diy projects

diy project: farmers’ market bags

by The BBB Craft Sisters

Nothing makes us happier than the weekly (twice weekly if we’re lucky!) trips to our local outdoor farmers’ markets. With spring in full force, the farmers are flaunting their goods: brilliant radishes (French!), fresh eggs (We spotted turkey eggs last week!), lettuces and greens (Lamb’s quarters! Watercress! Wild arugula!), tall stalks of rhubarb, sweetly scented pea shoots and just about everything you would need to cook a local-farm meal every night of the week. These trips to the market remind us of where our food comes from and how important it is to take care of our earth and continue to cut down on waste. In the spirit of this, we created these market bags for fruits and vegetables.

Although we always bring a basket or canvas bag to the market, we find that we often come home with a few plastic bags carrying a handful of fresh peas or a load of potatoes. We want to carry our bounty home in what is best for the earth to help ensure that these markets and the farms that supply them will be around for generations to come. Join our cause, and make a few of these!  — bbbcraft sisters

Full instructions continue after the jump…


  • fabric scissors
  • kitchen tea towels (Ours are from Ikea and Williams Sonoma; you can use new ones or give new life to old towels. Flour-sack towels work really well because they’re such a lightweight, breathable fabric, and they don’t weigh very much if you use these at the grocery store, as well.)
  • string or twine
  • safety pin or tape threader
  • sewing machine
  • rubber stamps (optional)
  • fabric paint, ink or stamp pads (optional)


1. Make sure the hem of your towel is such that you will be able to thread twine through it to create a drawstring. All of the towels we were using had this allowance.

2. Determine the size of the market bag you would like. For the larger market bags used for potatoes or apples, we simply folded the tea towel in half. Others we cut in half and then folded in half again to make them half the size. These we used for garlic and herbs and smaller items. If necessary, cut the towel to the proper size. For an extra-big bag, you can put two full-sized towels together without cutting at all.

3. Fold the towel in half, right sides together, making sure the hem of the towel is on the top, or opening, of the bag. Then you will be able to thread a piece of string through the top hem of the towel.

4. Pin the sides and sew them up with the wrong sides facing each other. Be sure not to sew all the way to the top on either side so that you will be able to thread the drawstring through the top seamlessly.

5. Turn the bag right-side out. There should be a space large enough to thread a string with a safety pin or a tape threader at the top of the bag. This is one of the great things about this project — the hem is already made for you, saving you the trouble of needing to sew it. Thread the twine through the entire top of the bag creating a drawstring.

6. Stamp and decorate as you see fit.

7. Support your local farmers and fill with market produce!

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