How to Make a Tote Bag From Plastic Bags

In recent years, the push for eco-friendliness has made people more aware of the impact of plastic bags on the environment. As a result, there has been a rise in the popularity of reusing plastic bags to create new items, such as tote bags. 

Making a tote bag from plastic bags is a great way to repurpose these items and helps reduce waste. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make a tote bag from plastic bags so that you can join the movement toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

Benefits of Making a Tote Bag from Plastic Bags

Making a tote bag from plastic bags is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to repurpose and recycle plastic bags that are usually disposed of in landfills. This DIY project also promotes sustainability by reducing the amount of waste that ends up in the environment, which is a huge benefit to our planet.

Materials Required

  1. Plastic bags (around 15-20)
  2. Scissors
  3. Iron
  4. Ironing board or flat surface
  5. Sewing machine or needle and thread
  6. Ruler or measuring tape
  7. Pen or marker
  8. Pins

How to Collect Plastic Bags

To make a tote bag from plastic bags, you will need to collect a good number of them. Ask your friends, family, or neighbors to save their plastic bags for you. You can also collect them from grocery stores, gas stations, or places that offer plastic bags.


Cleaning and Cutting the Plastic Bags

Before starting, it is essential to ensure all plastic bags are clean and dry. Remove any labels, stickers, or staples from the bags. Then, cut off the bottom and top parts of each bag, leaving only the middle part.

Ironing the Plastic Bags

To make the bags smooth and flat, iron them using low heat. Place the plastic bags between two pieces of parchment paper or a thin cloth to prevent melting or sticking.

Construction of the Tote Bag

Image Credit: Amazon

Making the Base of the Bag

To create the base of the tote bag, fold one plastic bag in half and cut off the handles. Then fold the bag in half again, forming a square shape. Cut off the bottom corners and repeat the process on the opposite side.

Creating the Body of the Bag

To create the body of the tote bag, layer four plastic bags on top of each other, ensuring the handles are aligned. Sew the sides and bottom of the bags together using a sewing machine or needle and thread. Repeat the process with four more plastic bags, creating two sets of four bags each.

Adding Handles to the Bag

Cut two plastic bags in half lengthwise to add handles to the bag, creating four long strips. Place two strips together and sew them along the edges, creating a double layer of plastic. Fold each strip in half and sew the ends to the top of the bag’s body.

Finishing the Tote Bag

Trimming the Edges

Trim the excess plastic from the bag, leaving a clean and finished edge. Cut off any stray threads or pieces of plastic that may be sticking out.

Adding Embellishments

You can decorate the tote bag with fabric paint, markers, or stickers to add some personality. Use your imagination to create unique designs that match your style and personality.

Testing the Durability of the Bag

To ensure the tote bag is sturdy and durable, load it with heavy items and carry it around. If the bag can hold up well and does not rip or tear, it’s ready to use.

ALSO READ: How to Make a Tote Bag From Burlap


Making a tote bag from plastic bags is an excellent DIY project that promotes sustainability and repurposes plastic bags that would otherwise end up in landfills. This project requires basic materials like scissors, an iron, and a sewing machine, and it’s easy to follow the steps. When you make a tote bag from plastic bags, you can have a durable and functional bag perfect for carrying groceries, books, or other everyday items.