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Making a Tote Bag from a Dog Food Bag

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Use the woven fabric from bulk pet food to make sturdy totes. This is a page about making a tote bag from a dog food bag.


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Create a pretty tote bag from a dog food bag, in just a few simple steps.

Total Time: 1/2 hr. or more depending on sewing speed or if using duct tape instead


  • dry dog or cat food bag
  • scissors
  • big thick needle with thick thread or duct tape if those aren't available
  • hot glue gun to glue on ornaments or use stickers and paint


  1. Get any size dry dog or cat food bag.
  2. Cut the top off and empty.
  3. Turn bag inside out. Cut another strand off. That will become the two handles.
  4. Cut both ends so they measure equally.
  5. Fold about an inch over inward and make a crease all around top of tote.
  6. Sew or apply duct tape all around top edge.
  7. Fold over bottom of handles about 1/2 inch and sew before sewing onto tote. Otherwise again use duct tape if you can't or don't know how to sew.
  8. Sew handles a few inches away from the ends.
  9. Lastly use a glue gun to glue on ornaments, apply stickers, or paint your tote! :)
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 13, 2010

Are the pet food totes machine washable? Thanks.

By Debbie from OH


November 6, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Debbie, I would suspect these bags are washable since they are made of plastic, though I would be careful how you wash them maybe on gentle with warm or cold water or just use a wet cloth and air dry.

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October 21, 2018

What type of thread do I use on the recycled dog food totes?


October 21, 20180 found this helpful

According to this article, regular sewing thread is fine.

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October 21, 20180 found this helpful

I found most threads caused the bags to tear. If I used a very thin clear thread like Coats transparent it did not tear the bags, but it gave my old kenmore sewing machine knipptians.


I made 1/2 of a clutch purse and gave up. I have yet to try again on my White machine. Lost interest after the initial challenges! Hope your project goes better than mine! Post back your finished product!!

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October 29, 20180 found this helpful

I have never tried this but a friend said she did one at a sewing class and they used a 90/14 needle with a 40 weight nylon thread and followed the instructions on this web site.

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February 15, 2017

There are many ideas circulating for using pet food bags to make a variety of recycled crafts. Sometimes trying to sew the bags on your machine may be difficult because of their slick surface.


This is a page about sewing pet fo

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 13, 2010

Craft: Recycled Pet Food Bag Tote


  • one Dry Purina Cat Food bag (washed) or other bag made with DuraWeave.
  • thread
  • scissors
  • large sewing needle/sewing machine*

  • straight pins

*I used a size 16 needle on my sewing machine. Please use a large machine or hand sewing needle, as a small needle could break possibly ruining your sewing machine or causing injury.


Lay your bag flatly on the floor. Cut out the following pieces, being sure to center your design for the front and back:

  • Cut two-13 1/2 x 14 inch long pieces. This will be the front and back.

  • Cut two- 3 1/2 x 14 inch long pieces. This will be the sides.

  • Cut one 3 1/2 x 14 inch piece. This will be the bottom.

  • Cut two 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide x 27 inches long (or desired width and height), this will be your straps.

First you sew the all the side pieces together. Lay right sides together (printed side) and sew a straight stitch down the bag. Do this for all four sides; until all of the sides of the bag are sewn together. When finished with these steps, you will have a bag body, minus the bottom, that is inside-out.


Next pin right sides together of your bottom piece to all four sides at the bottom of the bag. When completed you will have the entire body of the bag, inside-out.

Now, turn your back right-side out. Hem a seam along the top of the bag, turning the top under just an inch or so. Then you will need to push the outer edges together on each edge of the bag, pinning in place.

Stitch reinforcement stitches down each side of the bag and each edge of the bottom. This reinforces the bag and causes it to be able to stand up. Next take one strap piece, fold one edge of the piece over just about a third, stitch in place.

Then fold the other side over and let the edges meet in the middle and fold once more so that the one edge peeks out just a little to make a nice strap. Pin and stitch into place. Sew the other strap.


Then just sew your straps onto your bag, by placing them where you want your straps to be located. To make your straps very secure, you can sew them in a downward position, and then sew them in the upward position using a box shape and an X shape to make them extremely sturdy.

Note: This probably isn't necessary, unless you intend to carry very heavy items, and it is really difficult to sew through that many layers of the Duraweave. It would probably break any sewing machine needle.

When you are done, you have a nice bag for scrapbook paper, frozen goods at the grocery, art supplies, coloring books, etc.

Note: Please do not give this bag to small children or children under 3 (or allow them to play with this bag), as the handles are a hazard to small children

By Chris from KY


Comment Was this helpful? Yes

May 20, 2009

Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote
Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

I recycled this dog food bag into a tote bag. I sewed the sides and boxed the bottom then I attached a band around the top and added straps. I can use it for groceries, vegetables, or grass clippings.

By Patty from Turbotville, PA


Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Very niffty idea. We use ours to pick up doggy doo-doo in the yard.

By Little Suzy

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

I use mine to tote things around as well. I've attached handles to some but have never needed to attach anything to the bottom because they're strong enough as is.

FINALLY a craft idea that isn't wasting time and money! For a "thrifty" site, there's a ton of info on buying junk to create cutsie junk that you'll have to discard quickly.


Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Great idea! I have thought about sewing several together to make plastic sheeting for my dogs to lie on in their dog houses in the winter. I would put it under the blankets that I already put out for them.

It could also be used for a first layer under piddle pads for puppies. Just some thoughts, sure some better ones will occur to me when I've posted this! ;-)

While I value all the things on this website and realize that different things are needed by different people at different times, for me, I tend to agree with the other poster who was glad to see something useful made from something free! Those are what appeal to me the most also.

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Love this. I am going to have to try it out thanks:)

By tia

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

You could sell these to pet shops. They are adorable! I think they would sell very well!

By Robin

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

This is a great idea! Not only thrifty but ecological, too!

By Deeli

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

This is a fabulous idea!! I am so going to make one of these I have two dogs and they eat the same dog food lol and I have cats the bags they use for the food are so sturdy and I hate throwing them away good idea!

By Amber

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

You can use this even if you don't sew. I just turned over a 2" edge and glued down each layer. I used the old "peg" style clothespins (not the kind that you pinch open) to hold the edge down. I let it dry for 24 hrs. Then I used an ice pick to punch a pair of holes on each side (about 8" apart) and used a screw driver to widen the holes. Put macrame or clothesline cord through the holes and tie together on the inside. One cord for each side. I used 18" of cord for each side. Works great.

By Osa

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Excellent idea! I am going to save my next one and do just that!

By Elaine

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

I love this idea. I have cats and will be trying it with the next bag when empty.Thanks for the idea.

By Susan

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Lovely idea! I'll have to give this a try

By Tammy York

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Cool idea I have a cat and will be doing this as soon as the bag is empty. Thank you(b)(/b)

By Kelly

Craft: Recycled Dog Food Bag Tote

Wow. That is the coolest idea. My "grandpuppy", Bogie, eats a lot, so I will be making several of these. What a conversation piece. thanks.

By Bonnie.

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