Monday, April 25, 2011

No sew totes help save on plastic bags.

Here are a few bags I made without a sewing machine.

A little info on the plastic bags they replace:
Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide. 

That comes out to over one million per minute. 
Billions end up as litter annually.

What's crazy is that plastic bags don't actually biodegrade, 
they photodegrade-breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits 
contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web 
when animals accidentally ingest.

Even if you don't care about the environment or the animals, 
it is cheaper to use a reuseable bags. 
Most grocery stores will give you 5 or 10 cents for every reuseable bag 
you bring in to tote your groceries out with.

The bags featured have been proven sturdier than 
plastic bags so you don't have to worry about 
the bag breaking and spilling your stuff everywhere. 
Load it up with confidence.

Wondering how they are no sew? These bags are made with staples and duck tape. 

What you need on hand: scissors, pencil or fabric marker, 1 yard home-decorating or upholstery-weight fabric, 2 yards of 1-inch or wider webbing (for straps), stapler, and Duct tape in complementary color. 
(Duct tape come in some awesome colors these days.)

1. Cut a 20-by-36-inch piece of home-decorating or upholstery-weight fabric. Line the back of the fabric with iron-on vinyl to protect and reinforce.

2. Fold fabric in half, right sides together, to create a rectangle 20 inches wide by 18 inches tall, with the fold at the bottom.

3. Fold down and crease the top raw edge to create a 2-inch hem on the top, front, and back.

4. Mark where you would like the straps to go and staple the straps onto one side of the bag. Only staple through the strap and the folded over fabric, so that the staples do not show on what will be the front of the bag. Repeat on other side.

5. Use two strips of duct tape to cover the staples and "hem" the top of the bag. Trim the extra duct tape with scissors.

6. Fold the bag so right sides are together. Mark a seam line 1/2 inch from each edge. Staple up the sides of bag along the seam line. Cover seam with a long piece of duct tape, folded lengthwise over the raw edge. Trim the extra duct tape.

7. Create a gusset by flattening the inside-out bag with the seams together. Mark a line perpendicular to the seam, about 3 1/2 inches from the "point" at the bottom of each seam. Staple along this line. Cover the staples with duct tape and trim excess.

8. Turn bag right-side out.

More bags and ideas can be found in Jodi kahn's book, Simply Sublime Bags: 30 No sew, Low Sew Projects.

If you don't want to make your own, the bags featured are 
for sale along with many others.
My bags can be custom designed with 
whatever your heart may desire. 

Any ideas for future bag designs?


  1. ROFL - Staples and Duct tape. *shakes head* I love that this design uses more plastics then if you sewed them either by machine or by hand.

    Maybe your DH needs to buy you a sewing machine. I know people willing to teach you how to use it. You could learn to make tablecloths, curtains, hot pads, blankets, and even cloths. *wink*

  2. Ha! It's only a little plastic, used over and over. I would love to learn to sew one day.

  3. I still think sewing is the better solution.