How to: Reusable Baggies
My friends challenged me recently as we were talking about crafting together. They wanted to make reusable baggies and of course turned to me to teach them. My only problem was when I went to find a tutorial on how to make them, I had a hard time finding a bag I actually liked the composition of. SO, I decided to make my own.
Here’s what you need:
- Depending on how many baggies you want to make, and what size, I say to start out with at least 1/2 yard of fabric. This amount will give you at least 2 sandwich bags and 2 snack bags.
- A medium thickness shower curtain. We did our research and decided to just go with a shower curtain (mainly because it was $4 for a double shower curtain at the Dollar Store versus $6/yard of Ripstop Nylon at Joanns. Also, you can actually wash shower curtains, whereas we weren’t sure about Ripstop Nylon. More about that later.)
- 5/8in Sew-on Velcro (for fabrics). How much you get depends again on how many baggies you want to make. We just bought a 30in pack of white Velcro.
- Cotton Thread (white goes with most things, but can use a different color if you want)
- Sewing pins
- Plastic ruler at least 20in long
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Sewing machine with a fresh needle
- An extra pair of hands (not necessary, but helpful)
Let’s start this tutorial!
First thing’s first. Cut your fabric and shower curtain. Realize now that this is a NO-PRESS project. You can’t iron plastic. It’ll melt. For small snack bags (pictured above), cut your fabric and curtain to 9in x 6in. For large, 14.5in x 7.5in. I recommend cutting all your stuff before you even start pinning. Make sure that the fabric is perfectly cut. This is because the shower curtain doesn’t like to participate and you might cut it a little crooked, especially with wrinkles in it. But that’s ok, because you will sew following the fabric.
Place the curtain and the fabric together with the pattern facing toward the curtain.
Pin the pieces together less than a 1/4in away from the edge. The reason behind this is because the shower curtain will make these bags waterproof. When you puncture the curtain in the middle or outside of the 1/4in zone, you take that waterproofness away. Pin on all four sides. This will prevent the curtain from sliding while sewing it.
Start sewing about 1/3 of the way down one side. Give yourself a 1/4in seam allowance (sewing 1/4in away from the edge). Make sure to backstitch a couple of times at the beginning. Be sure to follow the fabric, not the curtain. At the same time, make sure you’re sewing on both pieces.
Continue sewing until you reach a corner. Keeping you needle down, stop about 1/4in away from the other edge. Turn your pieces while the foot is up.
Continue sewing around the pieces, removing pins when you come to them. Stop with about 2in space before you hit where you begun (below). Remember to backstitch!
Clip your corners. This will provide sharper corners when you flip it right-side-out.
Go ahead and flip it right-side-out, pushing the corners out as best you can. Finger press the edges, or use a roller like I did (below).
Be sure to finger or roll press the opening. It might be a little difficult to sew shut, but hold your fabric taut and it should stay shut while your sewing.
Begin sewing with an 1/8in seam allowance around the edge starting in one corner.
This is what it will look like when you’re done sewing the edge. Now you need to decide what kind of bag opening you want.
For snack bags, I just fold it in half.
For sandwich bags, I typically add a flap. You can do this with snack bags as well, but realize that the pocket will be really small.
The picture above shows you how you would add your Velcro. You don’t need much for a flap.
Since I’m making a snack bag, I decided I will just fold it in half. You will need a little bit more Velcro for the opening. You will sew your Velcro on first. So pin one side and figure out where the other side of the Velcro should be and pin that. Give yourself about 1/2in allowance from the top of the Velcro to the top of the bag, so you have a place to grab the bag to open it.
This is important! Sew the Velcro as close to the edge of the Velcro as possible and back stitch several times, especially in the corners! If you just sew one stitch, when you go to open the bag, the Velcro will rip out.
This picture (above) shows that I’m not perfect and can’t sew things as straight as I would like, so don’t expect your first bag to be perfect either!
This should be what it looks like on either side.
Once you have both pieces sewn on, fold the bag in half and push the Velcro together (it’s like your pinning it together).
Now to sew it together. Start on the folded side, where my finger is. This will guarantee that the opening will line up and the bag will lay flat.
Sew with an 1/8in seam allowance, or on top of the previous stitch. Make sure you backstitch when you start and at the opening.
Sew all the way to the opening and off the fabric. The picture above shows you what it should look like. Flip it over and sew the other side.
