Tag Archives: reusable bags

Pillowcase Tote

Inspired by Green Mamma and Creative Kismet’s Tote Giveaway, I decided to try making my own reusable bag out of a pillowcase.  After picking up a pretty striped pillowcase at Walmart, I tried it out.  The stitching is not perfect, but I think it’s pretty good for a first try.  It only took about 30 minutes start to finish!

Here’s how I made this pillowcase tote:

  • Choose a pretty pillowcase.  I decided to get a new one from Walmart, but an old favorite or a thrift store find are even better choices.
  • Decide how big you want your tote to be.  I liked the fancy solid edge for the top of the bag, so I cut off the hemmed end to make it the size I wanted. 
  • If you use the hemmed end, then you don’t have to sew a seam along the bottom.  I sewed straight across the bottom, then sewed on a diagonal across the corners to make the shape of the bottom fancier.
  • Using the remaining fabric scraps, I cut two long rectangles, one for each handle.  I sewed along one edge to make a tube-like shape.
  • I decided where I wanted the handles to go, pinned them on, then sewed a large box with an X in the middle so it would hold on well.  I used a zigzag stitch because this one was visible.

So there it is, a simple, fast, pillowcase tote.  It’s so cute, so much better than those ugly green bags that everyone (including me) is carrying around these days.  Maybe I’ll make myself a whole set of colorful, floral and striped bags.

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Filed under Sewing, Sustainable Living

Reusable Shopping Bags, Incentives, and Recycling

I have been using reusable shopping bags for about a year now.  Not only are they better for the environment, but I have found that they are easier to carry and more sturdy, which was especially helpful when we lived over my parents’ garage and I had to haul groceries up the stairs.  I’ve purchased the bags from all over, including Stop & Shop, IGA, and Walmart, and I am not concerned at all about using them in the store that I purchased them from. 

Anyway, today when I was at Stop & Shop, after we were through bagging my groceries, the cashier asked me how many bags I had.  I counted seven, and she subtracted $.05 for each bag.  She explained that this is a new promotion to encourage people to bring their own bags.  Which is great, because I already do, and even though it’s not that much money, a little bit will add up over time.  I’m not sure if all Stop & Shops are doing this, or if it’s just this one because they’re feeling the pressure from the new Big Y in town.

Here’s my only problem.  The town of North Branford requires that newspapers, junk mail, magazines, and cardboard be separated in the recycling bin and placed in paper bags.  I do not use paper bags, so I have to make a point to get some once a week.  Isn’t this defeating the purpose?  I’ve started to put the cardboard into a large cardboard box, eliminating the need for one bag.  Seeing as we don’t get a newspaper, just the flyers, we don’t have a lot of them laying around, and I’m sure I could just tie them together.  The same is probably true for the magazines.  But what about the junk mail?  And why don’t they come up with a better system that doesn’t create paper bag waste for the sake of recycling?

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Filed under Home, Sustainable Living