DIY Grocery Bags | Paper or Plastic?
STEP 6: Now you’ll use your cardboard patterns as guides for trimming the laminates. The 12×11-inch piece corresponds to the front and back of the tote; cut out two of these. The 6×11-inch pieces are for the sides; cut out two of these. The 12×6-inch piece is for the bottom of the tote; cut out one.
STEP 7: Using a 3/8-inch seam allowance and a long stitch length, sew one side panel to the front panel, right sides together. (Try to avoid pinning the laminate; pin holes won’t self-heal the way they do with a woven fabric, and you’ll end up with lots of tiny holes in your ﬁnished piece. I stitched without pins. But if you feel you need to use them, try to pin within the stitch line so that the holes are covered by thread.) Next, stitch the back panel to the other side panel, again with right sides together. Then stitch the two pieces to each other to create a square.
STEP 8: Hem the top of the tote by turning a 3/4-inch band of laminate under (toward the outside or “wrong” side), and stitch into place.
STEP 9: Now make the straps: Trim the remaining 6 bags as in step 2 to create 3 two-ply rectangles. Now slice each bag vertically so that you end up with 6 wide, one-ply sheets. Take 3 of these sheets and use a pushpin to tack them at one end (the long way) to a board. Then braid them together all the way down. When you’re done, stitch the ends of the braid to keep it from unraveling. Repeat with the 3 remaining sheets. Now you have two straps.
STEP 10: Measure and trim each braid to a 24-inch length. Stitch the ends in place.
STEP 11: Now sew the straps to the tote: Still working with the tote inside-out, return to the spot where you’ve just sewn the top hem. Measure 3 inches in from each side of the front panel and mark with a pencil; repeat with the back panel. Attach the straps at these marks. Be sure not to twist your braid as you set it in place. Tack back and forth a few times to make sure your strap attachment is secure.
STEP 12: Now, with your tote still inside-out, align the corners of the bottom panel with the corners of the tote, and sew them all together. Turn your tote right side out and enjoy!