Ever been given a cute little jute bag for free, but it’s covered in supermarket advertising, or plastered with company slogans? We all have, I’m sure. Now, instead of it sitting and gathering dust, while you go out and buy another jute bag that you like to carry your shopping and bits in, why not spend a bit of time, save the waste and get creative?
Here’s one of the sides of my newly customised bag. No need for before shots, it was a bland supermarket bag. It was, however, a perfect size. I find canvas bags and other large jute bags too big, and they can trail on the floor or get awkward carrying. This had short handles and made it so easy to carry my lunch to work, my cardigan, my bits and pieces of shopping, post office packages. Not too big, not too small. So, I wanted to use it every day, but have something funkier to carry around. Think of your canvas/fabric/jute bags as another handbag. You wouldn’t want your handbag to be covered in advertising, would you?
And here’s the other side of the same bag. I think this is my favourite. And none of it was difficult. I’ll tell you how I did it. Firstly, I picked out some fabrics from my scrap bag and cut them to the sizes I wanted. I’m not one for neat edges and tidy patterns for this kind of thing. I like the abstract look. I then hand-stitched around the edges of the fabric, securing it onto the jute, with doubled up thread and a messy blanket stitch. I used all different colours for this.
Once the main piece of fabric was secured, the fun really started. On one side of the bag, I added a random strip of broderie anglaise, and sewed on a few of my favourite buttons. I also added on my ‘Against Animal Testing’ badge and my nerdy ‘Keep Calm and Sing Soft Kitty’ badge – Big Bang Theory fans will understand!
On the other side of the bag, I decided to make a bit more of a patchwork look, because of the pattern on the fabric. I sewed three patches of different fabric over the top, added a couple of buttons and a cute little ‘Nim’s Fruit Crisps‘ badge I’d just got from my Scrummybox! I fully plan to add more badges and buttons, but at the moment my badge stash is hidden away somewhere!
I’m delighted with my creation and it only took around 2 hours in total. Really quick and simple, and saves the waste of a perfectly good bag! It goes everywhere with me!
Remember, you can apply this to any type of bag – it works great with softer, fabric bags too.
Have fun stitching and let me know if you may any cool creations! I’d love to see them.