Sunday, 7 March 2010

My first SWAP!! Eco bags and more....

A week or so ago I was reading someones blog and I noticed this little button that said something about Swap Bot.. so I clicked and educated myself. If you don't know about it have a look. It's aimed for people who want to swap anything from postcards to stickers to shirts to whatever.Some are national international, reginal.. blah blah.. and there's like hundreds of them. Orginally I signed up for a scarf swap.. which I have some AWESOME scarfs knocking about so I thought PERFECT..but then I got a message that I had been dropped due to it being US only... I was a little tipsy when I read that one and sent a message back that I was sad and upset... The next morning I'm wondered if I sent back to the or whatever. Never did hear back.

I DID manage to sign up for a Eco bag and a tea swap. At first I thought I might go out and buy a eco bag from a local shop.. but I was having trouble deciding which shop to buy a bag from and send. After re-reading the swap I noticed it said you could make one too. Whilst shopping at fabricland I had envisioned several fabrics as chic eco bags, but during a weekly clean and waist deep under my kitchen sink, I was pulling out plastic bags out of the cupboard and had a EUREKA moment.

Plastic bags=Eco bag

Of course! GENIUS

I yanked out a old Craftzine mag out of my bookshelf and read a article about fusing plastic bags which I had tried once before and I found it really hard to find the right melting point.

top tip: Keep you Iron on low. and parchment paper is perfect for ironing over..Have loads of bags.. and be ready to screw a few up. Like driving a gear shift you have to find that sweet spot with the iron and bags. Not too hot.. not too long.. move it about.. Only testing will tell.

My mind was wheeling orginally around a log cabin quilt patch or four.. but my brain quickly told myself..
"uhm that's way too much effort and you have a week to sort this out."
Thank you brain.
So reality kicked in and why not try some easy quilting ideas. Crazy quilting!

First I found all the local bags I could, and few from the mall, cut off the bottoms and ironed them seperately with the parchment paper on low.
As they heated up they shrinked a little which I felt made them a little more durable and flat... which would be easier to deal with.

Then I cut them up into 3 inch strips.

I used a cotton twill rectangle as a base and started just sewing them on either just by zig-zagging or put a strip "right side" down. sew 1/4 inch length of the strip.. then flip it over so there's no seam. I used my hands to press seams or if the bag was acting unruly I would use the parchment paper and iron again.

For a pattern I measured a eco bag I had and just kinda made it up as I went along. I did line it and used a different fabric for the sides of the bag.

The bag was wasn't "sitting right so I topped stitched the sides on the outside of the bag.. so it maintains it's shape. That REALLY helped.

It was alot of work to be honest. Halfway through I had one of those "craft" tantrums... I get these once in a while where I freak out and am like WHY THE HELL AM I EVEN BOTHERING..

Then enters a cup of tea.

piece of chocolate

a moment..

then life continues. Normally these are the most gratifying projects. I am proud of this one. It's not the most AMAZING thing I've made, however.. alot of love and thought went into it. I even have one of my work places with my home town on it.

IN a week. Someone out there will be sporting it to the grocery store and I bet someone will comment on it. It's a one of a kind and my craft karma halo is spinning happily.

I bet a get a Walmart bag :P lol


These beauties are coming down to room temperature as I write.. the dyes were prepared this afternoon... tonight.. they will be come.. ART!


  1. Such a clever idea, and the bag looks great! Might have to try it myself.

  2. Thanks Ceeyra :) I'm thrilled with it.

    Love the hat in your profile pic btw. I got a little black and silver one.

  3. sarah your bag is WICKED!!! if the swap doesn't want it i will PAY YOU to take that beauty off your hands! I made a plastic bag messenger bag before - so fun, but I ruined my iron!

  4. Well I'm the lucky gal that got Sarah as a swap partner and in turn got the lovely bag! I am so in Love with it!!! Good Karma sent your way. I am totally going to blog and link back to this. You are so Original!!!