Now you have a wonderful bag to hold all your wonderful snacks and sandwiches!
If you want your bag to hold granola or something small (sunflower seeds?), you will need to make sure your Velcro is a little longer so it closes the bag a little better. The picture above shows the bag I just made (top) versus the bag I made for granola (bottom).
Now, like I said before, you can legit wash shower curtains in the washing machine. No joke. Bet you didn’t know that. And if you did, then good for you! But yes, you can throw these bags in the washer with a tiny bit of detergent and run it on the delicate cycle. Do NOT dry them. If an iron will melt plastic, then so will a dryer, even on an air fluff setting. You can also just wipe them out to clean them, or you can dunk them in some water in the sink with a little Dawn soap. To dry them, just open the bag and turn them open-side-down and set them on a towel. This will allow the bags to air dry and water won’t sit in the waterproof side and mildew.
Enjoy these wonderful little bags. I’ve made several of them (because you get a lot cut from the shower curtain, so you can use your scrap fabric and make tons of these!!) I use them for grapes, granola, cashews, pb&j’s, blueberries, etc. What do you think you’ll use them for?
Have you ever craved a homemade treat that is light and crispy, and not at all fattening when you eat the whole bag? Then you absolutely need to make these apple chips! They are super sweet, melt in your mouth, heavenly goodness. Seriously, these are super simple. They just require a little (maybe a lot) of time, a couple apples, and a warm oven.
- 2 medium sized apples (I prefer Golden Delicious, because they turn out sweet without adding any sugar or whatnot, but choose whichever you eat most often.)
- A mandolin slicer (in order to cut the slices thin and evenly. Uneven slices varies the cooking time for each slice. If you don’t have a mandolin, then just try your hardest to cut the slices evenly.)
- 2 cookie sheets, preferably airbake sheets. You can also use stainless steel cooling racks that aren’t painted.
- An oven set to the lowest setting possible. I set mine to 170 degrees F. (I then did my pears at 200 degrees F and that burned them. I’ll explain why below.)
- Cinnamon or sugar or both. Or none, your call.
1. Preheat the oven. The lower the setting, the longer the dehydration process will take BUT the better the quality. Do NOT go over 200 degrees. You will start to bake them instead of dehydrate them. Place both the racks as high as they will go.
2. If you didn’t buy organic apples, I would recommend peeling the apples. You don’t want a waxy edge on your slices. Also, I used an apple corer to take out the seeds and harder parts of the apples. You don’t have to do this, but make sure you take out the seeds.
3. Slice up your apples to about 1/4” or less, but not paper thin. Evenly place them on the cookie sheets. Make sure there is air space around each slice. This will help them bake more evenly. Slice them quickly so you can get them in the oven before they brown.
4. Before placing them in the oven, lightly sprinkle them with cinnamon or sugar. I put some cinnamon on my apples.
5. Place the cookie sheets in the oven and set a timer for 3 hours (at 170 degrees F). If you don’t have a convection oven, place a wooden spoon in the door to allow airflow. If your temperature is higher, you will need to check them every hour or so. When I did my pears at 200 degrees F, I checked them at 2 hours. When you check them, they will be shrunken and start to look leathery.
6. After your timer goes off, pull the sheets out of the oven and carefully peel the slices off the sheet and turn them over. Place them back in the oven for another 3 hours.
7. After those six hours, pull one chip out and set it on a cooling rack, or paper towel, or whatever you have handy. Allow it to cool for several minutes. Try to break it in half. If it breaks like a regular chip, they are done. If they bend and still feel a tad bit moist or spongy, they aren’t done and need to be put back in the oven for another hour. Repeat this step until they break.
8. Pull them out of the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Once they are cool, they are ready to eat, or store. You can even break them up and use the pieces as a nice addition in a fruity salad.
Now, I had my oven running still and an extra cookie sheet when I did some left over apple slices, so I decided to try a pear. I had set the oven to 200 degrees F because I wanted to speed the process up. Well, I checked them at 2 hours and flipped them and put them back. At another hour, I took them out and they had undoubtedly burned a little. The sugars are a little different than those in apples, so they caramelized. They still taste delicious, and turned out really cute with the little stars in the center (last two photos). But that’s what happens when you turn the temp up.
Either way, this treat is amazing, especially if you’re trying to eat better but feel as if you can’t give up sweets. You have got to try this! Maybe if my strawberry plants do realllllly well, I can dehydrate some strawberries next!
