Sunday, January 22, 2012

DIY Make your own Feed Bag Market Tote Tutorial


Feed bags are made of incredibly sturdy material and come in all sorts of pretty colors and patterns and it's a shame to just throw them out. Some communities are banning plastic grocery bags, others are taking a few cents off your grocery bill for each tote bag you use, but even if you live in an area that doesn't give an incentive to use a reusable tote bag, its still an in expensive, easy, eco-friendly way to help save the environment.


I have been sewing all our feed bags up into market tote bags which are great for groceries, knitting, books, the beach, or trips to the feed store.  They don't rip, hold a lot more than a regular plastic bag and are really easy to make, only requiring basic sewing skills and maybe a half  hour of your time.

Materials:
40 or 50 lb. Feed Bag (washed out and dried)
44" nylon or cotton webbing (or you can use the discarded strips of bag to make straps)
Coordinating spool of thread and bobbin
Sewing machine fitted with a 90/14 medium-weight needle
Tape measure
Pinking shears
Straight Pins
Instructions:

Measure 21" vertically up the front of the bag, centering the design you want on the front of the bag within the middle 17".  Mark your cutting lines and cut the top and bottom off the bag (save the scraps if you want to use them as straps).


  Turn the bag inside out. With bag lying flat, sew along the bottom edge, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.


Fold the bag, still inside out, flattening the sides, so the bottom corners each form a triangle.  Measure 4" from the point of the triangle on either side and mark a sewing line.


Sew along the line on both sides (this forms the flat bottom) and then trim off the point of each triangle using pinking shears, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance. This is what the corners will look like with the bag turned right side out.



With the bag still inside out, fold the top edge over an inch and then another inch, making sure the top edge is folded evenly and the design is straight.


Cut the webbing in half to form the two handles and tuck one end of each handle under the fold, measuring 5" from the outer edge on both sides of the bag, with the loops facing downwards towards the bottom of the bag. Pin in place.


If you want to use bag scraps for the handles, cut two 3" wide 22" long strips, fold into thirds, pin and then sew up each edge with a zigzag stitch to make thin strap-like strips.



Once your straps are done and pinned in place, sew along the lower edge of the top of the bag using a zigzag stitch.  


Then flip the handles up and sew along the top edge of the bag using a straight stitch and catching each handle to secure it in place.



This is what the finished handle will look like (I used a dark handle for this photo so you can see the stitching).


(What the completed handle looks like on the outside of the bag.)


Turn the bag right side out.  Fold the bag flat along the side creases and carefully iron using a medium heat setting and a piece of cotton fabric between the iron and the bag (otherwise the bag will melt).


Voila ! There you have it - a cute upcycled, eco-friendly feed bag market tote !



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48 comments:

  1. Good directions. Thanks for the post!

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  2. What an idea. I know feed store, gas station signage are collectables. I bet these are too. If not now, in the future.

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  3. What an adorable idea!! I love it!! Thanks for posting, and I loved your instructions, I am more of a visual learner, so I loved the pictures. I know its a bit of a pain stopping your work to snap a picture (I personally am horrible at it) but THANKS for taking the time!!

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  4. Thanks ! I seem to always have my phone in my hand taking pictures of something - I thin illustrated instructions are alot easier to follow also.

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  5. I was wondering what to do with all the leftover feed sacks! Thanks for posting (">

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  6. I have saved several of these feed bags, can't wait to give this a try! Thanks

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  7. Oh, I just threw bunches of feed bags away! Now I'll have to start saving them again. What a terrific idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I've been making these for the past year also, but I like your handles and the way you assemble the handles better than the way I've been doing it. thanks for sharing.

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    1. You are welcome. I originally tried making an X but they came out really messy. I found this way is very secure and quick and easy. Also much neater.

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  9. Where do you get your differnet color webbing at?

    Thank You,

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    1. At our local pharmacy believe it or not. They have a craft section and carry all kinds of craft supplies. fabric, yarn, etc. I have also seen it by the roll on ebay. I tried making handles from the pieces of the bag I cut off but again - very messy and time-consuming.

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    2. The only handles I've made are from bag scraps. Not difficult

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  10. They are so cute! Can't wait to try this. Thanks for the directions!

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  11. I've seen these around and have been wanting to try making them - thanks so much for the instructions!!

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  12. Making you're own tote bag is really a great idea .You really made a excellent tote bag.Pretty cute.

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  13. I can't wait to make some with my horse and chicken feed bags and then go to the feed store with one! I'm sure the store keeper will get a kick out of it! Thanks for the idea!

