Cloth Produce Bags

I’m FED UP with plastic bags!  I stood in the produce section of Stop & Shop, stuffing another filmy bag with fresh veggies, and staring in dismay at my cart-full of plastic.  These are just going to end up in the landfill (visions of Wall-E started flashing in my eyes as I did the math – how many of these things did I use and toss without thinking every year?)…  I have a sewing machine – can’t I DO something about this?!

I did!

I brought my curtains to the grocery store – their remains, that is.  Our first home was an apartment that came to us rather devoid of any personal feminine touch.  Naturally I bought the softest, cutest white curtains I could find, picturing them blowing gently in a summer breeze on a warm evening as my husband and I murmured romantical sentiments over homemade ice cream and blaaah… blaaaahhhh… blaaaaahhhhhhhh…..  Now they’re bumping around in my shopping cart and I love it! 

There are many ways to reuse plastic bags.  Our ever-expanding landfill would like to put in a good word of agreement: “SHE’S RIGHT!  HELP ME OUT!”  But I’d rather go a step further and reduce the demand for plastic in the first place.

I’ll go into more detail about how to make these Produce Bags in an upcoming Studio Tuesday post.  Stay tuned!  For today, let’s just say I lopped off and hemmed the bottom of each Walmart curtain (they were much too long, thank goodness), cut out random squares and rectangles from the extra material, gave each shape a nice stout cuff, and stitched them into individual pouches of various sizes.  It took very little time or effort.

Want to know the best parts?

These bags are light.  I don’t want to pay for bag when it’s already costing me life, limb, and luxury to feed my small family fresh fruits and vegetables.  So if you’re picking fabric to make these, pick something light.  I’d also recommend a color other than white.  It’s what I had, but it stains quickly.  I’ll be making more soon and will probably use some old T-shirt material.

These bags are FREE.  I always feel like I’m stickin-it-to-the-man when I make something at home that big companies are selling as “the only product to use.”

These bags are washable, stylish, and unique.  Almost every time I shop, a cashier will comment, “I’ve never seen anything like these before!”  And I blurt out like a four year-old, “That’s cuz they’re CURTAINS!!!”

I’m beginning to see that most of our family needs can be met from within our home.  And that is a very satisfying thought.


4 thoughts on “Cloth Produce Bags

  1. that’s because they’re CURTAINS made by H-e-i-d-i!!! it’s a great idea! there’s always something (curtains, material, etc) on clearance…and I’m wondering if extra receiving blankets that I have would work….do you think they would?

    • YES. They’d probably work better than the curtains, since those blankets are a little thicker. The produce spray jets ALWAYS kick on right before I pick out my lettuce… A little fluffy buffer zone between the wet stuff and dry stuff would be nice. I have to try that! Good idea.

  2. I have to tell you that as I worked at my computer this morning I was waiting with much anticipation for the little signal to let me know I had an email and that it was The Full Vine for Monday. It was so nice when it came! This is a wonderful idea. I’d have to come up with some kind of reminder system if I made them though. I can’t remember to bring my reusable grocery totes. . . . .

    • That’s so cool! Thanks! I anticipate writing each post. It’s so much fun doing this. I forget my totes sometimes too. Then employees fill up my carriage with so much plastic it makes me CRAZY and I remember the next time. 🙂 I realize it’s their job to bag things a certain way though… I need to make more of these bags, because they work their way into nooks and crannies around the house, and I’m missing several of them!

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