Grocery Tote Bag Tutorial (Heavy Duty!)

I am not one to brag about what I create, but this Grocery Tote Bag is by far one of my top sewing projects that I can honestly say is amazing! Yes! I am bragging!!!

Image of two grocery tote bags. One is full and one is empty

This Grocery Tote Bag stands up on its own, has a square boxed bottom, sturdy handles, is leak proof and washable!

But my favorite thing about this grocery bag is the size. Grocery bags carry heavy items! I didn’t want it to be so big that it was hard to carry, or too small that it wasn’t helpful.

View from the top of the market tote bag where one is empty and one is full.

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How to Sew this Quality Grocery Tote Bag:

The Grocery Tote Bags Finished Size:

Base: 11″ by 8″ Height: 14″

You will need:

  • Cotton Fabric for the lining.
  • Canvas Fabric for the outer bag.
  • Waterproof Polyester Canvas Fabric one side will be treated to look like plastic or vinyl.
  • Interfacing, I used Pellon WonderUnder 805 you could also use Pellon Shapeflex 101 (the main thing you need, is an interfacing that is single sided, Also, make sure that the interfacing you purchase is at least 20″ high. Some rolls can come in smaller heights which will become problematic.
  • Webbing for handles, make sure it is a cotton/poly blend or a polyester strap (I avoided 100% cotton straps as I was concerned they would shrink in the wash).
  • Jean Needle (I used my all purpose needle and it was fine, but if your machine starts to struggle, then switch to this needle).
  • All Purpose Thread (I used two colors, one matched the straps and the other matched the fabric).
  • Teflon Sewing Foot (helps to sew along the plastic lining of the polyester fabric).
  • 1/4″ Sewing Foot is helpful at times but not necessary.
Two sewing feet that are helpful when sewing this grocery tote bag. Image is of a teflon and Image of a 1/4" sewing foot.

Cut List:

  • Cotton Lining: Cut 2 at 19.5″ High by 20.5″ Wide
  • Interfacing: Cut 2 at 19.5″ by 20.5″ (The height of my interfacing was only 20″ which is common, so I ended up cutting my interfacing at 19.5″ by 20″ which is fine).
  • Canvas: Cut 2 at at 19.5″ by 20.5″
  • Polyester Canvas Base: Cut 2 at 10″ High by 20.5″ Wide
  • Webbing: I ordered 3 yards, then cut it in half to create two handles. If you want longer handles you can adjust this to your liking.

Watch the Video Tutorial HERE:

To follow along and put your tote bag together, watch all the steps in this video tutorial.

Please pin the below image to share this project with others. I appreciate your help in spreading the word!

Learn how to sew a perfect Grocery Tote Bag! This is a free sewing tutorial that will guide you through all the steps in a simple to follow video tutorial. You will find all the tote bag measurements in the blog post. Happy Sewing!

Welcome! I am Tamara and I love teaching beginner sewing projects.

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Leave a Comment


  1. SJR wrote:

    I am not sure what weight of waterproof polyester canvas to use. What GSM did you use in these grocery store tote gags?

    Posted 8.12.23 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      I bought the fabric at my local fabricland and it was titled waterproof polyester canvas. It didn’t have a specific GSM that I noticed. But It wasn’t super thick. It has a shiny side and a poly/canvas side. I am sure that you could ask at your local fabric store and they would know where to guide you. Hope that helps! Happy Sewing 🙂

      Posted 8.19.23 Reply
  2. Kae Kesler wrote:

    Love your video and enthusiasm. However I’m having trouble finding 1.5″ poly/cotton webbing even when I use your Amazon link. I am finding Medium-Weight Polypropylene Webbing at Can you provide another link of where I might find the webbing OR will the polypropylene variety work OK? Keep up the great work! Thanks. . . . . . . Kae

    Posted 9.12.23 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      Hi Kae, I wouldn’t worry too much about your straps, even though I say to avoid 100% cotton webbing because I worry it will shrink. If that’s all you can find, I think it would still work. Anything that has a mix or is nylon or 100% poly should be fine. If you get the poly webbing it will just be shiny. Which I think is perfectly fine. Hope that helps! Or go to your local fabric store as they often have options there too.

      Posted 9.13.23 Reply
  3. Thank you so much Love it

    Posted 11.26.23 Reply
    • Tamara wrote:

      I am so glad to hear it!!!! These are my fav bags as they are so durable 🙂 Happy Sewing!

      Posted 11.28.23 Reply