Have you ever wanted to make your pup his or her own treats? I’m telling you that this has got to be the easiest recipe, and most versatile, and most cheapest way of making them their own personalized treats! There are two ingredients as the base of this recipe. The rest is up to you, but of course, I’ll give you my example that I use most often.
- 1 4 oz. jar of pureed baby food, such as sweet potato, apple and pears, or another flavor, as long as there are no onions or garlic in the ingredients on the label.
- 1 cup flour
1. Mix together to form a dough. Roll out onto a floured surface to roughly 1/4 inch thickness.
2. Using a cookie cutter or a pizza cutter, cut into treat size pieces.
3. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for roughly 20 minutes. Allow to cool before storing in either an airtight container (for softer treats) or in a paper bag (for harder treats). Either way, the treats will last only about a month.
Now, that is the base of this recipe. Of course, you can add whatever you like. You can add blueberries, pureed fruits, peanut butter, green beans, WHATEVER. As long as it’s good for your dog. Here is my concoction of ingredients that I use, using the same directions. Just mix it all together.
- 1 4 oz. jar of pureed baby food (I love using sweet potato for healthy skin and coat)
- 1 cup flour (roughly. It doesn’t have to be exact)
- 1/4 cup oats (doesn’t matter what kind, I used instant)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (I use refined, organic for, yet again, a healthy, shiny coat)
- 1 teaspoon honey (for flavor and smell)
- 1 tablespoon parsley, minced (this is for fresh(er) breath and can be given to dogs in moderation, same with honey)
As you can tell, I just cut my treats up into squares because frankly, Rusty could care less about the way the treats looked. Of course, if I were giving them away to friends for their pups, I would invest in a dog bone shaped cutter. That would be adorable!
Let me know your variations!
This craft is fun and easy and you can do it while watching your favorite shows. I’m sorry I don’t have a full picture of the entire garland, but I couldn’t find a good place to put it that had good lighting and that made it look good. But it’s ok, you guys have imagination right? It’s about 4 feet long.
I had bought a bunch of ribbon because I thought I was going to use it on a wreath I wanted to make, but it turned out I didn’t need the ribbon. So I was stuck with 4 spools of ribbon. So of course, Pinterest came in handy. I had the choice of making a bunch of hair bows or a garland out of them. I don’t wear bows, so I made a wonderful garland.
- Yarn or rope
- Ribbon (I ended up using 13 spools, each 3 yards long)
Step 1: Cut a piece of rope or yarn (no smaller than yarn) to a length of which you would like. Now I cut a 6 foot piece of black yarn and only used 4 feet of it. I would stick to a Halloween color or at least a color that will be in your garland.
Step 2: Cut your ribbon into pieces. I cut mine into roughly 4 1/2 inches each.
Step 3: Start tying the ribbon onto the yarn or rope. I used a pattern, I did green, orange, black, and lastly purple. But once I was done, I randomly placed thinner black ribbons everywhere. Make sure there are no gaps or yarn showing when you are done. The knots don’t have to be too tight, just tight enough to stay on.
That’s it. It might fray a little but if you’re gentle with the garland, it shouldn’t be too bad. It surely is gorgeous. I just love how it turned out.
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am at how this wreath turned out! It all started when I realized this will be the first holiday (okay, second to the 4th of July, but I wasn’t ready to start crafting then) that Drew and I will be able to celebrate in our first home! I love decorating for Halloween. I use to always decorate my dorm room door with spider webs and cut out bats. Now I have a whole house and a front porch to decorate. BUT I’m only going to really decorate my front porch. I’d rather save up money and go all out for Christmas.
Anyways, I started searching for wreaths to make, because I had never made one but I wanted to, and I found this wonderful tutorial here. I totally started it, soaking 50 plates, wrinkling them, and laying them out for 3 days to dry, then I burned the first 20 something and I was tired of the burning smell and the smoke, so I started rolling them. I still have the rest of the soaked plates and I have no idea what to do with them. Oh well. I also changed some of the original poster’s ideas. I decided to use black gems in my flowers other than sprinkles. I liked the look better. I also used a neat oval wreath rather than a circular one. I thought it made it more unique. I also didn’t fill the entire wreath, as you can tell. Ok, let’s start this!
