How To Make a Tote Bag from a Dog Food Bag

Via The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project

This idea was contributed by a foster home with Starfish to the Sea Rescue. Please attribute if you share.

We receive tote bags made from all sorts of materials, mostly denim and tee shirt material. This is a very unique idea — using a dog food bag to make a sturdy tote. The bag was created using a repurposed/upcycled bag (in this case a very large bag of “Taste of the Wild”), straps from old dog harnesses and a sturdy sewing machine.

Amadeus shows off "his" bag.
Amadeus shows off “his” bag.

The volunteer who makes these bags, Miranda, has graciously agreed to share her process.

Materials needed: heavy duty thread and needle, sewing machine, dog food bag, scissors/ rotary cutter, measuring tape, some kind of strapping for handles. The strapping can be purchased at a craft store, or collected from leashes/collars/tie down strapps/old bags etc. You can also make straps out of the leftover bag parts or any fabric.

Start by washing the bag with dawn to remove oils and allowing it to air dry. Decide how tall you would like your bag and add about 2? top and bottom. Cut straight across top and bottom. Fold 2? of the top into the inside of the bag and topstitch. Turn bag inside out and sew the bottom shut or use a french seam for extra strength. Box corners and cut off excess. Turn bag right side out and attach handles however you like, just be sure to sew securely. I like to sew a square and add an x inside that for a heavy duty bag.

We have two bags and both are very durable and flexible. There are no shoulder straps, but your could easily add those.


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