Here in Portland, we try to be as environmentally conscious as possible. We love our local food and we love our reusable tote bags! We have lots of tote bag designs and tutorials, but what if you want to separate your produce inside your tote? Today we are giving you the solution with these DIY reusable produce bags.
Take them with you to the grocery store or farmer’s market to avoid using plastic bags. Or use them to do any sort of organizing around the house!
Leaf the Plastic Behind
Over the years, I’ve made many shifts toward living a plastic-free lifestyle. Produce bags are one of those things you typically use once and then throw away. So bringing reusable produce bags along with you when you shop is one easy way to reduce your use of plastic — and also waste less!
Once you’ve made your produce bags, you can throw them in a tote bag. This will make it easier to remember to take them with you when you go to the store or market. We will also show you how to label your bags if you want to use them to keep certain things organized and always in one place.
Ready to craft? Let’s get started!
How to Make Your Produce Bags
To make these reusable produce bags, we used a sheer nylon tricot from our local fabric store. This material is great for making produce bags because it is breathable, transparent, and stretchy but strong. In other words, everything you would need for carrying your delicate and delicious produce items.
This fabric comes in 108-inch widths, so a yard and a quarter of fabric will make six large bags, three small bags, and a small carrying bag that all nine of the bigger bags will fit into. For this project, you will also need yarn or string to create the drawstring. I strongly suggest using a sewing machine for this. Handsewn versions of these bags run the risk of falling apart because the stitches will not be tight enough. And you want to make sure your reusable produce bags are as sturdy as possible!
Tricot is the perfect material for reusable produce bags because it is naturally stretchy. When you are cutting your fabric, note that the 108″ cut edge of the fabric is the stretchy side and the yard plus length is the non-stretchy side. I recommend that you make the bags with the stretch going from side to side rather than top to bottom. This makes it so that the bag is expansive but still supported by the bottom. For more guidance, just follow the photo tutorial and printable instructions!
How to Make Your Hang Tags
Once your reusable produce bags are sewn together, you can print our hang tags to label them. Print onto copy paper or card stock, then trim with scissors or a 2-inch circle punch. After using a 1/4-inch hole punch to create a hang hole, we took them to get laminated at our local UPS store to protect the labels from moisture.
The next step is to trim away the excess laminate and leave a bit of a border around the paper tag. Punch the hang hole again with a 1/8-inch hole punch and attach it to your produce bags with string. You can then use a wet erase marker to write on these labels over and over again! I love using these as reusable produce bags, but I have to say that they are also the perfect carrying bags for our projects as we are working on them. I hope you enjoy this DIY idea! ~ Lia and team
Find More Eco-Friendly Ideas
Want to reduce your use of plastic? Check out our reusable lunch bag and our beeswax cloth wraps. We also have some great upcycling projects to help you repurpose everyday items into something more useful.
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Are you having trouble? Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you out.