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Picture of Zippered Top Grocery Bag

My family and I love bags. We are sort of obsessed with them. We also camp and camping for us means being organized. About 3 months ago I decided to start making us bags instead of buying them. It has been a learning process but also quite fun.

I've decided to share how to make this bag that I'm calling a grocery bag, but could just as easily be a bag for camping or traveling, or just staying organized. I've decided to add a zipper to my grocery bag because this way, even if my bags tips over in my vehicle, the contents will stay put. This bag could easily be made without a zipper.

Let's get started!

Step 1: Cutting Pieces of Canvas for the Bag:

Picture of Cutting Pieces of Canvas for the Bag:

First, we will measure our fabric and make the cuts. I've made this bag 16"H x 14"W x 8"D. I've cut the back piece 2" longer than the front piece so we can hide the zipper at the end of the project. I like to mark each piece as I cut them with a letter or two so I know where they go when it comes time to sew, or in case I need to step away from my project for any length of time. I use "BA" for the back since there is also a bottom piece.

Piece dimensions for this bag are:
1- 16"H x 12"W --For the Back

1- 14"H x 12"W --For the Front

2- 14"Hx 8"D For the Sides

2- 12"Wx 8"D For Top/Bottom

Once the 6 pieces are cut, measure your top piece for the zipper. Measure around 3 sides, then add 4 more inches to that. Two inches will fold around the back side of the bag later, on each side, when we sew on the zipper.

emilyboda11 hours ago
I love this bag! I noticed your username and was wondering: is there an easy way to add bike pannier hooks to the bag? Do you think it would be sturdy enough or would I need to add something flat to side against the bike rack?
It's nice and nice, but it's a little troublesome. I'm suggesting that you explain more and if you put the movie better, I would be so grateful that you follow me. Hope to be successful.
Great bag! I definitely want to make one now. Can you tell us the type and weight of the fabric you used (looks like Cordura nylon) and what size zipper you used? If you can recommend any places to order the materials that would be great too. Thanks!
bikegirl114 (author)  hyperfocused725 days ago
seamster7 days ago
Excellent! I love seeing sewing projects like this. Well done!!
bikegirl114 (author)  seamster5 days ago
Thank you very much!
saari_jake6 days ago
Love the look of this bag! Nice work
bikegirl114 (author)  saari_jake5 days ago
Thank you very much!
BigAZ6 days ago
Great grocery bag with a lot of other potential uses. Would like to see an interior pouch for coupons.
bikegirl114 (author)  BigAZ5 days ago
That is so funny. My dad had the same thought. I guess for future bags I may need to add that feature. Thanks!
Nice job, good sturdy looking bag and a good tutorial. You can also use a "reflectix" car windshield cover stitched inside the bag and it's great for carrying cold or frozen food home from the store. Art
bikegirl114 (author)  fulltimerart5 days ago
Holy dooly! I never would have thought of that. That is a great idea! I suppose if the liner were velcroed in, it could also be removed for clean up.
This is both useful and attractive. For carrying really heavy loads, you might run the webbing straps under the bottom of the bag for extra support as well...instead of merely attaching them on the sides. I've made several bags like this over the years for toting around art supplies, but I never thought to put a zipper in...great addition! Your photos illustrate your project clearly...thanks for sharing!
bikegirl114 (author)  OutofPatience5 days ago
Thank you very much and you are right about the webbing. I think it does need to go under the bag for extra support.