My husband says that “we” recycle at our house….and by “we”, I mean him. Most of the time that is true. I put the “recycling”… cans, bottles, and plastics into sorted bins. He has to deal with taking them out and storing them until it is time to load them into the truck for the ride to the recycling center. I am the queen of recycling birdseed, etc. bags. I love this project. It is so much easier than you can imagine.
I have seen many of these cool bags out there for sale. Many of them cost $10 or more each each! (That’s quite a profit from garbage!) I decided that I would give them a try. Here is the “raw” material.
Bird seed back from Tractor Supply
I trimmed the bottom off of the bag. I used an old rotary cutting blade, the same one I use for paper, etc. This bag is made from a woven plastic of some sort. The seed picture will actually become part of the bag bottom.
bag with bottom removed for handles
I used my favorite quilt ruler to trim the handle pieces to 5 inches. (On later bags, I learned that 4 1/4 inches was better.) You could use other strap material if you want, but this step is not difficult either.
marking for handles
I did not take a picture of the next step. I used a closed sharpie marker to crease the parts before I sewed them. The handles were folded in half and them folded in on themselves. This resulted in a very durable 4 layer thick handle. It only takes one row to make both handles.
I used a soda box to form a “solid” bottom since this bag was made into a square on the bottom.
sturdy bag bottom
Here is a slightly angled version picture of the bag at the top of this post. How artful!
Here is another bag made from a 40 pound chicken feed bag. I do like the colors and the “pretty chicken” on this bag. Forty pounds of chicken crumbles is smaller than forty pounds of black oil sunflower seeds. The sunflower seeds make a very large bag. The chicken feed bags are closer to the size of the reusable bags that you can purchase in the store.
pretty chicken feed bag
I did learn a few things during my little recycling experiment.
Let me share:
- These bags take about 1/2 hour or less to make each.
- You do not have to play nice with these. They can take rough handling when turning them inside out, etc.
- The longest stitch length on the sewing machine works best.
- They sew up quickly, but they also dull your needle quicker than a regular fabric project.
- You can’t pin this material, but you can tape it with clear tape to hold it in place.
I think that our little after school sewing group will be making some of these next week…if there is no snow! (At the moment, the forecast is for the 60’s….that will be fantastic!)
If you enjoyed these pictures and would like more details on how to make these bags, just let me know. The construction is very basic. Easy for a beginner!
Have a great weekend! I am going to go enjoy my unexpected snow day!