Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upcycled Feed Bag Totes

Bags made out of bags, you say??!!??  Many of you may have seen these on Etsy, Pinterest, or on another blog…upcycled feed bag totes!  There are lots of tutorials out there so I won’t post details here, but I will say that it is fun and pretty easy to make these.DSCN9190DSCN9115I first saw similar bags (and aprons) at a craft show this summer.  I thought the horse and dog food ones would be cute for my niece (she loves puppies and horses!), but they were $15/each.  And, being the crafter that I am, I thought:  “I could do that for nuthin’”! So, I did!

A friend from work brought me a horse feed bag and a couple of dog food bags.  Layla (our dog) donated a couple of her empty bags too.  DSCN9040They need to be that plastic-y…shiny, coated material…NOT paper.  Here is a close-up of the material:DSCN9096The first one I made was a straight-forward large tote bag.  The plastic-ish weave is a bit stiff to work with and definitely requires a little practice.  The first couple of items I made using a straight stitch, then I read online to try a zig-zag stitch…so much easier!DSCN9080Then, I experimented with lining the totes.  This one was for my mother and has a pocket inside. She loved it and so do the other teachers at her school.DSCN9114DSCN9110I lined the horse bag too and included a magnetic closure.  I think my niece is going to like carrying her stuff to Grandma’s house in this bag:DSCN9122DSCN9126DSCN9125I really wanted to experiment with some more bags and to try to make an apron, but I did not have access to anymore empty feed bags.  So, I did something I’ve never done…I put a “wanted” ad on Craigslist!  I immediately received a response from a nice local gentleman and his wife who are into recycling.  They save their livestock feed bags and usually sell them (for $0.25/each) to construction sites (to use as sandbags).  They originally offered to sell me ~50 bags, but then when they found out what I was doing with them and saw the pics…they decided to give me all of their bags in exchange for a tote and apron.  How fun is that??  When they dropped the bags off, I wound-up with ~80 bags!!  IMG_0941[1]Now that I have so many bags, I have been free to experiment a bit.  So fun!  I am also on a waiting list for a craft show (my first), so these bags will definitely be making an appearance at the show. 

A small lunch tote with Velcro closure:DSCN9145DSCN9159
A large tote:DSCN9184DSCN9188 DSCN9192DSCN9193DSCN9194DSCN9195Aren’t these livestock bags great?  I love the images on them and they are big (50lb bags).  I am hoping to get some different bags..maybe some cute chicken feed or hog feed would be neat....for the next round of sewing.
Since this post is soooo long (sorry!), I’ll show you how I made the apron in a separate post.

I just love making treasure out of trash!  What have you UPCYCLED into a fun project lately?

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