Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Trash to Treasure

        Many years ago when I was a young mother I was looking for an unusual way to package a Christmas gift. This was before being "green" was ever a common thought, it was more about just being poor in funds. It was also before Dollar Stores and even before the ever popular paper gift bags. I had just finished peeling potatoes for dinner and was heading to the trash bin to toss the bag they were in, when an idea came to me.The bags back then were a little different from what we commonly see today. Made mostly from a sturdy string material in a wide open weave.

I tore a few strips of fabric and began to weave them in and out of the open sections of the potato bag. I did them two different ways. One way was I would simply weave continually from bottom to top connecting another strip as I wove. The second way was I would weave the cloth strips and tie them off into a knot along the one side.
So the other day I decided to try this once again. With today's economy and the need to recycle and reuse I felt it could be a good fit.

 Since I seem to struggle with discarding containers or packaging that I think could be useful some day, I had a few bags saved to choose from. Unfortunately today's mesh bags (these are from lemons) are made primarily of plastic. The look and the feel is different, but the idea is the same.

The bag I picked was a bit too long. So after a few rows I cut it off to the length I wanted. You can either tie the strips together or tack them together with a needle and thread. Don't worry so much about neatness. The look with knots and raw edges showing gives it a rustic handmade charm.

When you are done you can tuck the salvage edge inside and stitch down.Allow a space at the top to be able to run a length of ribbon through so as to gather up and tie off. Or let the raw edge show like I did and tie the bag off with a strip of fabric. Either way will look great.

This bag is large enough to fill with some Christmas candy, a small gift,or gift card. They can be made as small or as large as you want and can be woven with any chose of fabric. Experiment and let me know what you come up with.
The best part is, it was made from scrap fabric and an item that was headed for the landfill.


  1. What a clever idea! I reuse those veggie bags too and put garden onions in them or potatoes. I also put my washed lettuce in them and then spin it around outside to spin the water out. I call it my "salad spinner."


  2. Now wasn't you a smarty? I would say yes. How clever,
    I thought you were going to say you used a brown paper bag for wrapping paper.


  3. Clever! I noticed, from your other posts, that you love to recycle where you can. You might want to check out a friend's beautiful blog at http://www.oldgreymareprimitives.blogspot.com/

    On the first day of every month, she has started something called Project Genesis - you can link to her once a month fun on recycling and helping the world. There is a Project Genesis box on her sidebar that will take you to the page that explains it all...if you can get past her other beautiful things.

  4. Hello Rebecca! It seems your Heaven on Earth and mine are about the same! Thank you so much for sharing your "vintage" story with me, it's what I love best about blogging. Your felt creations are so wonderful! The little campfire hasn't a single detail missed right down to the toasty marshmallows! Wonderful!!!! Have a lovely holiday season, and thank you so much for stopping by to visit me! Elizabeth