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Reuse Recycle - Feed Bag Tote Tutorial

I first published this in my facebook group (Harley B Pattern Party) and everyone loved it. Its a great way for those that use a heap of feed bags to give them a new life, and trust me everyone will ask where you got it from.  I can use 10-15 bags a week myself with all our animals on the farm so I have a lot of bags that ususally go in the bin.  Finding a way to reuse them is awesome.  We use them for everything from swimming bags for the kids to grocery bags for shopping and everything in between.


EDITED TO ADD: When making these totes I just use my standard every day sewing machine.  I use Schmetz size 90 needles, which are slightly heavier duty than a standard needles (you could also use a jeans needle), and its what I use for all my bag making.  Once you've made a few bags you will need to replace your needle for normal sewing again as it does blunt them.  The thread I use is Rasant, I again use this for everything.  I will soon have schmetz needless and Rasant thread in my store.


These totes were made by Julie D.


Recycled Feed Bag Tote

  1. Find yourself a feed bag. Make sure it’s clean. I don't wash mine, just wipe them out with a slightly damp cloth.  If you dont have stock animals yourself, try posting on a local FB group, I'm sure people would be more than happy to donate them to you.

  2. Trim you bag so you have 1 x 3” strip for the handles and a large section for your bag.  The handles can be cut either from the top or the bottom, totally depends on the look you want for your bag and where the main image is that you want to be the focus of the bag. 
    I cut my the body of my bag at 24” for this tutorial which makes a fairly tall tote, you can do this at what ever height you want, I also like to do 16" for a smaller bag.

  3. Trim the factory joins off both ends of the handle and make 2 equal length straps.

  4. Fold the first side over 1” along the entire length of the handle. If you finger press this is should stay quite well.

  5. Fold the other side over so that you have a 1” strap.

  6. Sew down the raw edge and repeat the process for the 2nd strap. Then set them to the side for later.

  7. Turn the body of your bag inside out.

  8.  Fold down the top 1”, fold again to enclose the raw edge.
    Finger press and then stitch in place.

  9. Measure in 3” from the side fold of the bag, this will be in different places, it depends on your bag. Its important to use these factory folds as it will affect the way your bag naturally sits when finished.

  10. Place your handles to the inside of the 3” mark (I did it on the outside here, but inside is better I think) . Sew in place using a cross box to make sure the handles are strong. Repeat for the other side. 

  11. Sew across the bottom of the bag TWICE and back stitch at both ends.

  12. Now using the factory fold in your bag press it into shape so that the base forms a triangle on the sides. This can take a bit of playing to get them to sit nicely. Just roll the corner around with your fingers until its right.

  13. Draw a line across the triangle that goes from the bags factory side fold to side fold. Sew this in place making sure you back stitch on the edges so it doesn’t come undone.

  14. Turn out your bag and your done 🙂


You can find my facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/harleyb

Please share your photos for everyone to see.




  • What sewing machine can you use? Will I just need a different needle?
    These look awesome!!

  • Great idea. I love it.

    Jane Mulligan
  • Is there a special foot you use on your sewing machine? I’ve tried making these, got several made and then it messed up my sewing massing. Thanks

  • Clever you!!!! Thanks for the suggestion of reusing these bags!!!!!

    Meredith E. Hayes
  • Hi I was just wondering what type of needle you use. I find it hard to sew on the handles with a regular needle.


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