- 1 Grapevine Wreath
- At least 50 paper plates
- 4 cups of brewed and chilled coffee
- Some way of producing a constant flame (I started using candles, but the wick went down too fast, so I used an oil lamp with a smaller wick)
- A pan of water
- Hot glue gun
- Mod Podge for Paper (optional)
- Any decorative items you wish (like my black gems and my glitter spiders that I found at Walmart for only a couple of bucks)
Step 1: Pour your coffee into a cake pan. You will dip you paper plates one at a time into the coffee, make sure they are wet (about 30 seconds or so), crumple them up to release all the excess coffee, and the flatten them out loosely and lay them out. It works best if you have something like a cooling sheet. That way air can circulate and dry the plates more quickly.
Step 2: Once dry, start cutting your plates into spirals. Don’t worry about uniformity, cutting them all different provides for more of a variety in flowers.
Step 3: Light your candle or whatever and start burning the outside edges of the spiral. Have your pan of water handy. Once you start burning the edges, dunk the burned part into the water. This will eliminate the smokiness and stop the flame immediately. BE CAREFUL. It can be dangerous so go slow. It will take a lot of time. Make sure you have adequate ventilation too. My house got pretty smokey.
Step 4: Start rolling your flowers. Start with the center and roll them tightly. This was my method. Once they were super tight, I let them go on a table. They still held their shape mostly, but were loose and big. So now start to tighten the flower a little bit and you will end up with looser but prettier flowers. If you don’t like this, use your own method. The bottom of the flowers will be flat, not a cone shape like I assumed. Haha that was aggravating, because the blog didn’t say that, so I was soo confused.
Step 5: I used Mod Podge for paper to glue my flowers in place. I just dabbed it on the end of the spiral and glued it to the outside of the flower, then I dabbed more onto the inside of the flower into the rolls to keep the rolls just perfect. Set it aside and work on another.
Step 6: Once all the flowers are dried, start gluing on your decorative piece for the center, whatever it is. I used hot glue on the back of the gems and then set them in with tweezers. You will want to complete all the flowers, or a majority of them, before you start gluing them onto the wreath.
Step 7: Lay the wreath on a flat surface. Start placing (not gluing) the flowers on it to see where to start and to see how they will lay together. Once you have this, start hot gluing the flowers on the wreath. This is a little bit of work. It’s hard to glue these flowers onto the wreath since both are uneven surfaces. But do not give up. The end result will be worth it. You can even start gluing them onto each other and the wreath to have more of a hold.
Step 8: Once you have all the flowers on the wreath that you want, hold it at eye level. You should be pretty proud of it right now. Now you can start adding any more decorations on it, like spiders. Feel free to explore too! Maybe add some crows or pumpkins. Or even a sign that says “Happy Halloween” or whatever! If you try this tutorial, please reply with a picture of your wreath! I would absolutely love to see it. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask :)
Always remember to have fun and enjoy what you are working on. And always always always be proud of your work!
Halloween is upon us! And no, this is not a real pumpkin. It’s actually a fake one that I bought for like $5 at Walmart. And that’s puff paint. So this of course is a cheap project! I wanted to find a couple more smaller pumpkins to also decorate, but I can’t seem to find any that are the right size :(
Anyways, so as I’m sure you can tell, this project requires a design in mind and a pencil. It’s not difficult, but be sure you are absolutely happy with your design before you start using the puff paint. The puff paint doesn’t like to come off after it is put on.
So, step 1: Decide on a design. This could be a chevron stripe or pattern, or swirls, or dots, whatever your heart desires. Then, draw it on carefully and lightly with a pencil. If you make a mistake, it should be able to be erased off.
Step 2: Carefully and slowly, draw the design with puff paint. Three tips: 1, hold the bottle straight up and down with the tip down. This will allow for the air bubbles that spurt out periodically to go to the bottom of the bottle (or the part furthest away from the tip as you are holding it). 2, hold the pumpkin so that you are drawing on as flat of a surface as possible. 3, draw with thin lines. You can always go back over the lines to make them more even or straight or thick. That’s what I did. Just make sure you let it dry before you go over it a second time.
Step 3: Wait for it to dry. Then you can add accents, if you would like to jazz it up a bit. Before I finished it, I added all the dots and I painted the stem black.