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  14. Great post, instructions and tote!

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  15. I was just at Wimberely Market Days in Texas last month and saw these for sale. $40 each. I had to buy one! Awesome. They but a thing board (covered) in the bottom to help make it more sturdy and lined the inside. Even added fringe, ruffles, etc along the top. Very cute. I love the coloring of your feed sacks. Different parts of the country have different feed sacks. Might have to get some from you!

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    1. Wow $40 !!!!! I have debated adding cardboard bottom and lining them, but that would drive the price up of course. Mine are basic, but perfect for grocery totes since they can be thrown in the washing machine if needed and are very easy to wipe clean. I have toyed with dressing a few up with gingham lining and reinforced bottoms tho.

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    2. I line mine also, they are actually easier to make for me. I have a stash of fabric I need to use. Next I want to make them for Christmas, maybe applique a Santa hat on the chicken.

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  16. Love it!! :D i will have to make this one day when we get our sewing machine uncovered from all the other moving boxes LOL

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  17. What a great idea! I love my shopping bags and use them for more places than just the grocery store. It would be so fun to have something so cute! Would be super delighted for you to link up with us over at Mop It Up Mondays: http://www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com/2012/07/mop-it-up-mondays-24.html

    Thanks so much!
    {HUGS},
    kristi

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  18. How adorable. Now I've got to find a source for feedbags. :)

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  19. I made one! Instead of buying nylon straps, I made handles using the scrap pieces I cut off of the bag! I love it!

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  20. I live in southern california and do not know anyone who has these does anyone know where I can get some?

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    1. I sell them in my etsy shop. http://www.etsy.com/shop/FreshEggsDaily?section_id=10176047

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    2. Sorry just the empty bags, I do all my own sewing.

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  21. Here's what I came up with when I tried my hand at this: http://rebeccashearthandhome-proverbs31heart.blogspot.com/2012/09/chicken-feed-sack-tote.html

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  22. I found lots of empty bags by posting on our local freecycle/buycycle Facebook page. Of course, I live in a very rural area with lots of farms, etc. I am going to try sewing the first one tomorrow. Our local Wal-Mart has the webbing for handles at 83 cents a yard in several colors. Can't make the handles from bag scraps for that price.

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  23. I have been repurposing my bags for quite some time. I have it down to a science. I don't even use the webbing. I just cut off the top and reuse it for the the handles. Works great. I was also thinking I could reuse the feed bags in the garden as well, by cutting them open and using for weed control around the plants. I would have to gather them up at the end of the season because they wouldn't decompose like cardboard. But it might be worth a try!

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  24. This is great I've been wanting to try this.

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  25. If you lived closerI could give you 15 bags a month

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  26. Ilove THIS! They are so cute! Can't wait to try this. Think I will make some for gift's! Thanks for the directions!

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  27. Great tutorial! Any recommendations on feed/tension for material? I'm having trouble with material feed - even after readjusting bobbin and top thread tension many times. a lot of bird nesting.

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    1. I don't change the tension but I do use a heavy duty needle. The feed bags aren't really very thick, and even folded over and sewing in the handles, the machine does fine.

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  28. I have about 25 feed bags drying on the line. I will be making these this week to sell at the local farmers market.

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  29. I've been making similar bags for a while now. I'm using a wonderful old Singer, which sews like a tank but the underside bobbin stitch has been driving me nuts. No matter how I adjust the tensions, The underside stitch is pretty messy. Any thoughts?

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  30. I've been making similar bags for a while now. I'm using a wonderful old Singer, which sews like a tank but the underside bobbin stitch has been driving me nuts. No matter how I adjust the tensions, The underside stitch is pretty messy. Any thoughts?

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  31. AWESOME tutorial! I encounter a gal that had an old feed bag converted into one of these and HAD to have one! I already had a chick-feed bag and everything else so I made one. It was so easy, finished in less than an hour and just love it! Thank you ssooooooo much for the easy instructions and I can't wait to get some more made.

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  32. I truly get pleasure from while I read your blogs and its content.
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  33. pvc coated weldable webbing is a in-demand webbing today. So have a peek at all those bargains now! http://www.rosemonttextiles.com/weldable-webbing/

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  34. Your instructions are so clear. I made some of these, but without the flat bottom. Now I will go back and make some this way. Thanks, Lisa!

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  35. Donna, thanks for the great directions! I have two questions though: what length stitch do you use and what type of thread? Each time I've tried to make one of these. I end up with a terrible thread mess. Thank you!

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