DIY Produce Bags

In this tutorial, I am showing you how easy it is to make these simple DIY produce bags. You only need 2 very inexpensive items!

This post contains some affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I love trying to be more sustainable and I love sharing easy ways to do that. Because it’s harder to do when it’s not easy, right?

Buying groceries and produce in bulk skips unnecessary plastic. For most of that, I use simple cotton bags that I made from old dish towels.

But sometimes, we do need something to hold the lettuce or wet carrots. This is where these DIY produce bags come in! You’ll love that they are very inexpensive and they are easy and quick to make!

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What you need:

Paint strainers:

You can get paint strainers in various sizes at your local hardware store or online. Typically, they come in a 2-pack. Depending on your needs, you can get them in a one gallon size and a five gallon size. At the time I am writing this post, these paint strainers are less than $6 for the two pack.

paint strainers


You can either buy a string or make your own. You may have some leftover yarn from another project that would be perfect for this. Or you can buy some in your local yarn store or online. You can then use the string as is, twist it, or crochet it.


Helpful tools:

A sewing machine is great here and I am assuming that you own one. Of course, you can sew these produce bags by hand as well!

Scissors for cutting, pins for pinning the produce bags in place before sewing, and one bigger safety pin.

How to make these produce bags:

First, we need to cut and get rid of the elastic at the top of the paint strainer:

cutting elastic from paint strainer

To keep the paint strainer from unraveling, I used a zigzag stich where I had cut the elastic. If you have a serger, you can use that, too!

serge or zigzag stich

Next, fold over the edge of the paint strainer to create the “channel” for the draw string. I like to secure it with pins. Notice the space between the 2 green pins: this needs to stay open so we can insert the drawstring. Then sew all the way around (except for the opening).

making produce bag

At this point, I like to go over that same seam with a zigzag stich just to give it a bit more strength.

sewing DIY produce bags

Now, put a safety pin through (the knot of) your drawstring and insert it in a push-pull fashion all the way through that “channel”.

inserting the draw string

Remove the safety pin and tie the ends of your drawstring together so that you have a bit more string than the width of your produce bag.

finishing the DIY produce bags

Ta-da: here’s your DIY produce bag that you can now bring with you for all your sustainable, plastic-free produce shopping.

DIY produce bag

Since paint strainers are made from a fine mesh nylon that are perfect for lettuce, tomatoes, and any produce that is wet, has soil on them, or could get mushy. You can easily rinse and dry them!

Also, these DIY produce bags make perfect gifts!

Make your own produce bags

Let me know your favorite ways to cut down on plastics!

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  1. I feel i’ve been looking for something like this forever! Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to try!

  2. These are so cute and useful! They look perfect for storing produce, I am excited to make these! Thank you so much for sharing. – Hollyn

  3. Pingback: Feeling Anxious? Try these 10 easy and actionable tips! - Our Gabled Home

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