Fruit Protection Bags



Introduction: Fruit Protection Bags

About: Practicalist, not a perfectionist. Enjoyer of Mountain Biking. Jack of all trades, master of none.

I'd just planted some Pomegranates and was surprised to see they were fruiting already. I'd read on a couple of forums that rats and parrots liked to help themselves to the fruit before us mere humans got to enjoy them, so decided I needed some fruit bags.I didn't want to pay for 100 bags from a big box store, so decided to make my own.

These bags are a simple drawstring that allow you to place the fruit in the bag, then tie it up tight so that other animals can't get in to ruin the harvest. By making them big enough that they don't touch the fruit, it also stops grasshoppers, slaters and other large-ish bugs from getting in. I'm not sure that it would stop fruit fly, but you could if you used a finer mesh.

Apologies up front for the lack of progress shots, as usual I just got stuck in and was finished before I remembered to take any photos. Hopefully the instructions are clear enough, I've used some paper to help indicate where the folds should be too.


To make this bag, I used:

1 x piece of flywire mesh, roughly the size of an A4 sheet of paper

1 x old shoelace

1 x Needle

Thread (approx 1.5m in total).

Step 1: Create the 'hem' for the Drawstring

To make sure the drawstring is nice and secure I created a 'hem' for it to slide through. To do this you need to fold each of the short ends over, then sew along the bottom edge to make a kind of cylinder for the string at each end. I sewed this by hand, making sure that I started with a few good stitches (more than 10) at the very beginning and very end to give extra strength, as this is where the drawstring will exert the most force when you pull it tight.

If I'd had fishing line and a suitable needle I would have used that, but instead went with standard nylon/cotton thread, which seems to work nicely.

I didn't measure any particular distance, just make sure that you leave enough room for the string to fit through comfortably. Also make sure that you put the hems on the same side, so that they're nice and neat when you finish the bag.

Step 2: Sew the Bag Sides

To turn this from a piece of flywire into a bag, we need to sew up the two sides.

First, fold the flywire in half, making sure the HEMS ARE ON THE OUTSIDE!! At the end of all the sewing we will be turning the bag inside out to make it nice and neat, so it's important to get this the right way round.

Then, pin the sides to keep them level, and sew it up. Make sure you don't sew past the bottom of each hem, or your drawstring won't be able to close.

Again I made sure to add extra stitches at the start and finish of the side, just to give a bit of extra strength.

Step 3: Add the Drawstring and Turn Inside Out

With each side sewn up and the hems done, it's now time to add the drawstring.

To do this, I found it easiest to use a drinking straw (plastic re-usable one from the kids drink bottles worked best) and put the hard plastic end of the shoelace into the end of the straw. Then push the straw though one of the hems, taking the shoelace with it. You want to pull the string through until about half of it is through, then do the same trick and push it through the other side.

Make sure you get the direction right so that the two ends of the drawstring are next to each other.

Now turn your bag inside out. While this isn't an essential step, it does make the bag tidier in my opinion.

Step 4: Bag Up Some Fruit!

That's pretty much it!

If you sew it by hand then it can take a little while to make the bags. That said I found it very therapeutic to sit and sew while watching TV in the evening, so it has its upside.

To bag a piece of fruit, place the bag over the fruit. Then pull both ends of the drawstring at the same time, while holding the 'neck' of the bag still with the other hand. Do this until the bag is almost snug around the branch, then tie off the drawstring. I found it helped to tie the string around the branch higher up, this also helps support the fruit as it grows. There is a good chance this promotes fungus, ring-barking or other unwanted effects as well, so do whatever works for you.

All in all this cost me nothing to make, took a relatively short amount of time, and protected my fruit beautifully.

Happy sewing!

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