Okay, okay so it’s a bit later than expected. But I really wanted to tell you guys about the Green Christmas I had this year.
wanted to write and tell you about it earlier, but I couldn’t because I
didn’t want my loved ones finding out what I had gotten them.
first off, let’s set the stage. For weeks and weeks prior to Christmas,
I pondered and pondered about what I would get this year for the ladies
in my life. When it suddenly dawned on me, whatever the heck it was
going to be, it needed to be green. So I started doing a bunch of
random Google searches and eventually decided I was going to buy some
trendy eco-friendly bags for the girls to use for shopping or going to
I started searching for the perfect bag. But I
couldn't find anything that I was in love with (that was also decently
priced). So I said screw this, and decided I would make my own.
my searching I did become inspired by a bag that used a Basmati rice
sack for part of it. So I thought, perfect, I'll make my bags using the
rice's burlap sack. The only problem was no one in my family eats
Basmati rice. So I trudged out to Costco and purchased three 20-pound
bags of rice.
Yes, that is a lot of rice. BUT, the rice did not go to waste. I ended up donating the 60 pounds of rice to the Baldwin Community Center of Pontiac Michigan.
After completing the bags with a lot of my mother's handy help, I stuffed the bags with:
1. Little mini notebooks made out of cereal boxes from this etsy shop.
2. For my boyfriend's momma, I put in an ornament from an amazing fair trade store called Ten Thousand Villages…it was made by someone in Kenya out of recycled coke cans (in case you couldn’t tell).
3. A variety of Luna bars
4. Burt's Bees Chapstick
5. Vintage organic papered calendars courtesy of Asgard Press
I also attached this corny little poem to it, which I fancied up by gluing a magazine cut out to the back of it:
"It all started with a trip to Costco and a little bit of advice,
That got me to purchasing three 20-pound bags of rice.
I donated the rice to feed the poor,
Then sewed and cut, and sewed some more.
Out popped a cute and trendy bag,
For you to carry all your goods and swag.
Decks the halls with boughs of holly,
'Tis the season to be GREEN and jolly."
Want to make a bag for yourself? Here’s how:
- 1 burlap bag of Royal Basmati rice
- 1/2 yard of cute fabric for lining the bag
- Sewing machine
- Thread to match the cute fabric
- The Internet
1. Buy a burlap bag of Royal Basmati rice. I purchased my 20-pound bags from Costco.
2. Buy cute fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics.
As you can see by the photos, I picked out a red fabric with white
polka dots, a red one with white stars and for my third bag, a red
fabric with white flowers. But go crazy, make it your own.
3. If you
want to donate the rice, you can look up local homeless shelters/soup
kitchens on the world wide web. I donated mine to the Baldwin Center of Pontiac Michigan.
When I dropped off the rice, I brought the rice in the burlap sacks and
asked if I could have the bags back (they probably thought I was a bit
odd). So they dumped the rice into their bins, and off I went with my
4. Once you have your empty bags and are ready to get to work,
cut off the top of the burlap bag just below the bottom of the red
zipper. Keep the red zipper, because you can make a pocket with it,
like I did (which is too complicated to type out, so e-mail me if
you're curious about this one). Set aside the extra burlap because
you’ll need to turn that into another handle later on, since the bag
only comes with one handle.
5. Carefully remove the handle off the top of the bag and keep that too.
6. Empty the bag completely…make sure that there are no leftover rice grains in there.
Measure the bag’s height and width (all of my bags were slightly
different sizes). Cut the fun fabric more or less the dimensions of the
bag PLUS an extra 1/2 inch on top to turn under along the upper edge of
the bag. You will use just a small seam allowance of 3/8 inch, so your
lining should fit perfectly inside the bag. You will need two pieces of
fabric this size to form the inside lining.
8. With RIGHT sides of the pretty fabric together, sew along the bottom and sides to form a bag. Set aside for a moment.
Now, take the leftover piece of burlap (from step 4) and cut it and
fold it over to match the other handle that came with the bag. Sew the
handle's sides down to itself so that it's ready to attach to the bag.
Now take the handle that came with the bag and the handle that you made
in step 10, and sew them down to the top of the bag so you have two
handles--one on each side. Reinforce the stitching.
11. Place the
fabric bag inside the burlap bag with the RIGHT side of the fabric
facing out. Finally, turn under that extra 1/2 inch you allowed and sew
around the top edge to attach the fabric to the burlap.
have no fear, if you’re interested in buying one of these bags, I don’t
plan on selling them, but I would be willing to negotiate, just e-mail
me at Gawkygreen at gmail dot com. I suggest taking a stab at making
one yourself though. And if you want more directions/hints/tips, e-mail
me and I'm sure we can work something out.
P.S. Everyone loved their gifts!
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