Your Weekend Project Awaits: How to Make an Upcycled Tote Out of Plastic Bags

"This tote bag DIY is the perfect weekend project for anyone looking to use up that pile of plastic bags under the kitchen sink."

It seems like everyone has a plastic bag stuffed with other bags under their sink. That’s right—even planet champions forget their reusable totes every now and then.

Throwing those plastic bags into the garbage isn’t an option: Americans use around 100 billion plastic bags every year, and each takes 1,000 years to break down in the landfill. The next thought is to recycle them. While plastic bags aren’t accepted in many curbside bins, there are drop-off locations in some chain stores.

Or, you can upcycle your plastic bags into a sturdy reusable crochet tote bag that’s sure to make people do a double-take at the grocery store. And you’re in luck, because YouTuber Bronwyn Reinhart created an easy-to-follow tutorial that makes for the perfect weekend project.

“I got this idea from a TikTok I saw. This girl crocheted a vest and a hat—she made it out of plastic. I thought it would be cool to do that, but make another reusable bag,” she says in the video. “This project is pretty easy to do; it took me less than a day to make.”

To get started, you’ll need two different types of crochet hooks, around 30 plastic bags, and some scissors. If you don’t have that many plastic bags under your sink, ask your friends and family if you can use some of theirs.

When you’re ready to get started, follow along below. You’ll have an upcycled crochet tote bag of your own in no time!

How to Make a Crochet Tote Bag Out of Plastic Bags

What You’ll Need:

Around 30 plastic bags
One 8-12mm crochet hook
One smaller crochet hook (around 6.5mm)


1. Smooth out your bags and cut them into even strips, around 2cm wide.
2. Tie all the strips together, forming one super long plastic “yarn” string.
3. Crochet two large rectangles following the instructions in the video above.
4. Crochet to connect the sides of the rectangles so it forms a bag shape.
5. Make your handles along the side seam edges. They can be as short or as long as you would like them to be.
6. Enjoy your new upcycled crochet tote bag!

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This tote bag DIY is the perfect weekend project for anyone looking to use up that pile of plastic bags under the kitchen sink.

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