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How to Make DIY Grow Bags with Old Canvas Tote Bags

Did you know you can make DIY grow bags with your old canvas tote bags? Here's how a gardening expert recommends going about it.

Written by
Kristine Nguyen

Have an old canvas tote bag at home you're not using anymore? Instead of throwing it out or giving it away, why not upcycle it into a grow bag for your houseplants?

Grow bags are great for gardening because they can be used just about anywhere, whether you're a backyard gardener or are utilizing every inch of your apartment balcony. They can even provide a better growing environment for your plants. Just ask Nick Cutsumpas, the plant coach behind @farmernick, who shared his love of DIY grow bags with us in an episode of Good Together.

Cutsumpas says grow bags have been trendy for a while now. But instead of buying them, he decided to make his own.

"Being in my profession, you get invited to a bunch of events, and they're always giving out swag bags and this and that," Cutsumpas says. "There's always a canvas tote bag. Like, how many canvas bags can I fit in my closet?"

With a couple adjustments, that canvas tote bag can become a replica of what you would find in stores.

"I said, you know what—why don't I just cut the handles off and reposition them, kind of making my own little grow bag?" he says. "It's a great way of repurposing and upcycling something know so many of us in the sustainability community have."

Sure, it's nice to use what you already have. But the canvas material in DIY grow bags actually makes for a strong, supportive material for your plants, too. It can even be better for them than a traditional pot.

"You're growing outside of a plastic or a ceramic planter—you're actually growing in a bag that's kind of breathable. The roots really like it," says Cutsumpas. "I've got a tomato plant right now that's growing great in one, and the canvas is such a sturdy material. It's very resistant to water and elements outside."

You've heard it straight from a plant pro: DIY grow bags are great for your plants! So grab an old tote bag and get to work. In just a few minutes, you'll have a grow bag of your own.

How to Make DIY Grow Bags

What You Need:

Canvas tote bag
Sewing needle (optional)
Thread (optional)


1. Poke holes in the bottom of your tote bag for extra drainage.

2. Cut off the handles. Leave your DIY grow bag as-is, or continue to give your grow bag added strength.

3. Fold and sew the handles together, as shown in the video above.

4. Sew the handles back on the sides of the tote bag to make it easy to carry around your grow bag.

5. Add cardboard to give it shape (if you want to) and fill it with your favorite soil mix.

6. Add your plant, and you're good to go!