Now, I wanted an orange pumpkin because I like the orange and black for Halloween. BUT imagine all the color possibilities! You could always paint the pumpkin a different color first, like purple, and then put a design on it with glitter! Oh I just want to make a dozen more of these! Too bad I have no more room for them.
Time to start again
I’ve taken a HUGE break from this blog while I graduated from college, gotten married, and moved to Florida. Sorry guys. I promise I will start to post more on here, like my halloween crafts and what I’ve done since we moved. I can’t wait, I hope I still got it :)
Aren’t these cute? I came across this pin and thought it was simple enough, and of course, cheap enough. Did you know you could get planters like this for a dollar or two at multiple places? The Dollar Tree, Michaels, Walmart, Home Depot…. So what did I do? I went out and bought one!
All you need is:
- A planter of any size
- Acrylic paint
- A work space with paper or something down to catch the paint
Step 1: Lay out your paper to protect the work surface. Turn the planter upside down onto the paper.
Step 2: Some people, including the tutorial mentioned above, adds water to the paint. I decided not to. Pour a stream of paint around the edge of the planter. This will give it a drippy effect like you see on mine.
Step 3: Continue to add more paint and colors to get the desired effect. I didn’t want to cover the entire planter in paint, so I didn’t use a whole lot. The more you add, the longer it will take to dry. Allow it to dry completely before you turn it right side up.
Step 4: Use as wish. I would plant something in mine but I don’t have any potting soil, so I put markers in it instead!
This was a complicated project, but once Mindy and I figured it out, it was the best project we’ve ever done. In fact, once we figured it out, we had about 30 minutes to run back to Michaels and buy more canvases! It’s a great idea for a cheap but personalized gift. I found the tutorial here.
What you need:
- A printer
- Tissue paper
- A paint brush
- Letter sized paper
- An iron
Step 1: Trim the paper to about 2 inches wider than a letter sized sheet of paper. Iron out the wrinkles of the tissue paper on top of the letter sized paper. The iron will be on high heat with no steam. This will make the tissue paper kind of stick to the paper. Turn it over and tape the sides down.
Step 2: Now comes the tricky part: finding a picture you want to use. If you’re canvas is a 4”x6”, print it at 5”x7”. If it’s a 5”x7” canvas, print it at 6”x8”. Print on the tissue paper/regular paper combo just like you normally would. If it doesn’t work the first time, that’s ok. Just restart. This project requires patience. It took Mindy and I about 15 prints until we realized how to do it right (what I’m posting now, of course). Remove it from the regular paper.
Step 3: Get the canvas ready by coating it in a thin layer of modpodge. Gently lay the tissue paper over the canvas and quickly centered it. Working from the inside out, gently press the tissue down and the bubbles should disappear. Allow it to dry, which shouldn’t take too long.
Step 4: Apply another layer of modpodge to finish it off.
For the text on top of the photo, you need:
- Wax paper
- Whatever color of fabric paint
Step 1: If you want, print out your quote, saying, whatever in whatever font you want in whatever size you want. Place under the wax paper and tape the both of them to a flat surface.
Step 2: Trace over the letter with your fabric paint. Allow it to dry.
Step 3: Once it’s dry, peel the letters off the wax paper CAREFULLY. Place them on the photo canvas wherever you want them.
Step 4: Carefully and slowly cover them in modpodge and allow them to dry.
And there you have it! A wonderful gift and beautiful piece to make your house or a friends house look great!
I know you see them everywhere. These cute little magnets that anyone can make are super simple and a quick project.
All you need:
- Whatever size you want of clear flat glass marbles. You can find these anywhere almost.
- Scrapbook paper of your choosing (I used two different kinds on these)
- Mod Podge gloss (I used matte and it left a residue, so I’m guessing gloss would be best)
- Strong round magnets (like the ones that snap together from half an inch apart)
- Hot glue gun
Step 1: Place the flat pebbles on the scrapbook paper to find your exact design you want for the magnet. Trace the flat marble and cut the design out a tad bit smaller than your circle.
Step 2: Place a dab of Mod Podge (or glue) onto the flat side of the marble and stick the paper on it. Push all the bubbles out if there are any.
Step 3: I allowed it to dry then put another layer of Mod Podge on the back side of the paper, just to seal the edges.
Step 4: Using the hot glue gun, glue a magnet onto the back of your flat marble where the paper is.
Voila! There you have it. Completely customizable magnets. Not too bad, huh? I can’t wait to put these on a real fridge :)