I saw these for sale in a store a few months ago, and was pretty sure I could make them myself. They were selling these for $15.00 each and felt it was way too much. However, after I made this first one, I can see why the cost is high. Sewing the bag is a bit cumbersome. I'm not an expert with sewing, and I am using a dinosaur of a sewing machine also. It did turn out pretty good.
To make one, wash an animal feed bag with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar water. Allow the bag to dry completely.
For this bag, I measured from the bottom of the bag, and marked it at about 13 inches. Then I cut across the bag from the side edge. Then fold the cut edge down, inside about 1 inch.
With the remaining top cut half, measure in from the cut edge 2 inches. Before you cut, measure again, from those marks, another 2 inches. You will then cut across from the side edges. These are your straps. Cut them so that they are 25 inches long each. Recycle the remainder, or use it to sew wallets, or smaller totes.
I machine stitched the tote edge from the wrong side. However, after I finished stitching from the right side would look nicer.
For the straps, one at a time, fold them in half long ways. So instead of 2 inches wide and 25 long, they are now 1 inch wide and 25 inches long. Simply machine stitch the cut edges. I trimmed my edge, with scissors, after I had each strap finished.
(view from the inside of the bag after the strap was sewn on)
Measure about two inches from the side (or however you prefer your straps), and sew a square and then an X to secure the bottom of the strap to the top sewn edge of the tote bag. You will sew these to the inside of the bottom tote.
As you can see, it's not perfect, but it's only my first one. The kids are fighting over this one. One of the kids will be testing it out, but it is not for heavy items. This would be great for the beach, pool, lighter library books, for a shopping bag or other use. Use plastic coated feed bags from cat food, dog food, chicken and/or other animal feed bags. They would make wonderful gift bags also.
Experiment and have fun. Create messenger style bags and more.