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7 Creative Ideas for a Reusable Shopping Bag from Paper Mart

A reusable shopping bag that comes in a wide range of fabrics can be used for much more than just shopping. Use a sturdy canvas basket to corral kids’ toys or as a lightweight tote for the beach, lake or pool. Canvas and Burlap bags can even be used in the garden. Grow everything from potatoes to flowers for your family in the bag itself.

reusable shopping bag

No matter how you use them, canvas, woven and non-woven bags are sustainable and eco-friendly. They come in a wide range of colors which makes them the perfect match for any occasion or purpose. The firm, non-stretch surface of these multiuse totes makes them easy to decorate. Use fabric glue to add dimensional elements and permanent marker or fabric paint to decorate to your heart’s content. Below are just a few ideas on fun and useful ways to utilize fabric bags. 

1. Book Bags

Heading to the library? Foster a love of reading by giving each child in your family their own reusable shopping bag book bag for library trips. Use embellishments and permanent fabric marker to decorate each bag with your child’s name or their favorite genres. As an added bonus, you can store the books right in the bag. No more late fees for forgotten or lost library books!

2. Meal Totes

Communities, churches and schools bond when a family suffers an illness or loss. When it’s your turn to offer support, pack a sturdy reusable shopping bag with your homemade meal and deliver it to the family along with a note and something special for the kids. Use disposable takeout containers and restaurant packaging so there’s no cleanup to worry about. You’ll be able to deliver a heartfelt package that allows the recipients to enjoy dinner without any prep time or mess.

3. Planters

Container gardening makes it easy to move plants around your yard and place them wherever you’d like, but cement and even plastic containers can be too heavy to move. A reusable shopping bag with a flat bottom makes it easy to grow everything from tomatoes to flowers and can be lifted and moved around with ease. A large canvas basket can even be used to grow potatoes. When the plant begins to flower, dump out the bag and collect your potatoes— no digging required! A sturdy canvas or burlap bag can be used for several seasons in the garden. Making it an ideal home for most garden plants.

4. Reusable Shopping Bag – Pool Tote

Water resistant and durable, a large reusable shopping bag is an ideal beach or poolside companion. Don’t risk your expensive purse or backpack; chlorine and saltwater can both damage fine textiles and leather. The durable woven fabric that reusable totes are made from is designed to be water friendly. Just choose a bag you like and pack with your towel, goggles and favorite sunscreen and head for the water. Reusable totes are also easy to clean. Just shake the sand out of the bag or toss it in the washer for next time.

5. Boost Your Branding

You may think branding is just for big businesses, but even small, solo shops can benefit from comprehensive branding. It’s fast and easy to have your own logo added to a reusable shopping bag and create an inexpensive but impressive piece of packaging for everything from marketing to corporate gifts. For those in sales, branded bags make it easy to pull together client and thank you gifts and enhance the look and presentation of the chosen item. Small run sizes and affordable pricing make printed bags appealing to sports teams, community groups and nonprofits, too.

6. Organize Kids’ Toys

Burlap or canvas baskets are easy to decorate to match to your child’s room and are the ideal shape for corralling toys with lots of small parts. From blocks to Barbie clothing or Matchbox cars, setting up fabric baskets makes it easy for even young children to put toys away in the correct location. Never misplace parts of toys again, from tiny Barbie shoes to the “just right” piece of a Lego set. Label each basket with the name or image of the toys so kids clean up in a flash.

7. Pre-Prep Craft Projects

Using tough, durable bags to store everything needed for a project makes it easy to pull out a craft and get started when you have time. Choose a small but sturdy canvas bag and print out the directions and finished image for a fun kids’ craft from the internet or from a magazine. Place the correct amount of craft supplies into small metal tins and plastic containers and add the directions and supplies to the bag. Pull the complete, ready-to-use project out when you need to keep the kids busy on a rainy day or whenever you have a free moment to make something fun.

The perfect project begins with a sturdy tote made from high-quality materials and tough, durable construction techniques. Paper Mart has created a lineup of top-quality tote bags and baskets and a comprehensive inventory of embellishments, accessories, and additions to make it easier than ever to use these sustainable and flexible totes in your own home. Shop our website to see our full array of affordable and reusable shopping bags — and to take steps toward a more eco-friendly, sustainable way of life.



  1. shaikh March 29, 2022

    Great article and great content! Thank you for all this information.

  2. Arfa Moore June 19, 2018

    Fantastic idea. Specially the one with the use of reusable shopping bags as planters. Very informative

  3. Rainbow April 16, 2018

    Great article and great content! Thank you for all this information.

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