I am usually the last to know about something new, so if you have seen these bags, just tune me out. I saw a friend making a tote bag from an empty horse chow bag and I thought, Wow, I can do that.
I don't have horses or dogs or cats, so I polled my friends with pets and no one had the type of bag I was looking for. So when I went to Fleet Farm looking for bird seed, I found just the right type of bag and made a great looking and large tote.
I started by pulling out the string that hemmed the bottom and then turned the empty bag wrong side out and hosed it off outside. (My friend who used the horse chow bag bleached hers to get the smell out.) I measured and cut off 4 1/4" from the top and bottom. This preserved the majority of the really pretty artwork on this particular bag. (My friend cut most of the bottom off her bag to keep the photo of the horse intact.)
I used the portion that I cut off to make the handles by simply doing a double fold. I used those great binding clips that we all now have to clip the handles for sewing. You could make fabric handles or buy some nice handle cording if you wanted.
I turned under the top edge of the bag and sewed it down. I sewed a seam across the bottom of the bag twice for strength and then sewed corners at the bottom to make it sit flat. I think I measured about 3" from the bottom corner.
Then I turned it right side out and sewed on the handles. Here is my finished tote.
It is perfect for hauling quilts or larger items around. The bag is plastic, but there is fiber running through it. That makes it extra strong, I hope. I like the fact that I recycled some trash to make something fun and useful.