DIY Plastic Shopping Bag Dispenser | Recycled Tissue Box

plastic shopping bag dispenser

As you know, I’m all about recycling and upcycling items when I can and when I use a plastic shopping bag, I save it. Although I do have a fabric plastic bag holder in my pantry I like having some bags accessible in my kitchen as well.  It is really easy to just stuff them in a drawer, but this can get a little junky and before I know it, I have a big plastic shopping bag mess. Do you have a drawer full of unruly shopping bags?

plastic shopping bags messy drawer
recycle

This plastic shopping bag dispenser is a quick and easy remedy that will be a game-changer when it comes to your bag organization and recycling efforts.

This plastic shopping bag dispenser will:

  • Save storage space
  • Create organization in your kitchen, pantry, and wherever else you store a plastic shopping bag
  • Give you easy access to a bag when you need it
  • Help reduce waste by recycling both a plastic shopping bag and a tissue box

Since the 1980s, disposable plastic shopping bags have provided a convenient way to bag groceries and carry purchases home. These plastic bags are relatively strong, incredibly cheap, waterproof, and, perhaps most importantly, made to be thrown away. HOWEVER, whether it is in your kitchen cupboard, the landfill, or the ocean, this plastic is piling up. NOT GOOD!

If you want more information about the current plastic recycling process that is going on, which is very enlightening, check out this post HERE.

What can we do as individuals? Reduce and reuse!

Here are some ideas

  • Purchase items with as little packaging as possible. 
  • Bring your own reusable plastic or fabric bags. MAKE YOUR OWN GROCERY BAGS OUT OF AN UPCYCLED T-SHIRT
  • Opt for recyclable glass and metal options when they are available.
  • Eliminate plastic wrap by using containers or “bees waxed” cloth.
  • Reuse the last of the old plastic shopping bags you’ve got in that drawer at home AND organize them with your new tissue box dispenser!
plastic shopping bag tissue box

How to make a plastic shopping bag dispenser

All you need is an empty tissue box and the bags you are going to put inside. You don’t even need a pair of scissors.

plastic shopping bag dispenser

1-Take a plastic shopping bag and stuff it in the tissue box horizontally WITH THE HANDLES STICKING UP.

plastic shopping bag handles

2-Grab another plastic bag by the bottom and stuff it through the handles of the bag you just put in the box.

plastic shopping bag

3-Fold the bottom of the plastic shopping bag over the handles by about 3 inches.

plastic shopping bag drawer

4-Continue this process until you have placed all the plastic shopping bags you have into the box.

I was able to get 18 bags into the box with no problem and enough room for plenty more

plastic shopping bag pulling

Now every time you need a plastic bag you can just open your drawer and pull out a bag and it will feed the next one up just like tissue in a tissue box.

Ta-dah! Now wasn’t that simple! Look how much room you have created in that drawer and doesn’t it feel better?

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Let me know if you have any other great ideas on how to re-use and recycle a tissue box or a plastic shopping bag.

Other posts you may be interested in:

DIY Upcycled T-Shirt Bags | SEW and NO-SEW Methods 

 

UPCYCLED T-SHIRTS: 

 

Repurposed T Shirts – Cutting Out Tips

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Top Knot Headband | Easy Sewing Tutorial

top knot headband feature2

When you’re looking for a cute baby gift, this top knot headband is so quick and easy to make! They can be made with a minimal amount of knit fabric and OF COURSE, an UPCYCLED T-SHIRT! 

top knot headband tshirt

Choose fabrics that have good stretch to them. These top knot headbands are cute made up of solid colors or prints. I’ve been known to buy shirts, dresses, and skirts for the fabric to make other things with. In fact, I do it all the time, especially clothing on clearance racks! So be on the lookout in your closet and on clearance racks for some cute stretchy fabric that you can make headbands or other baby clothing with.

Choose fabrics that have good stretch to them. These top knot headbands are cute made up with solid colors or prints. I’ve been known to buy shirts, dresses, and skirts for the fabric to make other things with. In fact, I do it all the time, especially clothing on clearance racks! So be on the lookout in your closet and on clearance racks for some cute stretchy fabric that you can make headbands or other baby clothing with.

Make sure you are checking out my SEWING PATTERN STORE, where you’ll find a big handful of other things you can make for babies.

top knot headband

These topknot headbands look adorable on babies, toddlers, and even adults. They can be made to fit ANY SIZE HEAD, just follow the head measuring instructions to get a perfect fit.

You can make these headbands using a regular sewing machine; serger or you can even sew them by hand. If you don’t have a sewing machine, be sure to check out my HANDSEWING tutorial where I show you how to sew a stretch stitch by hand.

Top Knot Headband Materials & Items Needed

  • Sewing machine/Serger (optional)
  • Scissors/Rotary Cutter-Mat
  • Knit Fabric or UPCYCLED KNIT CLOTHING
  • Pins/Fabric clips (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Turning stick
top knot headband measurement

HEAD MEASUREMENT

The best way to get the correct size is to measure the head you are making the headband for. If that’s not possible, refer to the Average Head Circumference Chart. Knit fabric will stretch to fit a wide variety of heads sizes in that range so don’t be too stressed about it!

Using a measuring tape, measure the widest part of the head. Write that measurement down.

CUTTING OUT
Cut a strip of knit fabric (6-8 inches/15.5 cm x HEAD MEASUREMENT)

Feel free to alter the thickness of the headband. You may want a thicker, bulkier, or even a thinner headband. It’s all your preference and you can cut them out accordingly.

