Sometimes I'll get an idea for a project and then get side-tracked for one reason or another. I usually get back to them... eventually. This particular project started as an idea two Earth Days ago. I think I was just a little daunted by how I was going to pull this idea off.
So it was Earth Day 2009. There was, of course, a big push to use reuseable bags instead of plastic ones and I kept coming across these neat bags that were made from recycled rice bags.
Well, I don't buy rice in quantities of bigger than, say, 2 pounds. But I do buy 20 and 40 pound bags of bird seed regularly and those bags are made of that same nylon mesh stuff that you can't just recycle the usual way. Now some of these bags are really pretty... here are a few examples.
I got the idea to use the bags as you would fabric. And I also wanted to see if I could create something slightly more fun than a bag to just haul groceries in. I already had a pattern that I liked - the Bella bag by Monica Poole. I bought it online from Henrietta's Handbags. I wanted to use a second fabric in the pattern to break up the pattern a bit and figured burlap would make a great contrast. I found the lining fabric in the remnant pile at JoAnn's. After that I just basically followed the pattern, except I did not use any Pellon or press any of the seams because I was afraid of melting the nylon mesh (and I really hate to iron, period).
Here's the back...
Oh, and there's my helper! Always ready to sneak into a shot.
I used one of those neat recycled buttons they have at JoAnn's now. I love how they're almost textural.
Now I don't see these as becoming quite so popular as the feedseed prints of the '30's, but I do look at the designs on the bags when it's time to buy a new bag of bird seed. You can adapt almost any bag pattern to work with this stuff and it's free material if you're like me and keep your bird feeder stocked. It would also make for great reusable lunch bags or totes.