You don't need to use yarn to make tote bags for groceries. Instead, crochet with plastic shopping bags you use to take groceries home. You're providing yourself with something you need while not using up additional resources. In addition, you're keeping plastic bags, made from petroleum products, out of a landfill. The tote bag will be strong and sturdy, especially if you crochet holding two lengths of bag together.
Things You'll Need
Size J crochet hook
Flatten and smooth out each shopping bag. Cut off each top and bottom to get rid of the closed ends and handles.
Cut across each bag, making each section about 2 inches wide. Open all the rings and connect them with a square knot. Keep joining rings until you have enough to roll into a ball the size of a volley ball.
Crochet a chain as wide around as you need the bottom of your tote bag to be, plus one additional turning chain. Make at least 25 chains. For row one, place the hook in the second chain from the hook and start making single crochet (sc) stitches in each chain across. Crochet three sc in the last chain at the end.
Repeat row one's instructions for rows two and three. You'll start putting three sc into each end as you start making a rectangular bottom for the bag. Keep doing this until the bag's bottom is as big as you need.
Begin making one sc into each stitch to start building up the sides of the tote bag.
Continue crocheting the sides until the bag has reached the height you need. Fasten off the last loop and cut the end of the plastic bag.
Turn the bag inside out because the stitches on the inside are neater. Determine points where you want the handle ends to go. Pick up some bag loops--from those that you cut and unfolded earlier--and chain 50 to 60 chains.
Attach the handle to one side of the tote by slipping the end of the bag strip into the bag and crocheting sc stitches, one for each chain. Crochet one additional row of sc and attach the other end of the handle to the bag by crocheting the end of the handle to the top of the tote with sc stitches.
Fasten off the bag plastic and cut it close to the final stitch.
Increase by four to six stitches in the row after completing the bottom of the bag if you want a defined tote bag bottom. Use more than one thickness of plastic bags because they are so thin. Additional thickness means additional strength for the tote.