As you probably know by now we have been slowly trying to go green. So we use cloth bags (see designer bags)for most of our shopping. Even so, we still end up with some of those thin plastic bags from various places. They have some uses such as lining the bathroom trash cans, tying up garbage that needs to go out right away and sending items with people so no bag needs to be returned. The rest go back up to the corner store where there is a recycle bin just for them. For a long time now we have used one of the designer bags, hung in the pantry closet, to store these bags. My mother, however, had a cloth bag keeper and wanted a new one for her pantry as hers (a gift from a friend long, long ago) was falling apart. So, although I know this project idea is quite old, it is easy and useful so I thought I would post it.
This is the one I made for my mother (she collects roosters and has them everywhere).
What you need:
One rectangle of cotton fabric 24"wide X 19" tall
One 6 1/2" length of 3/8" elastic
One 11" length of 3/8" elastic
One square scrap fabric for rooster appliqué (4"X 4" or larger)
Embroidery design (download the rooster here)
Sewing and embroidery threads
Tear away stabilizer
Appliqué iron on (such as Trans Web or Heat N Bond lite)
14" length of ribbon (1" to 2" wide)
What you do:
1. Find the center of your fabric and mark for your embroidery (you can create printed templates in Catalog Xpress or Alphabet Xpress). Hoop the fabric and tear away stabilizer. Remove the template if you used one and embroider the design. Remove the fabric from the hoop and remove the excess stabilizer.
2. Fold the top edge down 1/4" and press. Fold again 1/2" down and Press. Sew very close to the inner edge creating a casing for the elastic.
3. Repeat for the bottom edge.
4. Run the 11" length of elastic through the top casing gathering the fabric as you go. Sew the ends down well close to each edge.
5. Repeat for the bottom casing using the 6 1/2" piece of elastic.
6. On the top of the rectangle measure in about 2 3/4" inches from each edge and mark or pin.
7. Press each end of the ribbon under 1/2" and press. On the right side of the fabric center the folded ribbon edge over the pin about 3/4" from the top edge. Remove pin and sew in place.
8. Repeat for the other side.
9. With right sides together sew the sides of the bag together. Turn right side out.
One plastic bag keeper is done, ready for stuffing.
Here's the other one I made.
Note: I goofed and accidently used Heat N Bond Ultra instead of Heat N Bond Lite on this second one. While it is great for no-sew applique it really gummed up the embroidery machine needle and my thread broke repeatedly. So, if you have several kinds like I do make sure you use a LITE version. This is a layered applique and I was very frustrated by the time I finished the second layer. I had to salvage the design with a button instead of finishing it like intended. Luckily this one is just for me and goes in the pantry closet. I guess that is what I get for not paying attention!
See the design as it should be and you can download this design here.
If you haven't already read these blogs and are trying to go green you might be interested in taking a look:
Designer Grocery bags
Coffee cup wraps
A Quick Casserole carrier
Reusable Snack bags
Water Bottle totes