PROJECT 9: PRETTY GROCERY BAGS

I love, love, love the reusable and washable grocery bags that every store seems to sell to help save the environment. I love the bags because they’re easy to wash and affordable (I don’t feel bad when I toss one or lose one). The bags come in super handy when I need some extra bags to organize my crafts or use for a short road trips. Do you know what I don’t love about the bags? The store logo and the ugly colors. I understand the logo is advertising, and the ugly green says “I help the environment.” But couldn’t stores sell prettier totes? Totes that make women scream, “I need to have that super adorable tote!” in the store.

Reusable bag on clearance for 49 cents. I love the dark blue, but I’m not fond of the winter pattern. Sorry, Shopko. Fabric from an old scrub will be used to cover a photo album and pretty up a reusable bag.

Also, does anyone else feel a little funny bringing a Walgreens tote into your local grocery store? Personally, I don’t care, but Charlie complained about it one time. And I know some other people who share his feelings. However, I don’t feel very professional walking into my work office with an ugly green bag from the local grocery store. Anyway, I’ve thought about prettying up the bags in the past, but one of my ideas proved to be far too difficult for me. I quickly abandoned that idea — easily sewing some cute fabric over the bag. Although the idea was abandoned, the thought of prettying up the bags never left my mind. My reusable bags NEED to be pretty — not ugly.

Isn’t my Clarabug beautiful and chubby? I love her so much. I love how she needs to be near me and stop me from working on any projects. I love Clara.

Hello, world wide web. I found a few blogs and web sites that provided ideas to pretty up the reusable bags. A few handy crafters — like myself — felt the same way about the totes (ugly logo or color). With some helpful hints and direction, I finally put together my first pretty bag! However, I encountered some minor obstacles during the project. One, sewing the fabric onto the bag was a little hard to avoid sewing other sides of the bags together — which I did, but hello, seam ripper. And the heavy cord part (for the new handles) broke several needles on the sewing machine. Oopsy. But after a few choice swear words and determination, I finally have my pretty bag.

Isn’t my tote pretty? I love it! I had plenty of the owl fabric left after covering a photo album and decided to use the rest of the tote. All I needed was fabric and some heavy flat cord-type (for the handles) — sew everything together and hello, beautiful!

To be honest, I thought the project would be fairly easy because I like quick and easy projects. Sewing more material and a flat cord ribbon onto an already-sewn bag was not an easy task. I gave up for a few days after breaking a few sewing machine needles, but I decided to tackle the project during a baseball game on TV. This time around, I took my time — nice and easy. Sewing a little bit here and there while watching the game, playing on my phone, petting the cats, etc. After a few hours, my bag was complete — well, I think I might add a side pocket for a water bottle. But for the most part, I love my new bag.

Working on my tote during a Brewers baseball game. I only broke one needle on my sewing machine.

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