Monday, September 20, 2010

Away with the Boring Plastic Bag Holders/Dispensers!

For as much as they are enviromentally unfriendly, plastic grocery bags are a part of our lives. No matter how we feel about them we all end up with some. Our family tries to use the reusable shopping bags as much as possible but there are times we make an impromptu side trip to the grocery store or the material bags are just plain forgotten on a busy morning as we dash out the door. So having these plastic bags around is just a fact of life. However, we do not just throw them away once they've come to live with us. There are many uses for them but they can be unsightly to store until they are used. Yes, a holder can be bought at a retail store but they are, well, just plain boring. Run of the mill. What everyone else has. Until now! Making a unique holder/dispenser is only a few minutes away. And, you will have an original, one-of-a-kind holder/dispenser!

What you need to start with is either a toddler dress, shirt (child size) or over-alls (toddler size) with matching shirt. The size you'll use will depend upon the amount of bags you usually have on hand at any given time. Once you have selected an article of clothing, look at the bottom of what you have selected. This will determine how you will convert it to a holder/dispenser. If you choose over-alls, simply sew the legs closed, leaving the snap crotch open and hang with a shirt. (Also see above photo for an example.)

This flannel toddler shirt has the sleeves rolled up.

If a dress is more your style, you can either sew a casing and add elastic, like so:

1/2 inch elastic was used in the casing.

Or simple sew the bottom, leaving an opening in the center for dispension:

Same technique applies for a shirt:

This dress has two layers so the lining is sewn so that there is a center opening for dispension while the outer layer is untouched:

Here's another example of a fun way to transform over-alls:

A few stitches are used to hold the snap crotch closed.

Once you have the bottom sewn, simply hang it up and insert bags to begin use. It's just that easy!

*Some dresses have a large enough hem that a casing does not need to be sewn for elastic insertion. In this case, snip a few stitches, insert elastic and then sew the opening closed.

When making these the best place to hunt for the clothing you need is yard sales. The price per piece usually ranges anywhere from twenty-five cents to one dollar, making these a frugal choice. But, if you just cannot find the perfect match, style-wise, for your decor take customization a step a simple toddler sundress, putting casing and elastic along the bottom to finish it instead of a traditional hem. This way you have more control over the fabric choice(s). Buying a pattern and material while on sale keeps the cost lower if a custom sewn one is your choice. Either way you do it you end up with a super cute holder/dispenser that not only adds to your home but also makes a terrific gift idea! (Christmas is just around the corner....;))

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