Tarp Shopping Bag

Tarp Shopping Bag

Reusable grocery bags are becoming more and more popular, so I thought I'd submit my cost-effective and easy idea.

What you need

plastic tarp, new or used
masking tape (or similar)
sewing machine


Cut a piece of plastic tarp 18 x 36″. This will give you a finished bag approx 17″w.

Fold this in half, right sides together, so that it now measures 18×18″. Have it so the fold is at the bottom.

In order to make a bottom for your bag, you must fold up the folded edge of your bag half the width of what you want your bottom to be. So if you want a 4″ wide base, fold up 2″. Secure the fold and sides with tape. Sew both sides with a 1/4 to 1/2″ seam. You can sew right over the tape.

Remove tape after sewing.

Now the top of the bag is your only raw edge. Fold it over about an inch and sew all the way around.


Cut 2 strips of tarp 18″ long by about 4″ wide. Fold it in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, to get a crease. Open it out and fold the raw edges in and make crease.

Tape and sew along edge.

Attach straps at desired location on each side of the bag, maybe 3-4″ from ends, where ever is comfortable.

Sew to the bag securely. Sew over it a few times, since these will get lots of stress.

Turn bag right side out.

Note: You could purchase webbing for the straps, or be creative and use rope, heavy twine, etc.

The average cost of a 6×8′ tarp in my area is $4, and I was able to make 8 bags out of it.

This comes out to 50 cents per bag. I hope this tute is clear. Thanks.


  1. Do you have pictures of the steps?

  2. punkininski says

    I made mine with recycled dog and cat food bags! The newer ones are tarp-like material and FREE!

  3. This is exactly what I was looking for thanks so much!

  4. Its not very cute.But it is a very good idea.

  5. of course you could paint them! I think either acrylic paints or those puffed-up fabric paints would be nice….or outline a picture n stick sequins on it!

  6. interesting, can you paint a tarp? Because, I don’t really like the color of the tarp..if you could paint it, I would be all over it! =]

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