Upcycled Grocery Produce Bag – Five Minute Sew

Upcycled Grocery Produce Bag

Create Your Own Grocery Produce Bag with this Tutorial

Have you been thinking about using a reusable grocery produce bag? Our local supermarket has recently done away with plastic bags for loose produce, which is great news for the environment. Unfortunately, they have replaced them with paper bags which I have discovered tear easily.

I wanted to create a more sturdier solution, whilst also finding a use for some old tea towels my mother in law was clearing out. So I whipped up this little drawstring bag. It is perfect for holding loose produce and also upcycled some old fabric. Because I used a tea towel the fabric is already hemmed, meaning you’ll have your upcycled grocery produce bag in minutes. It’s very easy to assemble, but read on to find out exactly how to make your own.

What You Need:

  • Old tea towel (search your drawers or hit up charity shops – you can find some really pretty decorative old tea towels. I love the pretty wildflower motifs on the one I used)
  • Some jogging cord (or drawstring cord, or anything else you can repurpose. I used some old cushion piping)
  • A sewing machine
  • Thread

grocery produce bag requirements

What To Do:

1. First you need to create the casing for your cord. To do this, fold down the ends of the tea towel by roughly an inch (or deep enough to allow your cord to pass through comfortably) and press the seam.

Form the casings at the top and bottom and press

2. Next, clip or pin in place ready to sew.

Clip the casing ready to sew

3. Using a straight stitch, sew right along the top length to form the casing for your cord. Repeat this on both the top and bottom of your tea towel.

Sew the casings

Upcycled Produce Bag Your Completed Casings

4. Once you have created two casings, one at either end of the tea towel, fold your tea towel in half with right sides together. Clip together and stitch along the edge to close the sides of the bag up. Sew up to the casing and stop, do not sew right to the top as you need to leave your casing open to thread the cord through later. Backstitch when you reach the end to secure the seam and repeat on the other side.

Upcycled Produce Bag Right Sides Together

5. Turn your bag right side out (it should now look like a bag, with a solid bottom where your fold is, two sides stitched together and an opening at the top where your cord casing is. Fold your cord in half, lay it across the width of your bag and trim to fit, allowing a few inches spare at the ends.

Upcycled Produce Bag Cut Cord to Length

6. Tie a knot in one end and attach a safety pin to the other to help you thread it through the casing.

Upcycled Produce Bag Knot the Cord

7. Using the safety pin to help, feed the cord through both casings to form a loop. You’re nearly there now, just one more step and you will have your grocery produce bag!

Upcycled Produce Bag Thread the Cord

8. Tie a knot in the other end of the cord to prevent it from sliding back into your casing and you’re finished! Take your upcycled grocery produce bag when you go shopping, and you can fill with any loose fruit or veg. Just pull the drawstring to close the bag up!


Upcycled Produce Bag Complete

Banana for scale!

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