Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eco-nomical Bags

Here is how to make this:  (Hmmmm, is this garbage?)
into this: (I think NOT!)

Here is a sort-of tutorial for making re-usable bags out of birdseed bags(or really any bags made out of the woven plastic stuff).  I got this idea after receiving some from the World Wildlife Fund and seeing some in a store( they were $14.99!!!).  The birdseed comes in a bag of the same type material the fancy bags are made of! Soooooo, why not make your own?  Here goes the sort-of tutorial with photos....

First, you should make sure the bag is clean, and dry.  Do not remove the stitching at the bottom(you need it- 'cause it's the bottom!).  Then turn it inside out.

To create the square bottom of the bag, fold the corners on the diagonal (matching the bottom seam with the side seam) and sew across about an inch to two inches in, it depends on the size of your bag and how big you want the bottom to be.

Now the next step you can do or not, it is just to neaten up the bag on the inside.  Tack(with needle and thread) the flap to the side or bottom of the bag- I do the side.

This is now what it looks like.  Feel free to ooooh and ahhhhh. 

To finish off the top of the bag, you need to do a hem basically.  Fold it down maybe an inch wide or so a couple times.  I use a zig-zag stitch and go right over the edge so it doesn't catch on watches or rings or things when you are loading it up.

Now, use some scrap fabric and make some handles.  I have made them about a foot long by about 1" wide up to a foot and a half long by about 1 1/2" wide- either size works well.  The pieces I cut are about 3" wide to start with and then I fold them over in thirds and zig-zag to close(don't worry about the ends, just the sides are fine). I used an old dish towel here.

Now you want to stitch them to your bag.  Flatten out the bag(front to back), center the handles, pin into place and sew onto the bag.  I sew a box first, starting at the upper right-hand corner and without stopping start a diagonal to the lower left-hand corner.  Back stitch up to the upper left-hand corner and diagonal down to the lower right-hand corner. 

After you have stitched all the handles, turn the bag right-side out and... VOLIA! You have your own re-cycled, re-usable, and re-cyclable bag for your shopping eco-enjoyment!
and here's a shot of the inside too...for reference : )

These bags are stout!  If yours has a paper covering on the bottom opening, don't remove it, just cover it with a piece of fabric to re-inforce it. 

Hope you all enjoy making these and the conversations they start when you actually remember to bring them in to use at stores.  : )
This one is for my mom.  We will see if she remembers....hehehe


DAche said...

I would love to see her remember and get rid of the overflowing stinking bags 'o bags on the back of the door.

Amber said...