Make sure you cut out the strips with the stretchiness of the fabric for the widest part.

topknot headband tshirtUpcycled t-shirts work really well

SEWING TOP KNOT HEADBAND

SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 3/8 INCH

 

STITCH TYPE: 

Use a lightning bolt stitch, a small narrow zigzag stitch, this is so the seams won’t pop and break when the fabric is stretched, or you can use a 3-4 thread serger.

TOP KNOT HEADBAND

Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise. Sew along the unfinished edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Turn right side facing out using a turning stick or the eraser end of a pencil.

Align the seam so it is in the center of the headband.

top knot headband topknot headband knot

Take the short ends and tie a very loose knot.

Place the shorts ends Right Sides Together and with the seams lined up. Using a regular straight stitch, sew along the unfinished edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. (Basically the edge of your presser foot). Trim seam allowance.

 

I love this method because there is NO SEAM on the back of the headband, therefore making it so much more comfortable to wear.

Slide the knot down so it covers the seam you just made. Adjust the knot how you want it and you’re finished!

Tadah! Now wasn’t that simple!

I hope you have fun making these top knot headbands as much as I do. 

 

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Sweater Pumpkins / Made With Upcycled Clothing

diy sweater pumpkins

There’s a little nip the air, and that means pumpkins and wearing sweaters. But as most of you already know, wearing sweaters is not what gets me excited; it’s MAKING THINGS WITH SWEATERS that makes me smile.

In this sewing tutorial I am going to show you how to make these fun, whimsy upcycled DIY sweater pumpkins. These pumpkins can be made with felted wool sweaters, cotton sweaters, orange knit, and even fleece. They have so much character; each one turns out a little different and is sure to bring a smile to anyone who sees them.

sweater pumpkins

I am not a big fan of Halloween decor, but I do like to decorate with pumpkins and leaves. So you can put these out for Halloween and leave them sitting around for Thanksgiving.

Don’t limit your color options to just ORANGE sweaters or fabric, look how cute they are made up using a yellow and even a brown sweater. A little whimsy, fun and something you don’t see every day.

diy sweater pumpkins upcycled clothing

You can make these DIY sweater pumpkins with upcycled sweaters, t-shirt fabric, and even fleece. They are quite easy to make and you can even sew these by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine. (Learn some easy and basic hand sewing skills here).

The pumpkin leaves are made with two different shades of green felt and this layering technique that I’ll show you, really adds a unique look.

The pattern comes with two different sizes of pumpkins and can be downloaded and printed out so you can save and use it as much as you want.

diy sweater pumpkins itmes

DIY Sweater Pumpkins Materials & Items Needed

If using upcycled wool sweaters read and watch this video for some great tips.

diy sweater pumpkins cutting out

DIY Sweater Pumpkins Instructions

1 – Cut out 6 sweater pumpkin panels.

They can be all the same color or mix and match colors and fabrics.

DIY Sweater Pumpkins2 -Using the leaf template, cut out one light green leaf and one dark green leaf.

 

Sewing Sweater Pumpkins Leaf

sweater pumpkins leaf veins

3 – Stack the leaves on top of each other, with the dark leaf on top.

Using the leaf template as a visual, sew the leaf veins using a straight stitch on the sewing machine.

You don’t need to be too particular. You can draw the lines lightly with a pencil if you feel you need a pattern or just free sew it. Clip threads.

DIY Sweater Pumpkins stem4 -Apply a strip of hot glue or craft glue along the back center vein of the leaf.

Place the stem wire onto the leaf.

 

sweater pumpkins sewing

Sewing Sweater Pumpkins

5 – With Right Sides Together (RST) place two of the pumpkin panels together and pin in place.

Sew from tip to tip and backstitch.

6 – Sew the third panel to the two you just sewed together with (RST).

Set that set aside while you sew the next three together. You should have two sets of three panels.

7 – With (RST) place the two pieces together. Line up the top and bottom tips and pin them in place.

Starting on one of the side panels, start sewing around the circle. (You will be leaving about a 3 inch opening for stuffing).

Take your time when going over the top and bottom tips where all the pieces come together.  Make sure the seams line up. Go slow so you don’t break a needle!

sweater pumpkins trimming8 – Trim the bottom and top tips.

diy sweater pumpkins stuffing

Stuffing the Sweater Pumpkins

9 – Stuff the pumpkin through the hole you left.

10-Sew opening closed.

Double thread a needle with matching thread and slip stitch the opening closed.

*I have a little tutorial on how to do the slip stitch. You can locate HERE

sweater pumpkins needle11-Making pumpkin contour

Double thread a LONG needle with upholstery thread so it is about 20 inches in length and knot the end.

To plump out and give the top indent: Stick the needle into the top center end poke the needle through the pumpkin to the bottom. You will have to pinch the top and bottom together to find the needle. Just gently keep poking until it pokes through the center bottom.

12- Repeat this back and forth a few times until you get the plumpness you desire.

End at the top and take a little stitch and knot. Don’t worry about the knot showing, as it will be covered up by the stem.

diy sweater pumpkins stem

Adding Sweater Pumpkin Stem

13- Cut tree branch.

Get out your tree pruners and go out in your yard and find a thin tree branch that looks suitable for a pumpkin stem and cut about two inches off.

Apply a big dab of hot glue in the top indent of the pumpkin and stick your branch in and secure place.

14- Wrap the wire around the stem several times and then wrap the other end around a pencil to make the curly vine.

Pull the pencil out and you are finished!

I hope you enjoy making these as much as I do. If you have any questions, please reach out.

OTHER POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

 

DIY Fabric Carrots Sewing Tutorial

 

Baby Gift Ideas – Upcycled Sweater Toys

 

Make It With An Upcycled Sweater

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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