facing each other. Sew down the longer side and then turn the tube the right way. Press so that the seam is in the middle.
  • Then fashion the handles as per the below by folding the sides in. Sew down the triangular shape to secure.
  • Hem the short edges of the larger bag piece.
  • Then sew the handles to the shorter sides of the bag
  • Fold the larger bag piece in half, with right sides facing each other.  Sew the side seams.
  • Using your cardboard base, place on the bottom of the bag so that the middle of the short edge of the card aligns with the seam. Pin and sew across. This will create the base of the bag (and easier than sewing in a gusset). This post explains this better than I can.
  • Do the same on the other side and fold the triangles underneath


  • If you want to, cover your base with fabric. I just glue gunned with some ribbon.
  • Place the base into the bag.
  • Shop and enjoy (maybe even leave it in the car)

DIY Shopper


Do you always remember your fabric bags?
Care to share how?

4 thoughts on “DIY Shopping Bag

  1. Vanessa says:

    I never remember mine. Actually I think I got rid of most, but I do now have one small one for shops that have already phased it out. I’m not anti the ban but I also don’t think the reusable ones you buy are that great. Last time I had them they wore out pretty quickly so I’m frankly a bit meh on the whole thing!
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