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Printed Grocery Tote

These fashionably printed grocery totes will have you saying "no thanks" to plastic bags.




Martha used organic cotton bags, from Enviro-Tote. Linoleum cutters are available at


  • Organic cotton tote bag
  • Potatoes and/or apples
  • Kitchen knife
  • Fabric or acrylic paint
  • Linoleum cutter
  • Paintbrush


  1. Step 1

    Cut a potato in half. Carve a simple design into the potato using a linoleum cutter. Tip: Apples cut in half, carved or uncarved, also make great designs.

  2. Step 2

    Brush paint onto the carved surface, being sure to cover it entirely.

  3. Step 3

    Stamp with the potato on the cotton tote. Re-ink and stamp as many times as desired.

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008



Reviews (9)

  • pfaffmobile 17 May, 2012

    Nice thought, but what on earth would I do with 50 totes which is the minimum order available from the vendor listed in the carticle.

  • LADundore 20 Aug, 2008

    If you want a pattern for a Martha tote bag, search "handmade tote bag" on for directions!

  • thisiskrissyray 24 Apr, 2008

    With a little imagination, you can come up with a pattern. Or just google for pattern ideas of your own. The simple idea of using a potato or apple as a stamp is good enough for me, I can do the rest. And, when you are done staming just throw it in the compost! Two uses. Tks

  • dreamcrafter 24 Apr, 2008

    I am in agreement with zocola I was hoping for a pattern to make my own bags. I have a huge selection of fabric of all types and I keep addain more but I would rather have a pattern to make my own then ideas for decorating store bought ones.

  • zocola 23 Apr, 2008

    Darn! I thought that we would have a pattern to actually MAKE the tote bag.

  • TJsLove 22 Apr, 2008

    This is such a simple, fun idea. I am finally going to start bringing my totes shopping! Thanks for this simple way to go green. I will easily avoid using 600 plastic bags in a year with these totes.

  • karen_stargirl 22 Apr, 2008

    Hi Martha-I'm inspired by this craft. I just ordered enough bags for each of my Kindergarteners to make a printed tote for their Mom for Mother's Day. Hands-on AND eco-friendly! Thanks for all you do!

  • alisonjane 22 Apr, 2008

    Hi Martha- As I watch your show on my spring break from my class of second graders, I am remeinded of a craft I did in Girl Scouts quite some time ago. We made wrapping paper from potato stamps and paper grocery bags, but we used metal cookie cutters pushed into the potatoes and then carved around the imprint. We could then carve out designs with drinking straws, pencils, and smaller cookie cutters. Hope this tip helps!