Wow Meow! Turn a plastic cat litter bag into a sturdy reusable tote bag

I save plastic bags, small and large. I love their bright colors and cheerful fonts. I wash them, dry them and store them in the hopes that inspiration will strike. Here I share one of those inspirations -- an upcycled tote bag made out of a cat litter bag.


To make a simple tote, you need two large plastic bags. I chose 20-lb litter bags because I have a never-ending supply (thanks, kitties) and because I love the colorful image on the front.

The first step is to wash the bags thoroughly. It's easiest if you cut the bags apart first, so that they lie flat like a piece of fabric. You can wash them in the bathtub and then hang them to dry. (One summer, I  hung them outside on a clothesline.) 

When they're dry, trim the bags into rectangles. Size doesn't matter, as long as both rectangles are exactly the same. These rectangles will be the front and back of your tote bag.
plastic litter bags
Next, lay one of the bags on top of the other, right sides together. Sew them together at the bottom, leaving at least 2 inches on either side of the seam. The extra selvage will make the bag's bottom stronger. On the right side, top-stitch along both sides of the seam. This will help keep the bottom flat.
plastic litter bags
Put the right sides together, and sew the side seams. This time, you only need to leave an inch on the edges.
turning plastic litter bags into a tote bag
To create a flat bottom, fold each corner so that the side seam lines up with the bottom seam. You'll end up with a triangle. Sew across the bottom of the triangle, about 1 1/2" inch from the top. Then snip off the peak.
turning plastic litter bags into a tote bag
Turn the bag right-side out. To finish the top edge, fold it over 1-2 inches. (I used scotch tape to hold the edge in place). Sew the edge down. I added another row of top-stitching.
turning plastic litter bags into a tote bag
You're almost done! All that's left are the straps. I used the back of one of the litter bags, cutting two strips 3 in. wide and 22 in. long.
making straps for tote bag
Fold over 1 inch of the strip toward the center. Use scotch tape to hold the strip down. Then fold the other edge on top of the first fold and tape it down as well. Then stitch along both edges of the strip, making sure to catch the raw edge in the seam.
making straps for tote bag
Take one of the finished straps and position one end inside the top edge of the bag, 3-4 inches away from the side seam. Tape the strap down and then sew it in place. Reinforce the seam by making a full square, like this. Repeat for the other 3 strap ends. Make sure the strap isn't twisted before you sew the ends down.
making straps for tote bag
Ta da! You've made yourself a fun upcycled tote bag!
finished upcycled tote bag



Comments

  1. Very cool kitty carrier!! Thanks for the tut!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've seen such fun bags made from pet food and especially livestock food bags but have never made any - our dog food bags are the boring ones, no good graphics on them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I've seen the horse ones -- very cool.

      Delete
  3. Aren't you just the best in the creative world! Love the bag! Now where did I put the ones you gave me?

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment