Did you know that on average a plastic bag is used for 12 minuets, but takes at least 500 years for that bag to “degrade”.
When I say degrade, I mean break down into smaller pieces of microplastic that will enter our oceans and pollute the environment.
Doesn’t seem quite worth it just for it carry our veggies to the check out and then home from the supermarket (usually in another bag anyway) before being ripped open and thrown in the bin when you unpack your shopping..
There is another option! You can either carry your veggies loose to the check out, by passing the bags altogether (!!) or, use a reusable produce bag!
I’m not a talented seamstress in any way, shape or form…
But! I managed to sew these beauties right, first time!
I used my sewing machine and they only took me about 10 minuets from cutting out, to proudly admiring them!
You can also make these by hand, it’ll take a bit longer, but they’ll look just as good once you’re done.
So, you can make these bags out of just about any fabric.
I’ve made a mixture of fabrics because thats what I had lying around.
- I used some very pretty Liberty print cotton fabric I’ve had for ages in my sewing bag.
- I also used some old net curtains that were in my house when I moved in ( I put them up the loft rather than throwing them away… they came in useful for something in the end!)
- I also used an old tea towel that I had banging around too.
For the string ties..
- On the net bag I used a ribbon I saved from a gift.
- On the Liberty Print bag I used a piece of scrap edging fabric.
- For the old tea towel I used some of its own offcuts which was pretty satisfying!
So, here’s how I made my plastic-free produce bags!
- Some fabric (up to the size of a tea towel)
- Some ribbon / fabric that you’ll cut to make the tie (about as long as your arm)
- A sewing machine OR a needle and thread
- Scissors – preferably pinking shears to stop fabric fraying, but ordinary scissors would do.
- Safety pin – to help pull the tie through the bag.
How to make your produce bag:
- Cut your fabric out into a rectangle. The size depends on how big / small you want your bag. I didn’t measure any of mine.
– The bag will end up about an inch smaller all round when it’s finished.
- Fold over one of the long edges of your rectangle by about 1.5 inches and iron down / pin in place.
– The side you fold your fabric over will become the inside of the bag.
- Sew up the fold from end to end, leaving about an inch for the ribbon to be pulled through.
- Fold the fabric in half, right side together (e.g. the side you want to have as the outside of the bag) and pin in place around the edges.
- Sew up the edges right up to the ribbon stitch line.
– Make sure you don’t sew over the gap you’ve left for the ribbon, other wise you won’t be able to pull the ribbon all the way round the bag.
- Trim the seams quite close and round off the corners.
- Turn the bag the right way round and poke out the corners so it’s nice and square.
- Attach the safety pin to one end of your ribbon and start to feed it through the hole you left at the top of the bag.
– It’s a bit fiddly, but it will get through eventually!
- Pull the ribbon all the way through and tie them into a knot at the end and trim.
Now you can admire your lovely bags and look forward to using them on your next grocery / refill shop!
Have you tried this DIY? Let me know how you get on in the comments below.