How to Make a Recycled Clothespin Bag

comments (7) April 29th, 2009     

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LindaPermann Linda Permann, contributor
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Its a bit too early to hang my clothes here (as evidenced by the snow), but now Ill be able to corral my clothespins when that time of year comes again.
If you want to use an adult-sized hanger, just twist the edges into curlicues using pliers.
Lay out a design in rickrack over the front of the bag, if desired, and pin it in place. I lined up six pieces in varying sizes since I recently received a gigantic stash of rickrack. You can use trims or fabric scraps or whatever you want—adding a little bit of decoration will step up this project from recycled to cute!
Its a bit too early to hang my clothes here (as evidenced by the snow), but now Ill be able to corral my clothespins when that time of year comes again.

It's a bit too early to hang my clothes here (as evidenced by the snow), but now I'll be able to corral my clothespins when that time of year comes again.

Photo: Linda Permann

It seems like I always have a too-small, too-paint-stained, or too-worn pair of jeans around the apartment, so I decided to do some more cutting for this week's project. I came up with this sturdy denim clothespin bag—it's the  perfect thing to grab on your way out to the laundry line so that all of your pins are in one place. Any encouragement to get me outside and away from the dryer is good for me—clothes dry really quickly on the line in the summer, plus it helps you save money on your electricity bills. If line drying simply isn't an option for you, you could also use this bag to store your plastic grocery bags (which hopefully you're reusing).

Materials:

  • One pair of old jeans (you can also combine old pair parts, if you'd like)
  • One wire hanger
  • Pliers
  • Scissors
  • Rickrack (optional)
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Iron

Let's get started!

Most old clothespin bags use a child-sized hanger to keep them straight across the top. Since I have no kids (and therefore no kid-sized hangers) and in the interest of not buying something new, I twisted the edges of my adult-sized wire hanger into curlicues. You can do this with pliers—your hanger should end up about 9 inches wide. Alternately, you can saw a wooden hanger to 9 inches wide (or use a kid-sized hanger).

The hanger is for structure only, so don't worry too much about how it looks.


If you want to use an adult-sized hanger, just twist the edges into curlicues using pliers.

 

 

Next, you'll need to cut three pieces from your jeans. Cut one leg off, 6 inches up from the hem (keeping the hem intact), then cut one seam of that leg piece open. This will be the top front flap. Cut it down to an 11-inch-wide by 6-inch-tall piece.

From the second leg, cut a 10-1/2-inch-tall by 11-inch-wide piece (again, using the finished hem as one of the 11-inch sides).

Cut a third piece that is 11 inches wide by 15-1/2 inches tall—I achieved this by cutting an 11-inch-tall piece from the remaining leg, then cutting it open and trimming it to size.

The two smaller pieces will overlap slightly to make the front of the bag, and the large piece will form the back.


Lay out a design in rickrack over the front of the bag, if desired, and pin it in place. I lined up six pieces in varying sizes since I recently received a gigantic stash of rickrack. You can use trims or fabric scraps or whatever you want—adding a little bit of decoration will step up this project from "recycled" to "cute"!

 

 


Sew the rickrack onto the jeans one piece at a time, changing thread colors to match each piece of rickrack. One line down the center of the zigzags is enough, although you can tack it down further (or glue it) if you want.

 

Sandwich the fabrics together, right sides facing, as follows:

1. Large back piece (right side up)

2. Smaller front piece (right side down, with the hemmed edge as the inside edge and the top 11-inch edge matched with the top of the back)

3. Larger front piece (right side down), with the hemmed edge overlapping the smaller piece's leg edge


Pin the pieces in place. Sew all around the outside edge of the fabric sandwich, leaving an opening at the top for the hanger (as marked with red dots in the photo). Backstitch to reinforce the overlapped leg edges of the denim.

 

 

 

 


Clip the corners and trim the seams, then turn the bag right side out via the hemmed edge opening. Press. Hand-stitch both edges of the top hanger opening in place, if desired. Insert the hanger in the bag from the large opening and slide it into place.

 

 


It's a bit too early to hang my clothes here (as evidenced by the snow), but now I'll be able to corral my clothespins when that time of year comes again.

 

See more of my projects on my personal blog, and look for my new book, Crochet Adorned, in stores August 11, 2009.

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posted in: tutorial, how-to, green, recycle, eco friendly, denim, jeans, clothespin bag

Comments (7)

southtexasgreenie writes: Love, love this idea! I think I will use lingerie hangers. You can't recycle at all and this would be a great way to re-purpose them! Thanks for the great idea!
Posted: 8:58 pm on March 30th
LindaPermann writes: thanks everyone. I love sharing our neighbors' clothesline!
Posted: 2:05 am on May 2nd
CalPatch writes: super cute, linda! can't wait to have my very own clothesline so i can make one of these!
Posted: 9:56 pm on May 1st
JenniferStern writes: This project makes me yearn for a clothesline!!! --I love the giant trims!
Posted: 6:26 pm on May 1st
akaRosella writes: Call it Karma, Fate, Kismet... I was outside earlier today, grumbling as I reached for, looked for and dropped clothespins up and down the length of my line thinking: I really need to make a clothespin bag...

Great timing! thanks
Posted: 3:45 pm on April 30th
theemptynest writes: Way too cool!!! Keep them coming.
Posted: 12:42 pm on April 29th
kaytet writes: such a great idea! i love the giant rick-rack!
Posted: 11:47 am on April 29th
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