Monday, August 17, 2015

Dog Food Bags

This is a print that I got from an artist named Kelsey Pike www.kelseypike.etsy.com .  She even made the paper herself.  I love it! In honor of the, use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without motto, I'm going to post about how to make the dog food bags.  The yellow one is the bag I took with me to  New York for MPB Day.
 Here are two of the bags made from different sized dog food bags.  They are very sturdy and made from a 36 pound and 40 pound sized dog food bag.  I figured if these can hold 36 to 40 pounds of dog food then they can hold anything I could think of putting in them.  They are great for laundry.  I like keeping my knitting yarn in them.
Here's is a picture of the supplies I used in making these bags.  I forgot to include the wooden clothes pins which come in really handy for holding down the hem at the top, holding on the handles while stitching and while stitching the seam at the bottom of the bag.  So if you have clothes pins it will be like an extra pair of hands.  Also, when sewing the bag at your sewing machine make sure you have plenty of room for manipulating the bag as you sew.  The bag has little give and is stiff to work with so you will need room for moving it around while your sewing. It's kind of like feeding your sewing machine a piece of cardboard.  So keep that cup of coffee some where else out of the way unless you want to be cleaning up a mess.
A pair of scissors that are utility or old sewing scissors would be best because you don't want to ruin your fabric scissors.  The clorox disinfecting wipes are great for cleaning the bag before you work with it.  Dog food has an oily residue that is left on the bag so I recommend cleaning it and hanging it on a clothes line and airing it for a couple of days to get rid of the dog food smell.  The needles are singer, universal denim needles size 100/16.  The threads I used are Gutermann 100 % polyester M782 110 yards per spool and Coats Outdoor 100 % polyester 200 yards per spool.  The Coats thread is nice since it comes in several fun colours.  It would be advisable to practice on a scrap of the dog food bag material with the thread your using.  My machine had trouble making a straight stitch without me helping the dog food bag thru the machine.  I found for my machine that with the Gutermann thread in the bobbin and the Coats thread in the top and a large zig zag stitch it was much easier to work with and to achieve a workable stitch.  You can see how the zig zag stitching looks in the picture.  It was a workable sturdy stitch but it did get a bit wonky at times.  So practice to see what its like to work with this (specialty fabric) and what settings for your stitch and which thread works the best for your machine.  Also, its important to have a new needle since this is tough material and you want to have all the punch power you can get outta that needle.  When sewing around the hem at the top of the bag where the handles are attatched I stopped and used the hand crank of the machine to carefully sew over where they are attatched (there is a lot of bulk in these areas so slower is better) so as not to break the needle and that did great.
Basically your just making a simple bag but your just using a dog food bag to make it.  There are loads of tutorials and info out there for making a basic bag.  So here's basic info on how I made one using the dog food bag and hope it helps.  If you want to share any info or advice please do or a pic or your bag too  :  )

I thought it would be easier to write out the info rather than take a bunch of pictures.   What are you craft-cycling lately?

9 comments:

  1. I love this! You're making me want to recycle our kitty litter bags. :)

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    1. : ), I bet the kitty litter bags would smell better than dog food bags. The bags kinda smell like a cross between baloney and salami. The first time I did one I thought, hmmmm do I really want to make this. But the cleaning and airing out does wonders prior to making it.

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  2. I have been making the bags using the ones that have chicken feed in them. They sell locally for around $25 to $50 depending on where they are being sold.
    Alan

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  3. It is a really really great idea! I enjoyed your hand written instructions and drawings too. "Punch Power" --I will have to remember that phrase! Going to add you to my blog roll now and to bloglovin' so I don't miss a post of yours.

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    1. thanks, I was taking a sketch class online at creativebug and thought it would be fun to use the dog food bag as an exercise in sketching.

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  4. Plastic bags can be thrown in your washing machine - works a treat!

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  5. THANK YOU!!!!

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  6. What a great idea. Love the yellow one.
    Vancouver Barbara

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