I love that small backpacks are making a comeback. I'm definitely a backpack girl. I like to have my hands free and my stuff secure, so a backpack is the ideal bag. And tiny backpacks are perfect for those quick trips to the store, last-minute drinks, or biking adventures. Drawstring backpacks are particularly easy to make, and today I'm going to show you how to turn a pillowcase into a DIY backpack (with hidden pocket!).
Photo: Francesca Tirico
In the last five years or so, I've been fortunate to go on several international trips. Even though it would be free to check a bag on those flights, I never do, and it has saved me so much time and trouble that I can't imagine doing it any other way. If you're doing any air travel, internationally or not, I'm here to tell you why and how you should avoid checking luggage.
Why to Avoid Checking...
I'm a sucker for a farmer's market or swap meet, and I've become very aware of bringing my own bags since California passed a law requiring you to pay for plastic bags at grocery stores. To use the materials I already had, I found three super simple ways to make an upcycled market bag: use stuff I already have! This transforms standard items into something practical using minimal cuts and sewing.
Whether you're a re-usable grocery bag kind of person, a fashionista, or someone who likes a bit of style with their functionality, this DIY leather bag project is for you!
Reusable grocery bags are a must, but a grocery bag made out of an old t-shirt is, well, a slice of re-use heaven. I particularly like the airy quality of this bag, which, seriously, does NOT look like it began its life as a t-shirt.
Perfectly thoughtful gifts require perfectly thoughtful wrappings. And less-than-sublimely personalized gifts DEMAND thoughtful wrappings. A bottle of wine is always a neutral choice (only the decision between red or white), and to present it?
- Two pieces of fabric, cut to the same size
- A short length of ribbon
- Sewing machine, thread, and notions
Like or not, it's the end of August, and with the season comes all sorts of options for DIY Back-To-School fantasticness.
This Recycled Juice Pouch Lunch Bag is a great project to do with back-to-schoolers, or just as a good luck present. It can teach them about recycling and reuse, provide a great introduction to sewing, and provides for a pop art lunch toter that beats the pants off of wasteful brown paper sacks.
1. 14 juice pouches...
Vane Becidyan, the Brooklyn Bride, in collaboration with Etsy's How-Tuesday, offers this video tutorial for making fabric drawstring bags for big impact for party/wedding/shower favors. And when they've pulled the string and discovered their goodies, the wrapping still remains part of the gift: a reusable, handmade, colorful gift.
"This Solarjo Power Purse packs more than just good looks. Appearing at first like any designer handbag, this classy clutch is studded with enough solar cells to charge a cell phone battery in just two hours....The purse has a battery tucked away inside its lining with an attached USB cable that can be used to charge just about any device."
Designed by Joe Hynek, who also proves that men can create cool handbags. :) Though I'm not sure why...
All People Quilt has posted a new pattern for these DARLING little grab bags! The pdf pattern is very detailed with ACTUAL pattern pieces. Love it!
POST UPDATE 7/16/2013: Click here for the free pattern. They DO request membership now! (No biggie; it's free too.)
Made from Anthropologie-looking fabric, the Laptop Messenger Bag has a smooth chocolate brown recycled leather strap (from an Ann Taylor skirt) and a back pocket cut out of a recycled bomber jacket. To be perfectly honest, I did take the outside pocket right off of my original Placemat Hack: Flaptop Laptop Cover. This handy messenger version is easy to carry, quilted on the inside and has the added details of topstitching and that fabulous...
Lisa from U-Handbag offers a detailed tutorial on using metal rivets. Her well-photographed overview offers tips on tools, technique, and application. Just a bit of knowhow, and all sorts of possibilities. Via.
"Detroit-based designer David Shock...has cleverly found a way to repurpose discarded day-glo construction fencing into one-of-a-kind totes for market and around town shopping. Ornj Bags are not only eco-friendly, but also a smart way to keep the neighborhood tidy and vibrant with street fashion that allows you to go green for the long haul!"
Clever, eyecatching, and quite DIYable.
The reusable grocery bag is no stranger to Curbly, but we've never featured this many options. Featuring sew-able options, some for knitters, and plenty you can crochet, will getcha away from those disposable plastic monsters in no time.
Sewing Grocery Bags & Totes
- Fabric Grocery Sacks: Replicas of plastic grocery sacks made from vintage sheets and pillowcases (any fabric will do!). These also make cute lunch bags. Features a tie...
I have a penchant for purchasing stuff that’s cool, but for which I don’t have specific plans or use. Case in point: I have piles of pulp and sci-fi novels from the 40s-60s. The art and colors are amazing, and the language provides for ridiculous quotes for ages. But after I slice out the illustrations, and force my way through the first and last chapters so I can say I ‘read’ them, these dime store masterpieces don’t escape from their cardboard homes often.
"The next time you're asked if you want a paper or plastic bag at the grocery store, you will be able to politely decline and then put your goodies in this handmade shopping bag. Strut out of the store with DIY pride!"
Etsy video teamed up with BurdaStyle for this great video podcast on making the open source Charlie grocery bag.
Scan this messenger bag created entirely from 3.5" floppy disks and (what looks like) jump rings.Oh, and a strap. There's also a short how-to video so you can makes your own. Cool, cool.
You've been meaning to gather enough re-usable grocery sacks to do away with plastic bags all together, but you just can't find the time to sew them all, and can't bring yourself to pay $8-9 for commercial products.
A better answer: purchase some cheap tote bags from the craft store. Those living in the Midwest, Southeast, Oklahoma, and Texas should note that Garden Ridge sells large tote bags in, like, 15 different colors for only $1. These beat...