How to Recycle an Old Sweater into a Plastic Bag Organizercomments (9) March 21st, 2009
I have a collection of reusable bags I take to the grocery store, but every few trips I leave them at home in favor of the plastic bags at the store. I take those lucky bags with me when I walk the dog! The other day, I opened the drawer I keep them in to grab one to take on a sprint around the block and about five fell out onto the floor. I decided right then it was time to make an organizer to put them in. This project is a super win-win—I freed up a drawer in the kitchen for other stuff, I used a piece of sweater I had from a previous project, and last but not least, the plastic bags are now hanging in the mudroom with the leash, ready for action! You can make this project out of almost anything. I used a piece of sweater because I had it on hand. You could also use one of those reusable grocery bags that has gotten worn out (maybe it has a split seam), or an old T-shirt or scraps of fabric.
Here's what you'll need:
- A piece of sweater (or whatever you're using) that measures 10 inches wide x 22 inches long
- A 7-inch piece of elastic for the top opening
- A 5-inch piece of elastic for the bottom opening
- An 8-inch piece of elastic for the loop to hang your organizer from
- All-purpose thread
- A pile of plastic bags to stuff it with!
I decided to embroider on my piece of sweater before I cut it out. If you would like to embroider your fabric first and it has a nap (such as a sweater, towel, or fleece), check out my post on how to monogram fleece slippers for some tips.
After embroidering your message, cut a rectangle measuring approximately 10 inches wide and 22 inches long. You can adjust the length of this to accommodate more or fewer bags.
Cut two pieces of 1/2-inch elastic. One needs to be 5 inches long (for the bottom end) and the other needs to be 7 inches for the top end of the organizer.
Pin the shorter elastic along the bottom edge. The ends of the elastic should be 1/4 inch from the side edges.
Stretch the elastic to fit across the bottom end. Use a three-step zigzag to stitch the elastic to the wool.
Stretch the elastic to fit the end. Stitch right on top of the first row of the three-step zigzag to secure the elastic in place.
Fold the organizer in half, right sides together, and stitch down the side edge.
Fold an 8-inch piece of elastic in half, and position it over the side seam. Tack in place to create a loop to hang the bag organizer from.
To fill your bag orgainzer, tightly "ball up" each plastic bag individually. Stuff them into the top end (that's why the elastic is longer—to make it easier to get them in). When you need one of these bags for something, pluck one out of the bottom end!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery