Make your own Feed Sack Tote

By Holly Giles | handicrafts

feed sack
 Have you seen a feed sack tote? Throwing out these adorable feed sacks was breaking my heart!

Surely I could figure a way to re-purpose them.  My grandmother used to
make dresses out of her feed sacks, what could I do?

The boys and I are always looking for a craft or handmade item to add to our menagerie of items for the fair or to sell to family and friends.  Raising young entrepreneurs means showing them many opportunities to create income. Creating income while I homeschool our boys is a natural fit to include the whole family!

 I thought I would share how we came up with our bag design, how we make it and what type of feed sack bags you can use to make your own. However, if you’re not crafty, you can visit our Etsy Shop store and support our cause!

1.   First, you will need a feed sack, 50 lb or 25lb works.  Many bags now are made of poly woven plastic material that works for the bag. Birdseed, dog food, cat food,  chicken, goat, horse, etc.. Then hose it out and wipe it dry. You will also need thread, 2 nylon webbing straps, mine are about 23-25 inches long, each. I also use a leather needle in my machine.
2.   Next, cut down the bag.  Choose what part of the design you want to show most, and work from there.  Our example is a 50lb chicken feed sack.  I want the name  ” Country feeds” to show, so I cut about 2 inches above it.  Next, I want to leave about 3 inches from the bottom design of the bag. I cut right under “layer feed” to accomplish this.
3.   Turn the bag inside out and sew across the bottom edge of the bag.
4.   Sew across the bottom edge.
5. For the corners make triangles for the box corners so the bag can stand up on its own.
6. Now you can work on the top part of the bag.  Fold down the top edge twice, so you have a nice edge.  It will be about two-inch fold total, or where ever you want the fold to come on your design. Pin it, then decide where you want your straps to go. 
    I usually place them at the outer edge of the “Country Feeds”, it makes a wide handle. You might want it wider or more narrow. 
Visit our store for the In-depth video tutorial class on making the bags.
7. Burn the ends of your nylon straps so they will not fray.  If you are careful with the lighter, you can get a straight clean edge.  Pin on your straps on so they are on the interior of the bag! 
8.  This part of the sewing is tedious.  I sew two lines, one across the top edge and one across the bottom, making sure to catch the strap. When the material is folded several times, it can be thick in some areas.  A little buckling of the bag material is going to happen, but it gives it character!  I just try to begin across the front so when it is finished, the front of the tote is smooth.


You have now finished your own feed sack tote!! Yay! I like to add a few touches to make it special.  I add a daisy that is hot glued to some jute string.  It gives it a cute rustic touch.
When you are done adding your personal touches, you have an awesome feed sack tote that is one of a kind! I have mainly done chicken, horse, and small game bags.   
 These types of totes are perfect for the farmer’s market, beach or carry-all.  You can hose them out and keep going! 
Give it a try! Please comment back to us so we can see your creations!!
Update:  Since I first posted this article we have expanded our making of the tote bags.  We have a few feed stores that save bags for us and sell our products in their store.  We are going to be participating in a few large arts and crafts shows this upcoming year and hope to spread the word on recycling necessities of the past.  My grandmother was instrumental in helping me come up with a name for this little business.  “Modern Feedsack Revival”. 
Need inspiration as a mother? Read my book Hanging Motherhood On the Clothesline.
feed sack
Visit our Youtube channel for our Feed Sack course description

About the Author

Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.

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