How to Make a Market Tote Bag

Item # X-HT-200617

Reusable grocery bags are becoming quite popular as more stores and shoppers try to be eco-friendly. We’ve created a great little market tote bag that is perfect for loading up with grocery essentials or carrying to the farmers market. You can make a tote bag for yourself with the help of this how-to video.

DIY market tote bag

Our market tote features an open top and a square bottom that keeps the bag upright, whether empty or full. This project is simple to sew, making it great for beginners, and uses less than a yard of fabric. If you would prefer a ready-made tote bag kit with all the fabric and supplies assembled for you, check out our Carry-All Tote Bag Kit and the video on how to sew two grocery tote bags (#300357XHT)!

We made our market tote from heavyweight upholstery fabric to give it a sturdy frame, but you could use a cotton canvas (like Cotton Duck), Bag Fabric or a lighter decorator fabric too. If you choose a lighter fabric, we recommend supporting the bottom of the bag with a piece of cardboard or foam board, especially if you plan on carrying heavy loads.

In this video, you will learn how to pattern the fabric, sew the bag handles, create the square bottom, and assemble the bag.

Video Chapters:

  • Patterning Fabric - 0:14 min.
  • Sewing Handles - 0:58 min.
  • Hemming Bag Body - 3:33 min.
  • Attaching Handles - 5:12 min.
  • Sewing Bag Bottom - 7:54 min.
  • Creating a Pleat - 9:43 min.
  • Sewing Side Seams - 12:05 min.
  • Materials List - 13:54 min.

Materials List:

  • Fabric (we used P/Kaufmann Interlace Nautical #103939)
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery #129
  • Thread V-69 White Polyester UV 4oz #20235

Tools List:

  • Sewing Machine
  • Yardstick
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler #102400
  • Multiuse Pins #102985

Now you’ll have a great bag that’s ready to be filled with goodies! If you want to create more bags for all of your groceries, you can make four tote bags from just 3 yards of fabric.

What do you think of this project? Have you ever made a tote bag before? Share your tips and ideas with us in the comments!