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DIY Wetbag From Those Useful Plastic Mattress Zipper Bags

upcycled zipper bag

Have you ever wondered what to do with those really neat plastic zipper bags you get with sheets and mattresses?  I have a whole stash of them because they are just too cool to throw away!

upcycled zipper bag

I decided I needed more wetbags for my reusable wipes that I carry around everywhere. These aren’t completely waterproof, but they work for things like wet wipes and toiletry items. I just love useful things!  The only issue is…. these aren’t the right size, and they are just clear.  I like things to be practical AND pretty!  This is also a great way to use up some scrap fabric too! The fabric I used has been in my scrap bag for YEARS just waiting to be used.

upcycled zipper bag

Okay, so this is what I did…..

Gather your supplies

  • Plastic bag
  • Scrap fabric fit to the size of your bag x2
  • Thread and Machine

Cut your plastic bag to the size you want.

upcycled zipper bag

Mine just happened to be the right width for what I wanted.  If your bag is too wide, this project will have to be tweaked a bit.  You’ll need to cut the zipper to the width you need.  Make sure you get the head of the zipper in with your cut, and you should just be able to snip the rest of the zipper off and sew the end and sides of plastic up.

Sew your fabric together

So, I made this bag where the pretty fabric shows from the front and the back, but is still on the outside of the plastic so it doesn’t ruin from whatever you put in the bag.

First you need to figure out how much fabric you need, I just set the bag on top of it and marked where to cut on the wrong sides of the fabric.  I then cut two pieces, for the front view and back.

upcycled zipper bag

Sew the pretty sides together, leaving the bottom open, then flip.

upcycled zipper bag

Set this aside for now

Sew your bag together

upcycled zipper bag

So, you cut your bag to the right size already.  Now you need to sew it up.  Flip the bag inside out, and sew the bottom and sides if needed.  I only needed to sew the bottom together since my width was already what I wanted.

Sew the fabric to your plastic.

upcycled zipper bag

This turned out a little more difficult then I expected.  It is do-able, though. You just need to manhandle that plastic!! Show it who is boss!

Don’t forget to turn everything right side out. Then just sew your plastic to your fabric.  I just put the finished ends of the fabric starting at the zipper end then sewed all the way around, following the seam that was already there.  Then snip off the excess fabric at the bottom!

upcycled zipper bag

Voilà!  (yes, I had to look up how to spell that word… Don’t judge me)

upcycled zipper bag

Hope you enjoy!! It’s not the prettiest thing I’ve ever made… but I love making practical things pretty.  I also love up-cycling things into something I can use every day!!

upcycled zipper bag

Here’s a pretty Pin for your Pinterest!

zipper bag

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Farmhouse Style Napkin Tutorial

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upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins

Here at our house, we make messes…

I don’t know if that is the case with every house (surely we aren’t the only ones, right?). My husband is as bad as the kids! Am I the only one that doesn’t leave a billion crumbs when we eat dinner? Or have stains all over my shirt by the time we are done eating? Anyway…

I wanted to create a way to lessen our paper towel use. We have a disposable minded society; we love to throw things away. What happened to the days of people using actual cloth napkins and just washing them? Why in the past few decades have we gone to such a wasteful lifestyle? Once I started thinking of ways we could slowly change our impact on our environment, I started seeing “unpaper towels” and “unpaper napkins”, ect. Why call them “unpaper”? I just call them napkins and towels. That’s what they are (nothing against those of you who call them that!).

Anyway, I wanted to make some for myself. They are super easy, and if you have a sewing machine, you can do it too; you probably have everything you need lying around your house. No need to even buy fabric! The tutorial shows that I bought a pack of cheap washcloths at our local store, but for my original napkins, I just upcycled some old dishtowels and pretty cotton. The decorative cotton can be upcycled from all kinds of things you probably have lying around. I will be showing you examples of what I have upcycled!

 

What you will need:
Sewing machine
100% quilting cotton (this will be your decorative side)
Terry cloth (old dish cloth, towel, etc)
Matching thread (I used 100% cotton, but polyester will work too)
Scissors

Let’s get to it!
So, find your extra towels, dishtowels, napkins, anything terry cloth, really. Find the decorative cotton that you want to make them pretty. For my vintage style napkins, I had a whole set of quilting squares I had bought at a garage sale LONG ago and stock piled.

Yes, I have a fabric stock pile…. Don’t judge me… But they are the perfect size! If you want to make it super duper easy, you can buy them like this at walmart, hobby lobby, or Joanns (just remember, we are trying to upcycle things, but ultimately it is up to you).  You can find this type of fabric in your house by using old pillow cases, flat sheets, quilts, shirts (just make sure there is no stretch, this will make things more difficult for you), ect..

If you have precut quilting fabric like I did, all you have to do is lay one of your pretty squares on top of your terry cloth material. If you are upcycling from something else, just measure and cut out a 5×5 inch square of your cotton fabric and lay it on top of your terry fabric and cut around the edge of it to make a matching square.  This will be all the fabric for your first napkin!

Next, you have a few options.. What I did with my vintage style prints was just set the fabric pretty sides out (how you will want your napkin to look when it’s done) and sewed them together with a straight stitch.

BUT if you don’t like the frayed look like I do, you can put the wrong sides together and sew them, leaving a small gap unsewn.  Turn your fabric inside out through that hole you left, and do a top stitch all the way around, closing that gap.  Here I have a comparisons of what each of them look like.

upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins    See how one looks unfinished and the other has a cleaner look?  I personally like the frayed, zigzag look because I’m more of a shabby decor type person.  Plus, it is way easier than turning your fabric inside out and top stitching.

Warning, if you choose the unfinished, shabby look, they will fray.  But only for the first few washes, this stops after the extra terry cloth meets the seam line. I just cut the extra fabric off when they come out of the dryer and they look good again!

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The farm print was from fabric I had bought YEARS ago to make a heating wrap for my dad (he used to farm full time) and the solid red is from an old pillow case I didn’t have matching sheets for.

Ways you can mix it up: I recently bought a set of 18 colored dishcloths from our local H.E.B. for $4 and coordinated some with these farm print napkins.  Aren’t they adorable?  I have also made larger ones that are more “paper towel size”. You can also do a prettier stitch than just a straight stitch like the ones posted. Sewing machines have endless ways to personalize things!

So just play with it! There are so many things you can do when upcycling fabric!

I put these napkins in a decorative bowl on the table and we grab them when we need them.  They can even be reused for a few meals if they don’t get too dirty. We just leave our little napkin at our spot at the table and come back to it meal after meal.  When it’s dirty, I have a bag hanging in the kitchen next to the laundry room where I put the soiled napkins. When the bag gets full, I dump it in with the next load of laundry!

Super easy, and super cheap! Another small way we can change our impact on the environment.  One paper towel at a time!

If you love the thought of cloth, have you checked out our store? There are lots of ways to get started on your cloth journey! Check out our cloth wipe selection and pick out some prints to love, they make great face wipes, cleaning cloths, or baby wipes.  The versatility is endless!

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Here is a good pin for your DIY pinterest board!

upcycling project, napkins tutorial, diy napkins, sewing project, beginners sewing projects, easy sewing project, sewing, green living, green sewing, cute sewing project, unpaper towel, unpaper napkins, cloth napkins