A reusable canvas shopping bag is one of the best crafts to make at home. They make great gifts, they’re easy to personalize, and you can never have too many reusable bags.
I’ll be using the fabric I designed myself in the How To Create Your Own Fabric tutorial, but you can use any canvas you like.
You’ll need a 60-inch strap and 2 panels of canvas fabric, each 14 inches wide by 18 inches tall. This will result in a finished bag that’s 12” x 14” x 2”. (If you want your bag to be bigger or smaller than that, you certainly can! Just start with bigger or smaller panels of canvas.)
The first step is to lay your 2 canvas panels on top of each other with right sides together. Pin and sew the panels together on the bottom, left, and right sides. Then finish those 3 edges with a zigzag stitch to keep them from raveling.
Next, fold under the top edge of your bag twice and pin (as if you’re about to finish the edge with a traditional turned-under seam). But don’t sew it yet!
Cut your 60-inch strap in half to make two 30-inch straps.
Slide the end of each strap inside the folded-under edge and pin each end in place. This will hide the unfinished edge of your strap and, as a bonus, it’ll reinforce the strength of the strap.
With your straps pinned in place, you can now sew around the perimeter of your folded-over edge, making sure to sew over the straps as you go. This will finish your edge and secure the straps in place.
Once your top edge is stitched, reinforce the strength of each strap by sewing a box with an X in the middle. These straps aren’t going anywhere!
At this point, you could call your canvas bag complete. But if you want a bag with depth, one that’s more 3-dimensional, you can work a cool trick here.
With your bag inside-out, pull the front and back apart from each other at the bottom corner. (You can start with either corner—you’ll need to do this procedure on both corners.) When you pull the front and back apart, you’ll notice that the corner forms a triangle with your side seam running up the center of the triangle.
Pin this triangle, 2 inches from the top point. You should be looking at a triangle that has pins forming the bottom edge and a side seam running up the middle.
Sew the bottom edge of your triangle in place. Repeat this “triangle” procedure on the other bottom corner of your bag. Voila, your bag has height, width, AND depth.
And you’re done! You now have a reusable canvas bag to bring to the grocery store, tote your books to class, or give as a personalized gift.