Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Shopping Bag Upcycle...

Besides this being my favorite store which I drive one hour each way in order to shop this wonderful store, they have nice sturdy brown paper bags which are free with your groceries.

Even the artwork on the bags is fun. our eternal strive to be more earth friendly and environment sensitive we are buying reuseable shopping bags that are rather boring and plain.

Here is a fabric version made for me by my friend Catherine.  Thank you dear!  It has approximately the same dimensions as the paper bag but so much more personality.  And it is hard to see that there is a long pocket on the side for that bottle of Perrier or wine.

Inside is also a pocket which can be handy for a shopping list and glasses or the quick wallet to pay for shopped items.  These bags are very light weight and fold up pretty flat.  Easy to store.

 When I attempted to make a bag, the bottom was a little lax in strength and support.  So I turned to my very old standby...plastic canvas.  It has the right amount of strength and support without adding weight or bulk.

Here is the bag inside bottom that I have covered in vinyl cloth so it can be cleaned off...somehow milk always dribbles.  I added the ribbon tab so it is easy to lift out and replace down in the bag bottom.

Here is my fabric version I made.  I used two different fabrics from my wonderful stash.  Thank you to my best ever Sister-In-Law Joanne I have many home decor fabrics to select from.  Lots of them are sample pieces and not yardage but they work perfectly for these types of projects.  I really love this cheerful floral.

Here is the side view with a pocket.  I added the ribbon ties that keep the sides in check much better.  When  needed just untie or loosen the ribbon for more room.  I did line this with plain muslin however I neglected to add the inside pocket/s.  I made this bag with a soft yellow floral for Catherine to celebrate her birthday tomorrow.  Happy Birthday my friend!

While I was cutting and sewing I also made this bag for myself.  My floral fabric has a very pale blue background and we all know how I love blue.  Now to go shopping...
It felt good to be sewing yet I found I made some frustrating mistakes.  This means I need to sew a lot more to keep up my skills.
Still weeding outdoors.  I seem to have a permanent job as the weeds keep growing and reproducing in the thousands.  Soon Mr. C will need to get out the power equipment and really weed whack the major areas.  I don't do that and don't want to do that.  I am more of the detail weed removal system on my hands and knees to really get the job done.  Tedious but then again it gives me time to really thank Nature for all her beauty.  I have heard it said, "Weeds are merely plants that no one wants!"  I actually enjoy many of them with their tiny little flowers and perfect little stems and leaves.
Summer is here and I hope you are enjoying all it brings with so much to do and all the family and friends who get together for picnics, reunions, graduations, weddings etcetera.
Blissful Creativity to each of you...


  1. What most wonderful bags, dear Sherry!!
    They are both pretty ,and so wonderful with pockets and the clever inside, as to be able to clean!!
    I love your fabric choises- ,and we should really think of reusable carrier bags for our dayli shopping!!
    So beautiful.

  2. I also think weeds can be beautiful, your bags are beautiful and i love all the extra touches, thats what makes them special, I know just what you mean about keeping up our sewing skills, we get a little rusty, ha ha, wish we had a traders joe, we do have some of their products at Walmart but not the store, thank you for visiting me today,

  3. That is a super looking bag. You did an amazing job. My girls were amazed as I opened my 'surprise'. It was such a treat and they were suitably impressed with what you can do with a little bit of blissful 'createology"! Thank you and Bless you, Sherry!

  4. I LOVE your bags Sherry!!How stylish, and the removable base is such a good idea.
    I have one of those very unusual husbands who likes shopping for "essentials".I think I'd be making bags if I did the main grocery shopping.
    Those weeds make excellent compost though.I have been gathering the leaves from the street, and making piles of them.You use star droppers and wire mesh to create a box, and add a layer of leaves, a layer of animal manure, and in 2 months you have compost to add to the richness of vegetable garden soil.
    Judy x

  5. GREAT grocery bags, Sherry! Years (about 20) ago I made grocery bags from ticking (the old fashioned pillowcase striped ticking). They are still holding up and I use them every single week and then some. So much better than collecting plastic and paper. Those Trader Joe bags are very nice though. I just don't believe in paying extra for my food just to pay for those bags. I love your plastic canvas idea to strengthen the bag bottoms. I'll be remembering that.

  6. Catherine's bag for you is very pretty! Love that fabric! And the side pocket for wine or water is genius. Your bags are stunning! I adore the fabric you used. And putting the mesh in the bottom must have really helped.
    I feel like you do about nature. Weeds get a bad wrap. Everything is it's own way.
    : )

  7. YOur bags are adorable, I should make some. We have our first Trader Joes coming to Orlando, I can't wait to shop it, since I have heard so much about it!


  8. Your bag is wonderful. Shopping in style !!!! I have been weeding and weeding and weeding. But for the non flower gardens I am ready for the weed wacker, but I will have to let DH do that. LOL

  9. Very nice bags. Love them all. Nice idea to have for those shopping trips. Love the colorful fabrics.
    I need to go out and pull weeds myself, but the weather here is really bad lately with the rain and more rain and more rain. I am hoping that his weekend is nice, so that I can go out and enjoy the sun and work in the yard.
    TFS, ana

  10. your have a great selection of bags for all your shopping here, what a good idea the pocket in the side for a bottle of what you fancy

  11. What a great bag and so functional as well. I like all the added pockets and the ribbons...really a good idea on making the base removable. Those Trader Joe bags are so handy and just another little bonus for shopping there.
    I love your thoughts on weeding the garden. I often find time to reflect while pulling weeds...I think about how God has to pull a few weeds with us as well...Lessons learned and taught.

  12. Gorgeous bags, love the washable liner with the tab too, so smart. Sure your friend will love it! ~Diane

  13. The bags are so pretty and practical! I have some I purchased but they are truly bland, your make shopping a happy experience. The washable liner is brilliant!

  14. Great bags Sherry! Brilliant idea using vinyl too....

  15. Sherry, I love both of your beautifully made bags. How nice to have something so pretty to shop around with, and all your extra little details are so special!...I'm a hands and knees kind of weeder too! :) xoxo

  16. Seems like a practical bag, especially with the outside pocket.
    What a great idea to add a tab to the bottom!

  17. Love those bags! I love the fact that you added vinyl cloth inside.

  18. Love the beautiful fabrics you have used and that is such a good idea with the ribbon ties. I like to get down close and personal with my weeds too.!! Hugs Mrs A.

  19. What fabulous, beautifully sewn and colourful bags you have made. They will definitely be a pleasure to use for shopping.

  20. Hi dear Sherry, loving your beautiful bags. The fabric combinations are beautiful. You are so talented, that's what I call a shopping bag.

  21. Dear Sherry:
    All these bags are so wonderful! I, too, use the recycle bags, but they're not very attractive. I'm thinking that I might create my own blocks to affix to each bag to make them more handsome. Thank you so much for sharing your creations. You're so inspiring.
    Sending long-distance hugs, my friend.
    Donna (and Tag, too!)

  22. Fabulous bags SSD and your choices of fabric are wonderful xx

  23. Love your bag! I'm a bag freak myself. Never shopped at a TJ. Walked into one once & didn't know what to make of it. I may have to re-visit.

  24. I have been away from your blog for far too long Sherry. I also love Trader Joe, and I love the shopping bag you created. I admire the wide range of talents you have!!!


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