Sunday Afternoon Sewing for the Planet
I save most of my grocery store bags (cereal bags, snacks, pet food etc) When I'm ready to use the contents, I empty the bags into glass containers, wash the bags thoroughly and leave them out to dry completely. When enough bags are gathered, they are sorted by size and stitched together in columns. The length of the columns end up being approximately the height of the bag.
To create this bag (72cm long X 46cm wide X 15cm deep), create 6 columns of bags that have been stitched together (3 for the front and 3 for the back). Topstitch down the seam allowances so they lay flat on the inside of the bag. The height of each column is approx 75cm which is a bit long but makes for a nice tall recycling bag - less trips to the bin!.
The next step is to stitch the columns together to create front and back bag bodies. Once stitched, topstitch the seams so they lay flat. When assembling the columns, stagger the crosswise seams slightly so you are not stitching over many layers of plastic.
Add two 53cm straps to the outside top edge. Position the straps about 10cm in from each edge. (you can make the straps longer or shorter as needed).
To finish off the top edge and create a small facing, sew 10cm wide strips of bag plastic to the top edge, encasing the ends of the straps.
Lay the two bag bodies, right sides together, and stitch across the bottom and up the side seams including the facing.
There are two ways to create box bottoms: cut out an 8cm square from the bottom corners, match up the side seam and the bottom seam and stitch across the opening. OR, simply squeeze the corners, lining up the side seam and the bottom seam and stich across the triangle. Here's a YouTube video that may be helpful for beginners.