Yesterday I posted an Instructable on how to make a water bottle bag out of scraps of fabric and I mentioned that I was originally going to make it with an upcycled grocery shopping bag. Well now I'm back with another bag, and I've used the shopping bag to create it, but this time I've made a BYOB wine bottle carrier!
The shopping bag I used was too small to be of any use to carry groceries and my husband didn't think it would be of any use so he put it and another plastic bag into the garbage; oh ye of little faith! Luckily I found them before they hit the curb!
Step 1: Take Apart Your Upcycled Bags and Harvest the Pieces
To start, use a stitch ripper to undo the trim from the reusable grocery bag.
Untie the knot in the cord handle on the plastic bag. We'll only need one of them, so set one aside for another project - or use both if you're making two bags!
Step 2: Smooth Out the Fabric
Take the rest of the fabric pieces to an ironing board and set the iron on the lowest setting (any higher and you run the risk of melting whatever the bag is made of). Place the ironing press cloth over the fabric pieces and run the iron over it to smooth out any creases in the fabric.
Step 3: Incorporate a Decorative Element!
I chose to use my Birdz of a Feather logo to adorn my bag.
Step 4: Binding the Raw Edge
I cut one of my logos from the printed fabric, leaving 1/4" all around. Then I used the trim I saved earlier and pinned it around the edge. I took it to the sewing machine and stitched it on, cutting off any excess.
Step 5: Cut the Main Body
We're going to cut the BYOB bag from the body piece we took apart earlier. The handle is going to be an integral part of the bag, so be sure to keep it on. I used the full width of the bag - handle and all.
Step 6: Making the Bottom of the Bag
For the bottom of the bag, we're going to use the side pieces from the grocery bag. Double them up, one on top of the other, and then trace a circle using the chalk pencil. The cardboard from my Duck tape was the perfect size for the bottom of my bag.
Pin the pieces together and cut out the circle.
Stitch directly onto the chalk line, then trim the seam allowance leaving 1/4".
Step 7: Add Your Decorative Element
Place the logo onto the front of the bag, pin it and then stitch around it. Fold the sides of the bag together, right side out. Stitch a 1/4" seam down the side.
Using the trim that was saved earlier, fold it around the raw edges of the bag and stitch it down using a 1/4" seam allowance. Cut away the excess length of trim.
Step 8: Stitch Bottom of Bag
Pin the circle onto the bottom of the bag, wrong sides together, and stitch around the perimeter using 1/4" seam allowance. Use another piece of trim and stitch it on the same way as you did the side seam. Cut away the excess length.
Step 9: Make a Casing/Hole for Grommet
Now we're going to make a casing for the top of the bag so we can add a drawstring closure. Use one piece of the fabric you previously cut the circle from for the bottom of the bag. Cut it 2" wide; don't worry about the length as that will be cut away at the sewing machine.
At one end of the piece you just cut, there may already be a fold; if not, create one to accommodate the grommet. This double fabric is ideal for securing the grommet. Use your pointy scissors to make a starter hole. Don't be tempted to cut a hole or it will weaken the grommet; the goal is to stretch the fabric. Insert a pencil into the starter hole to stretch it wide enough to fit over the post of the grommet.
Step 10: Add a Grommet
Place the other side of the grommet over the post, then use a grommet plier to squeeze the two pieces of metal together.
Step 11: Stitch Casing Around Opening of Bag
Fold the ends under along the length, then take it to the sewing machine and stitch it around the top opening of the bag on both edges to make a casing for the cord.
Step 12: Thread Cord Into Casing
Thread one end of the cord you saved from the fashion shopping bag through the eye of a bodkin. Insert it into the grommet and thread it all the way around the casing and back out the other side.
Step 13: Add the Cord Lock Onto the Cord
Squeeze the plastic cord lock to open it, thread the two ends of the cord through and release the lock. Tie each end of the cord into the knot (if the ends are strayed, you can trim them or carefully pass a lighter over them to fuse and seal the edges together).
Step 14: Enjoy!
Now, all that's left is to slip your favourite bottle of wine into the bag, cinch up the cord and away you go. The original bag handle now acts as a shoulder strap to carry it!
Step 15: A Reminder of How Far We've Come!
Here's a few pictures of the bags we started with.
Step 16: A Useful and Sustainable Upcycle: Make One As a Gift!
We always seem to end up with more reusable bags than we need, so this was the perfect way to transform them.
The two bags combined together made them into something even more useful than they were originally. I have just enough left over from both bags to make another one; it would make a great gift! If you can sew a straight line, I hope you'll give it a try!!