Proud to be a Bag Lady

by Weeks on 09/07/2007

in Community + Creativity


I admit that I can’t stand plastic shopping bags. I don’t like the sound of them, the feel of them, the effects they have on the environment, the way they get caught in trees or become bothersome to wildlife. I’m a cloth shopping bag girl from way back. They’re stashed in the car, on my bike, and even in my luggage when I travel. Even our 6-year-old daughter has her own cloth bags (shown above made with fabric designed by Jane Sassaman) for books, games and snacks.

So I was really excited to read about morsbags‘ efforts to organize groups of people, known as “pods,” to make cloth shopping bags from any kind of fabric available and hand them out at grocery stores around the world. Morsbags has a nice animated tutorial for making simple bags. In future posts I’ll include tutorials for various types of bags that I’ve found useful including shoe bags for travel, a child’s tote bag and a large heavy-duty tote bag for hauling books to and from the library. A friend and I have allocated one canvas bag for trading magazines back and forth between our houses before they get recycled. Show me your bags. I’d love to see ’em.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 betz July 9, 2007 at 9:55 am

I just made a tote after being inspired by the Whip Up post about fusing plastic grocery bags together to create a new material. It was a little trial and error, but fun and easy to do!

my first fusing experiments:

My first attempt at a tote:


2 DebbieG July 9, 2007 at 6:29 pm

I am also a devoted cloth bag user. I have 4 canvas bags that I use for groceries. I bought the oldest of these about 15 years ago and they are still going strong!

I have also made many quilted tote bags for myself, children and family. I like to carry my fairly small purse inside a tote so I can slip small purchases inside without a bag. If I make a larger purchase, I just take my purse out of the tote and I’m all set. Looking forward to your tutorials!


3 artesprit July 9, 2007 at 6:34 pm



4 jude July 9, 2007 at 9:28 pm

fabulous link. we need more of this.


5 Susan Barker July 9, 2007 at 9:59 pm

I must admit, though I have used a cloth tote bag for my self for quite a few years, I did not until recently start using cloth bags for grocery or “mall” shopping! But I am now!

This past weekend I managed to find a treasure trove of upholstery type fabrics at a flea market and spent a whole 2 dollars for a plastic grocery bag full. Next time I have to bring two or three totes with me to the flea market shopping though because I did not have an empty tote to put the fabrics into!

I am headed up to my sewing room to transform the upholstry scraps into more tote bags right now!


6 jonipossin July 9, 2007 at 10:36 pm

That’s a good project for my new sewing machine that I’m shopping for this afternoon. My husband and I were just talking about plastic bags. He’s a Geologist and has horror stories to tell about them.
I have a GIVEAWAY on my site today! Nothing extravagant but it is my design and handmade.


7 vespabelle July 10, 2007 at 12:18 am

It’s a great idea. I have a bunch of sturdy vinyl banners (advertising the movie Space Jam! ick!) that I have thought of turning into bags for the farmers market. I need something stiffer than a cloth bag for carrying fresh produce.


8 joybucket July 10, 2007 at 12:50 am

I made a reusable grocery bag several weeks ago from repurposed 50lb rice bags from restaurants. See the post here:


9 Dianna in Maui July 10, 2007 at 7:36 am

This has been on my mind for a couple of years now, and I recently posted a rant about it on my blog:

Although I haven’t made any new ones, my friend Robin has here:

I really love this concept. Thank you for sharing the link. I’m going to see what I can do about it here!! Aloha, Dianna


10 cecilia July 11, 2007 at 12:42 am

Here’s a link to how mine looks like. I take it with me everywhere!


11 Karen July 11, 2007 at 7:34 pm

Here’s a link to a list of some great tote bag tutorials I found on the web, (in case anyone wants to start sewing some up and needs a little inspiration):


12 Laney July 12, 2007 at 11:11 am

Pretty bag..great idea, I do have some polyester…that I haad NO idea what to use it for…now I do.


13 Rachael July 14, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Here are some oldies, but goodies (nmy faves actually) – made of the kids’ old clothes – they go everywhere with us.

My blog-spiel

Bags for kids’ games

Here are my latest bags –
Made from thrifted linen tea towels

Love to see others getting in on the act too!


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