Sometimes we get lucky and are given them at open days and events and though it's nice to have another bag they are not always the prettiest things on the planet. To fix this I have a cunning plan and a stash of fabric scraps that I keep "just in case".
In the past I have just covered the fronts with a piece of fabric or two.
See how the fabric covers the writing, I don't mind about the inside!
Can I just point out here I would never cover something promoting a charity or the like, if a bag was sold to raise money and awareness I would use it with pride. Government departments, not so bothered!
The one I have had most compliments on is this one with the ruffles.
So when this bag came my way (and obviously I have nothing against the Centre for the History of Medicine at Warwick Uni but do I want it on my shopping bag?) I thought I could given it a makeover and redo the ruffle idea.
What to make one? It's not difficult! This is what you will need:
A plain or unexciting shopping/tote bag
Scraps of fabric
About 30 minutes
First rip the fabric into long strips each about 1.5" wide. Ripping is fine, at least the strips will be straight and the fraying will add to the shabby chic look!
Make a straight line horizontally on your bag where you want to ruffles to start from the bottom. Pencil is fine, no one is going to see it (mine had the box round the writing so I used that as a guide and didn't need to draw a line)
Get the handles out of the way, I pined mine up so they didn't get caught in the sewing.
Pop the bag under the sewing machine needle, right side facing, starting at a side seam. Line up with your pencil line, grab one of your strips of fabric, pop it under and do just a few stitches to hold it in place.
Now you just pleat as you go, the photos show it best.
I folded under about 1/4 inch every inch or so, you can do more or less, it's up to you. The more you fold the more strips of fabric you will need, and the more frilly the bag will end up.
When you get to the end of a strip, just pop another one under with a bit of an overlap and carry on.
When you get back to the beginning, just cut off any of the fabric strip remaining and get ready to join the next layer along side.
I overlapped the strips very slightly as you can see. I kept the same thread colour, for speed and because I think it looks quite nice!
That's it, just keep going round and round as many times as you want. I stopped when all the writing was covered.
It was completely unintentional but when it was finished I thought this bag had a bit of a "Cornishware" look to it.
I love Cornishware, so much that I have a pinterest board dedicated to it! When I was little we went to Cornwall most years on holiday and I remember visiting a pottery factory, maybe that's why.
I had a few strips of fabric left and had just seen a lovely little flower by Paige from A Dose of Paige so decided to give it a go.
I doubled up my blue and cream fabric strips, tied a knot and just started twisting and glueing, following Paige's tutorial. This is pretty easy and fun but do be careful as glue gun glue gets REALLY hot - obvious I know, but when you are concentrating on the twisting apparently it's easy to forget!
I attached a safety pin on the back and now have a removable flower to add more shabby chic charm to my shopping experience!
The bag was a freebie, the blue fabric was from an old shirt and the cream fabric was a old duvet cover that had trim which had gone all bobbly. My lovely new bag didn't cost me anything but time and a bit of sewing thread, whoop whoop!
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