Feed Sack Totes

I like making the most of what we have, and I have accumulated quite the pile of feed sacks of late. They have lot’s of uses, like trash bags and weed prevention in the garden, but my latest endeavor has been entering the world of “feed sack tote making”. This is a great way to help our environment! Now, I don’t go with the whole “green” thing, mostly because I see a lot of negatives with some of the popular stuff being pushed, but I do believe in reusing to cut down on waste, and I also prefer bringing my own bags to the grocery store. I was terribly disappointed when I went to the local Walmart with a collection of bags to recycle and the staff told me to throw them away as that’s what they do at the end of the day. They all go in a dumpster instead of being re-cycled, and the bags are so weak you have to double-bag most stuff anyway.

Feed sack totes on the other hand, are great! You not only save your feed sacks from going in the landfill, you get a strong bag that will carry your groceries for a long time, is safe for putting wet things in, and can be used for almost anything (like going to the beach, library, on a picnic). I am making these and am working on a video to show you how to do them yourself as well. I hope to sell my extra’s locally to offset some of our feed costs. These take about 20 minutes to make up after the bags are washed and dried, so it’s not real quick, but it’s also pretty easy if you have the time and the sacks laying around.

This is a tote from a goat feed sack

I have something like 30 lbs. of fruit in the sack here I was testing with

This is a tote from a rabbit feed sack. I gave it too a wonderful friend that likes this sort of thing too.

Lot's of room in there! You could get away with some smaller bags too as they will hold more than you can carry sometimes

This shows the bottom where I squared the end to make a flat bottom. You can add a cardboard or wooden bottom for extra stability.

This was an early bag and I have gotten better, but this is the reinforced handle. You sew all the way around, then cross it in an "x" and that thing isn't going anywhere!

Anyway, if you want to make these before I get the video tutorial done, here are the basics.

  1. Wash a feed sack with soapy water and rinse well and hang to dry.
  2. Cut the bottom end off the bag close to the seam in a straight line (I use a quilting ruler and pen to mark the bag, then cut with a good pair of scissors)
  3. Decide where the picture will sit to decide where to cut your straps from. Some bags I cut straps from the bottom, some from the top, and some taking one each from the top and the bottom. When you know where you want to cut, make two strips 3 inches wide, cutting across the bags bottom or top to make two loops.
  4. Cut the straps apart so you have 2 long lengths, then fold one side in half way, and fold the other in and over to cover the other side, then stitch down the center.
  5. hem the top of your bag by folding the edge to the inside about 1/2 inch, then folding it over again and top stitch it down. You can add trim or ribbon at this time as well.
  6. Turn the bag inside-out and sew a straight seam across the bottom of the bag about 1/2-5/8 inch in from the edge, then zig-zag the raw edge to keep it from fraying.
  7. Fold the bag flat on the bottom and mark the corners 5 inches from the point in a wedge, then sew the line from mark to mark to make a corner.
  8. Turn your bag right-side out and mark where you want the handles. Fold the handle ends over and sew them on about three inches from the top edge, making sure to reinforce them with an “x”.
  9. Now you have a bag to use! I will give more details when I finish my video, this is just the basics for an experienced seamstress.
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About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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14 Responses to Feed Sack Totes

  1. LindaG says:

    I love them. I’d rather buy them than the store bags. 🙂

  2. Em says:

    Awesome Idea – reminds me of the Capri Sun bags folks have been making for a while. I will have to put these on my ‘to do’ list!!! Cute!!!

  3. Melody D. says:

    so very cool. I have to say though I may have to switch feed brands to get some prettier sacks. I usually buy ADM Dairy goat and its just not as pretty a sack as those Purina ones

  4. You could also make cloth covers and use the feed sacks as liners if you don’t have pretty feed sacks. That way you get the benefit of “pretty” from the cloth and “durability” from the feed sack.

  5. Cynthia says:

    Great idea! Wish I was able to sew because I would love to make some of those! We are fortunate to have a local feed mill that will buy the feed sacks from us for $.05 each…not a lot of money but every bit counts and I love knowing that the sacks are being reused instead of thrown away.

  6. Sarah Grove says:

    I just love this idea!!! We get cat and dog food in these awesome bags!!! I have been carrying them around the farm without all of the sewing to transport feed to other animals because they are so strong!!! Now, I have a way to do it in style! Love it!!!!

  7. Kelli Thompson says:

    Did you use a regular sewing machine for this? And what size of needle?

    • Hi Kelli 🙂
      I did use a regular sewing machine, and used a denim needle and heavy duty thread for the bags. I am in the process of adding fabric and doing some different designs as well. The bags heat sealing in the seams tend to be weaker than I like and can use reinforcing in some way. Also, the needles dull quickly from the plastic, so you need a few extra or a way to sharpen them.

  8. Sarah Grove says:

    I have been saving my feed sacks and just don’t have the skills to sew these bags to make them look as professional looking when I’m finished with them. I guess sewing isn’t really up there on my list of domestic talents! Lol! I was wondering if you or any of your fellow followers would be interested in having the ones I’ve kept. They are really beginning to stack up but I feel awful about just throwing them away. If you would like them or know someone who would, I’d be happy to mail them. Just send me an e-mail at Sarah@CedarGroveAcres.Com and put “Feed Sack Totes” in the subject line. Here’s wishing y’all a fabulous weekend! :o)

  9. Dogpackmomma says:

    TY for the motivation!

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