DIY Reusable Grocery Tote
I am moving somewhere where plastic grocery bags are banned. It’s been a hard thing to get used to. Basically you bring your own bags or you do without. Sometimes there are reusable bags to buy nearby but sometimes there aren’t. A handful of places might offer plastic bags but it’s at a cost of $1. It makes more sense to just buy a reusable bag at that point.
I totally get why the city of Brownsville is doing it, and I think it’s kind of awesome to be in a city that is concerned for the environment like this. Just think of all of the bags you see caught in trees and chain link fences. It’s ugly and not great for the environment. Brownsville is also a hop, skip and a jump from the Gulf Coast and I often hear it called a coastal city. Nearby at South Padre Island there are these amazing sea turtles, which are endangered largely due to tortoiseshell exploitation, that are born, go off to be free and come back to reproduce. These amazing and beautiful creatures eat jelly fish. And guess what looks like a jelly fish floating in the water? That’s right a plastic bag!
While I love the idea and the philosophy behind the plastic bag ban I have had a difficult time adjusting. More times than I can count I wind up pushing my cart full of things, loose in the cart, into my trunk, also loose to roll around and whatever. It can get really frustrating when I forget to put my reusable bags back in that trunk time and again because this is the way grocery shopping goes down when I do! On the flip side, while I’m here at my parent’s house I keep on grabbing the groceries and putting them right into the cart before the bagger can get after it. I think get all red faced and apologize and try to explain and they look at me like I’m a nut. And I am but just not because of this.
I have tons and tons of reusable bags but they are kind of bulky so I’m starting to DIY up some soft tote bags from the hobby store to be food themed. They actually take up less room than the stiff bags and I just like them a bit more anyway. So let’s do this. Let’s help the environment and start knocking around town with reusable grocery totes!
For this project you will need:
- Tote bag
- Adult coloring book or freebies online
- Fabric paint and brushes
- Fabric marker
This is my image I chose. You may notice I have apple slices instead of super vein-y oranges but, dang, look at all of those lines. No thank you! I got my coloring page/design template off of the internet with a quick “fruit coloring page” search on Google.
Print your coloring page to size and place inside of your tote. Now you may notice that these are not heavy canvas bags which is why you can see the print through the fabric. For these types of bags place somewhere where light can go through the bag and paper so that you can easily see the lines to trace the pattern. You can do this on a window super easily (just grab some masking tape to help keep the picture inside of it in place.)
You can also use a light box if you have one.
If you have a glass table you can make your own super easily.
Place a light beneath the table pointing up through the glass.
Set your tote over the light and get to tracing!
Just like on a coloring page, fill in with the colors of your choice. I also took liberties making raspberries instead of strawberries, mostly because I didn’t want a ton of red on my bag. Feel free to do what you want to because there are no rules! If something on the coloring page doesn’t quite suit you, feel free to change it!
You can finish your tote by tracing with a fabric marker. NOW I wish I hadn’t used a marker and instead used paint to get a thinner line that I have here. I’m disappointed that my lines are so thick and bulky. But after I finished the grapes and realized my mistake I was already in the boat so I figured I may as well keep paddling it. Good news is these bags are only $1 (when on sale at Hobby Lobby) so I can use this one around the house instead and grab another for my produce out at the shops!
In the end, though I might complain a bit, I’m really happy about the ban on plastic grocery bags. It’s good for the environment and I can’t get mad about that. There are a lot of things to get used to in my new town but this is one change I figure I’ll adapt to pretty easily. Learning Spanish, now that’s the hard one!