Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Anti-Advertising Tote

I LOVE reusable shopping bags. Two years ago, my mother gave me eight black reusable tote bags for Christmas. They were $1.25 each from a local grocery store in St. Louis. I've been using them exclusively ever since and am so pleased with how efficient they are for my grocery shopping!

In the last two years reusable shopping bag use has really taken off. Most stores now carry their own inexpensive reusable bag with their store logo printed on it. While, I love inexpensive reusable shopping bags, don't especially love advertising the local establishment - in this case Walmart - for free. So I covered it up, with fun fabric. It turns a reusable shopping bag in to a multipurpose, multifunctional tote bag.

Here's how to alter your own ...

What you'll need:
  • 2 - 50¢ reusable shopping bags from Walmart
  • 1 fat quarter (from local fabric shop or quilt shop)
  • ruler, rotary cutter and matte - or scissors and ruler
  • royal blue bobbin thread - as close as you can come to matching the color of the bag - if you care, if you don't, any color will be fine.
  • coordinating or matching thread for the top.
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine

Step-by-step instructions:
* Iron out any wrinkles or creases in your fat quarter.

* Cut the fat quarter into four strips 4.5" x 22".

* Sew two strips together along the 4.5" edge, matching the design of the fabric as best you can to hide the seam. Finished strip should be 4.5 x 40ish

* Trim any excess so seam is 1/4".

* Iron down 1/4" - 3/8" of raw edge, on both of the long sides of your strip of fabric.

* Pin fabric strip over printed Walmart logo, starting and stopping, in the side gusset panel of the bag. Use a ruler to measure ~ 5" from the top of the bag to insure your fabric strip straight all the way around your bag. I found that the exact measurement varied from bag to bag, as the logo must have shifted a bit during the printing/sewing process.

* Trim fabric leaving 1/2" overlap, plus 1/2" to turn under. Pin in place.

* Sew fabric to bag, sewing, 1/8" from the edge. Sew down overlap flap.

* Reinforce side seams of bag and handles if desired for longer durability.

These make wonderful gift bags for birthday gifts or the holidays, they are the prefect size for a child's activity bag or preschool tote, and easily double as a library book bag. The uses are endless. Have fun with this project personalizing your bag with fun fabrics you love.

* Written by TinyStitches.

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D O N ' T * F O R G E T * T O * E N T E R * O U R
Count Down to Christmas G I V E A W A Y for this week!


Nonna Illustration & Design said...

I love this idea!

Ni-Chern Designs said...

what a great idea!! ... such a great way to customize the bags!

Monde Design said...

I love this! I am always self conscious about using the wrong stores bag at the competing store (gasp! A Hy-Vee bag at Price Chopper? oh, the nerve! =).

I also use these bags to take my boxes to the post office for shipping. They fit so nicely in them, and I can just hand over the bags to Jason (my local PO guy =) to take back. They are also great for taking towels to the pool, and wet swimsuits back home.

FYI...I really like the bags you can get at Joann's now. They seem to maybe be a bit sturdier, and are definitely bigger!

the beaded lizard said...

What a great idea! Now if only I could sew!