Earth Day Tutorial

by Kym on April 22, 2009

How to make a shopping bag out of a dog food bag:

Today as I went to feed the dogs, I was struck by the material they are now making dog food bags out of. While I do appreciate that they don’t tear, I think that the new material may stick around in the landfill a little longer than the paper bags that dog food used to come in.

As I examined the bag, I realized that the bag is made of the same material of the bag that I bought several years ago in Orlando. It is also the material that is used by some of the book bags sold in the bookstores. Hmmmmm.

So the first thing I did after feeding the last of that bag to the dogs was cut off the bottom and wash the bag. (I am still not certain that the bag will stop smelling like dog food, but, in honor of the day, I did finish the bag…I will give updates on the smell issue!)*update* I checked online and someone else just turned the bag inside out and ran it through the washing machine. I will try that! I used dish soap and hot water to clean it, then wiped it out with a rag. I think I will also use a baby wipe as those can get anything off!!!
After washing the bag, I turned it inside out. I folded the top down about an inch and used a wide stitch (4 on my machine) to tack it down. This is how it looked on my Cirque du Soliel bag. I then sewed the bottom together and then folded it over and sewed it again copying my bag.

Then I folded the corners to make it have a flat bottom. I just tried to make them the same and eyeballed the inside to see if it was a good sized bottom! If you decide to do this and need more specific instructions, just leave me a comment!

I ordered some webbing from mamashecrazy on Etsy for belts and bags. I had just enough left to make the handles. Again, I just copied the way they were attached to my other bag. The handles on the purchased bag are not made out of as heavy a webbing. I am interested to see if I need to use a lighter weight webbing…I plan to put in another webbing order in the next day or two and get some different weights. The cotton webbing and the antique belt buckles I ordered were awesome, and the college girls that made the belts had a blast!! (another low cost-high impact item!)

Okay, so I really am not sure how I feel walking around with a dog food bag bag, but I will use it to take to the grocery. My goal is to get enough bags that we don’t have to keep using the plastic ones that rip from the grocery….but I do NOT want to pay for the cheap bags that are really just store advertising in disguise! (Now, I am not against carring and using them, just against spending my money for them!) If I have to pay for them, they will have a design of my choosing!

So, now you know how I spent about an hour of my day! Please let me know what you think.

And, if you truly love the bag and want one of your own, my dogs go through about one bag a week, so I should be able to make these every week or so.

(disclosure: The final picture has been reversed. I took all the pictures myself and did this one in the mirror. Thanks to modern technology and a computer savvy husband, the words are not backwards!)
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ocean April 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

I think it’s cute, in an animal lover sort of way :)
Hope all is well with you and your family. We are still a one income family-hoping that changes soon.


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