Make your own Feed Sack Tote

By Holly Giles | handicrafts

how to make a feed sack tote bag

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Make your own feed sack tote

 Have you seen a feed sack tote? Throwing out these adorable feed sacks was breaking my heart! I saw a feed sack tote and knew I had to learn how. During the depression, My great-grandmother made dresses and field shoes for the grandchildren from burlap and cotton feed sacks. I found that fascinating and wanted to recreate something like that by recycling the feed sacks.

Craft fair item

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!

purple feed sack purse

 This is 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. I created a step-by-step course on how to make a feed sack tote with a sewing tutorial to get you started.

feed sack tote course

feed sack


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 and straps.
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.  


pattern for sewing feed sack tote bag

Next phase

3.   Turn the bag inside out and sew across the bottom edge of the bag.
4. For the corners make triangles for the box corners so the bag can stand up on its own.
5. 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 a 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. 
sewing instructions

Final steps

7.  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. In addition, 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.
sewing instructions for feed sack tote bag
feed sack tote bag instructions
flower tassle for feed sack tote

Finishing touch

Finally, 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! 
feed sack tote bag display
make your own feed sack tote bag
feed sack tote course
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basic sewing feed sack tote bag


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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