Are you like me and never get rid of your old dish-towels? Because if you are, you probably have a full drawer of fabric that you never use! This is a perfect project for repurposing all of those dish-towels to create produce (or bulk) bags with drawstrings!
This DIY craft is suitable for older children and adults. It does not require many materials and can vary in length depending on whether you will sew by hand or use a sewing machine. When I sew with a machine and get into a rythm, I can make one bag in 20 minutes! So I like to set myself up with a stack of old fabric and make a big batch of these bags in one afternoon.
- old dish towels (or similiar fabric—the lighter the better),
- fabric scissors,
- basic sewing supplies (pins, fabric chalk/pencil)
- sewing machine (or sewing needle and thread if you plan to sew by hand),
- ribbon or rope (for the drawstring),
- safety pin
- Cut any seams off of your dish towels so that you are left with a basic sheet of fabric.
- Cut a rectangular piece of fabric to any size you like (keep in mind that the finished bag will be half the size once the project is finished).
- Along one of the long edges of the rectangle pin the drawstring-hem into place. You can do this by simply folding about a 1/2" of fabric over and pinning it in place.
- TIP: For a cleaner edge fold 1/4" of fabric first and then another 1/2".
- Now sew along the edge of the hem.
- This should leave you with a long tube with openings at either end at the top of the rectangular piece).
- Now to make the actual bag!
- Fold the rectangle in half so that the folded part of the drawstring-hem is facing towards the outside.
- Then use a ruler and fabric chalk to mark straight lines along the two non-folded edges of the rectangle.
- If you are worried about the bag going out of place while you sew, you can use a few pins to secure it.
- Use the sewing machine or hand sew along these two lines (BUT make sure to avoid sewing over the edge of the drawstring-hem).
- Now you should have a bag; to clean up the edges turn the bag inside out (all of the seams should be on the inside of the bag now).
- TIP: I am new to sewing so my seams are pretty messy. I like to trim off the extra fabric before I turn my bag inside out so that my seams are especially clean.
- Attach a paper clip to one end of a ribbon or rope.
- Use the paper clip to help pull the drawstring through the special drawstring hem.
- Cut off the excess ribbon and tie the two ends together in a loop knot.
- When you pull the drawstring it should close the bag like this!
- You can change the size of your initial fabric rectangle to make different sized bags!
- You can also make a similar bag using two types of fabric. There are just a few changes to the previous steps:
- Instead of folding one large rectangle in half, cut out TWO equal-sized rectangles (I like to use one sheer fabric and one normal fabric so I can see through to my food).
- You will also have to sew the drawstring-hem on ONE short end of EACH fabric rectangle (this will be the top of the bag).
- When you are drawing your straight lines with chalk, stack the two rectangles on top of each other (make sure you still have both folded seams of the drawstring-hems facing the outside). You will also need to draw lines along the bottom of the bag and BOTH sides.
- Pull two drawstrings through the drawstring-hems of each side of the bag. Tie two knots attaching the two strings.