How to Make DIY Reusable Produce Bags

Make a sustainable change by crafting your own reusable produce bags to bring to the grocery store or farmer’s market. This is an easy sewing project, perfect for DIY beginners who are just learning how to use a sewing machine.

Close up of a beige mesh bag and cloth bag with orange drawstrings

Create More Bags

Repeat all of these steps with mesh fabric and with different sizes of fabric to make a variety of bags. Wash the bags before using.

Photo by: Karen Kavett

Karen Kavett

Skip plastic and paper bags at the grocery store and put your sustainable crafting skills to use by making these DIY reusable produce bags. Whether you're new to sewing or are a seasoned vet, this easy sewing project will help you save money and the environment.

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DIY Reusable Produce Bags
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Materials + Supplies

Cut Your Fabric

Cut your fabric into a long rectangle. Ours measures 28 x 14 inches, but you don’t need precise measurements for this project. You can make bags in a variety of sizes based on the type and amount of produce you buy.

Keep in mind that you should use a material that doesn’t fray when cut. We’re repurposing a cotton dish towel for our example.

fabric for DIY reusable produce bags

Cut Fabric

Cut your fabric into a long rectangle. Ours measures 28” x 14”, but you don’t need precise measurements for this project. You can make a bags in a variety of sizes based on the type and amount of produce you buy. Keep in mind that you should use a material that doesn’t fray when cut. We’re repurposing a cotton dish towel for our example.

Photo by: Karen Kavett

Karen Kavett

Place Your Pins

Fold your fabric in half with the right sides facing each other and pin or clip in place (Image 1). Leave 2 inches unpinned at the top and mark this spot with a pin (Image 2).

Start Sewing Your Reusable Produce Bag

Sew up each side, stopping at the pin so you leave the top 2 inches open (Image 1 - 3). Remove the pins (Image 4).

Line Up the Fabric With the Side Seam

Use your fingers to lay the side seam flat, and then pin the remaining fabric on each side so they line up with the side seam (Image 1 + 2). Sew around this V shape. Repeat on the other side (Image 3 + 4).

Fold and Sew

Fold down the top inch of the bag so it lines up with the split in the fabric. Pin or clip in place and sew it down (Image 1 - 3). Repeat on the other side (Image 4). Turn your bag inside out (Image 5).

Cut the Cord

Cut two pieces of cord that are each about 8 inches longer than double the width of the bag. For our 14-inch-wide bag, our cords were 36 inches. If you don’t have macramé cord, feel free to use shoelaces or any thick string you already have.

macrame cord for DIY produce bag

Cut Cord

Cut two pieces of cord that are each about 8” longer than double the width of the bag. For our 14” wide bag, our cords were 36”. If you don’t have macrame cord, feel free to use shoelaces or any thick string you already have.

Photo by: Karen Kavett

Karen Kavett

Place Your String

Push one piece of string through a large safety pin and feed it all the way around the bag (Image 1 + 2). Tie the ends in a knot (Image 3). Repeat with the other piece of string, starting and ending on the other side (Image 4).

Add the Finishing Touches

Trim the ends of the cord to be the same length. Optionally, untwist and comb out the ends to make a tassel (Image 1 + 2).

Make More DIY Reusable Produce Bags

Repeat all of these steps with mesh fabric and with different sizes of fabric to make a variety of bags (Image 1 - 3). Wash the bags before using.

Using the Right Bag

You can use the mesh bags for foods that will be cooked or with inedible rinds (such as avocados or onions), and the cotton bags for foods that are fully edible (such as cucumbers or bell peppers) (Image 1 - 3). That way, the food you eat will not come into contact with the shopping cart or conveyor belt.

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