Go Green Coordinating Bags

Go Green Coordinating Bags

All the grocery stores have them, and you’ll love how easy it is to make your own coordinating pair of “green” reusable shopping bags. This bag makes up quickly, and you can use your own choice of fabrics making it uniquely yours. A bag like this also makes a great alternative to a paper gift bag that will eventually be thrown away. Do your part to reduce waste and do it in style – with your own “green” reusable bags! 


  • Use a fabric with extra width to it, like a drapery or decorator fabric with a WOF (width of fabric) of 54” or 60”.
  • Consider using indoor/outdoor fabrics for extra durability. 
  • All instructions assume a ¼” seam allowance, unless otherwise stated.
  • Finished bag is approximately 12” wide x 15” tall.




45mm Rotary Cutter (RTY-2/G)
18” x 24” Self-Healing Rotary Mat (RM-SG)
6″ x 24″ Frosted Advantage™ Acrylic Ruler (QR-6×24)


1 yd. cotton or decorator fabric
1/4 yd. contrasting or coordinating fabric
1 yd. nylon strapping
Basic sewing supplies


  1. Using rotary cutter, ruler and rotary mat, cut the following::
    - From the main fabric, cut two pieces 12-1/2” x 18”, two pieces 12-1/2” x 9”, and two pieces 7” x 43”.
    - From the coordinating fabric, cut two pieces 12-1/2” x 4”.
    - Cut the nylon strapping in half, creating 2 equal length pieces. 
  2. Pin together one 12-1/2” x 18” piece and one 12-1/2” x 4” coordinating piece. Create a U-shape with one nylon strap and insert loose ends of strapping into the seam. The U-shape part of the strap should be sandwiched between right sides of fabric, with loose ends aligned with pinned raw edge. Space straps approximately 4” from sides. This will form the handle of the bag. Sew along pinned edge.
  3. Sew a 12-1/2” x 9” piece to the bottom of the coordinating piece. You now have a 30” x 12-1/2” panel.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create a second panel.
  5. Fold each of the panels in half, wrong sides together, and press. The panels now measure 15” x 12-1/2”. The fold will be the top of the bag.
  6. Position nylon strapping with loops over the top of the bag. These are the handles. Top stitch against top portion of bag to secure. Set aside. 


  7. Sew short ends of the 7” x 43” pieces together, creating one 7” x 86” piece. Sew free 7” ends together, creating a large circle. 
  8. Lay the circle flat, with the seams overlapping. Press folded ends with an iron. Strip should measure 7” x 42”, and will be the gusset or side band of your bag.
  9. Sew the gusset to each of the panels created in the earlier steps. Start by aligning one fold of the gusset with the fold of your panel. Make sure the bag handles and coordinating fabric strip are on the outside of your bag as you sew. Sew down the side of the panel, across the bottom of the panel, and back up the other side of the panel. 
  10. Make sure that the bag handles and coordinating fabric strip are on the outside of your bag as you sew. 
  11. Add the second panel to the other side of the gusset and sew it in place.
  12. Complete the bag by covering the seams with bias tape. 



  • Consider using themed fabrics when creating these bags to use in place of a gift bag. 
  • Add your favorite embellishments to liven up your bag. Fabric flowers will soften the look, or add applique for a look that is all yours.
  • Insert plastic canvas in the sides, or iron on your favorite interfacing or stabilizer to stiffen the sides of the bag. 
  • We love the glitz and glam embellishments available now! Use stick-on rhinestones to create a monogram within the coordinating strip, or embroider a name, phrase, or date to personalize. 



Go Green Coordinating Bags