The response to Meighan's blog post about the proposed bag fee in Seattle has been amazing. In a comment on that post, Karen Peissinger-Venhaus suggested that Church's could start a ministry to make grocery bags out of reused materials. What a great idea! On a personal level, I'm already in the process of doing making some bags out of an old set of curtains that I will give to friends for Christmas this year.
When we moved into our house four years ago, they left behind their curtains. One was a Roman blind that my husband did not like. When we had our windows replaced with energy-efficient ones, the blind was removed from the window and the support structure was inadvertantly broken. Meanwhile, we stored that curtain in our basement for the next two years until last year when I became inspired to make it into grocery bags after the bag fee was proposed by the city. So far I've cut up the material into what will make six grocery bags. Now all I need to do is sew them up!
For my project, I used one of my current reuseable bags as a template for cutting the material. But for those who are more comfortable with a pattern in hand, I did a little internet search and the best source of free grocery bag patterns is this: 35 Reusable Grocery Bags You Can Make. I'm sure there are a few others out there, but this lists seems comprehensive and even includes knitting and crochet patterns.
I'd like to highlight one of the patterns for a Furoshiki - a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth - because it's not only a reusable shopping bag but can also be used to wrap gifts and carry an assortment of other items. See below for a video (mostly in Japanese) showing how to tie and fold a Furoshiki.
If you have been making grocery bags, we'd love to see pictures or hear reports of your projects!
Happy Grocery Bag Making!