At our house, there are some things we buy over and over. Like canned cat food. And bags of pretzels. And, of course, coffee. I'm determined to find ways to upcycle the packaging from all our "high frequency" purchases.
I've tried making a large messenger bag out of coffee bags. It turned out ok. But I wanted to create something smaller -- an iPad sleeve.
30-minute iPad sleeve
I tried a simple pattern first, cutting apart two bags (after washing) into 2 large rectangles. I reinforced them by applying iron-on vinyl to each piece (I used this to create a placemat a while back).
|Starbucks coffee bag deconstructed|
|This made ME complain|
|Wake up and smell the iPad sleeve|
|30 minutes well spent|
Zippered Kindle bag
Emboldened, I tried a more elaborate design. I played around with long strips cut from the coffee bags, just like the messenger bag. I was using brown Tully's bags, and the strips just didn't work -- until I staggered them so they looked like quilt blocks.
|Not your grandmother's quilting|
To get this patchwork effect, I overlapped the strips. To hold them in place, I applied a few daubs of rubber glue. Once it was dry, I sewed the strips together to create two large squares made up of 3 rows.
Next came the zipper. I basted each side of the zipper to one of the squares. Then, in a burst of hubris, I added lining as well, sewing it to the zipper-bag combination.
|Zipper be not proud|
The closure turned out ok (after some swearing, ripping out, and re-sewing). I sewed the bag and lining pieces, right sides together. More pain and bunched up corners.
To make the bag easier to grab, I added a tab on one side. I think it's my favorite part of the bag.
|We salute the flag of caffeine!|
Here's the finished bag. It took me 3 times as long to construct as the simpler bag. Because I didn't use the iron-on vinyl, the bag crackles when I touch it. That's more irritating than the coffee smell.
|I like it!|
Still, I think if I did a more polished job, I might be able to sell these. But do I want to? The material isn't fun to work with. I prefer the softness of denim and crispness of cotton. But this is true upcycling--turning trash into something useful.