After a much needed spring break, I have returned with my newest creative project and frugal living idea. On Hawaii Island, we have a ban on plastic bags, and are encouraged to bring our own reusable shopping bags to grocery and retail stores; therefore, it’s always handy to have a few in your car in case you need them. This latest creation happens to be a fabulous idea to celebrate Earth Day and at the same time, repurpose something I have plenty of: animal feed bags. There are plenty of fun ideas and great ‘how-to’s’ all over the internet and you don’t need to be a master tailor or seamstress to make one. I took inspiration from two different places, and they are essentially the same style of bag, and both have similar instructions. It depends on if you want to make them a little smaller like a grocery sack, or bigger like a beach bag. Really, the possibilities are endless. Also, keep in mind, that you can alter a few things to your liking, such as the material, or length and position of the handles. I used longer, thicker handles for the pigeon beach bag (bottom of post), and used shorter, thinner handles for the cat food grocery bag (above). Some people use the scraps from the bag to make handles, but I think various other materials can make it a more stylish and comfortable carrying bag. In the photos featured on this page, I used some old children’s curtain material that was both colorful and stain resistant, as well as water resistant outdoor table cloth material for the handles.
The best part about upcycling feed bags, other than the frugality of it, is that they are unbelievably durable and easy to clean. The slick, smooth plastic can be rinsed or wiped down with a sponge and soapy water. The flimsy cloth bags that most grocery stores sell for $1, often fall apart after several uses and have pretty weak handles, unlike these. Since I began making these bags, I have almost completely eliminated using cloth bags that get stained and smelly, even with occasional washing. Additionally, most animal feed bags are made with some form of woven plastic, and will sadly take forever to biodegrade if sent off to a landfill. It’s a great feeling to keep them from hitting the trash can and do something fun with them. My cute, upcycled feed bags are so durable, they are going to be around long after a zombie apocalypse. In the meantime, I am going to be busy making a few more as birthday gifts and also for the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday. They are a perfect gift for someone who loves to recycle and they will last a very long time.
If you are interested in trying to make your own, you can check out my Pinterest board on Recycled and Upcycled Projects for this bag, and all kinds of other great ideas at: https://www.pinterest.com/mybestislandlife/recycle-and-upcycle-projects/