Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stenciled Travel Bags

We are so excited to be leaving for Ethiopia this Sunday. As the day approaches though, I feel my green resolve weakening. Its tempting to run out and buy travel-sized convenience items or plastic baggies - real travel weakness! I admit to being slightly obsessive-compulsive about organization. I like ziplocs for medicine and one for camera cords and cell phone chargers, one for hair care products and one for toothbrushes.

I like being uber-organized, but plastic baggies just don't fit into this green lifestyle. Today I took a little time to make some travel bags. I used my son's old chambray crib sheet and made draw string bags in various sizes. Here's how I made them (there may be a better way, but I kind of make things up as I go along)...

Take a rectangle of fabric, fold the sides over 1/2 inch, then over again, and iron. Fold the rectangle in half so that the right sides are facing each other.

Fold the top down one inch, iron, pin. Flip the piece over, then fold down the top of that side one inch, iron, pin. You are making the casing for the drawstring. Sew all the way across each side.

Refold so that the wrong sides are now facing and the right sides are out, iron, pin. Sew each side from the bottom all the way up to the line that you just sewed across for the casing. Don't sew the casing shut!

Now you're ready to insert the ties. You can use ribbon, twine, yarn - whatever floats your boat. cut two pieces. Insert the first piece from the right through both the front and back casing. Tie the ends together. Then insert the second piece from the left and tie.

Next I made a stencil out of a cereal box and sponge-painted on a red cross on one (for first aid items - antibiotic ointment, band aids, etc.) and Rx on another (for prescriptions and other medicine). Be sure to slip a piece of cardboard inside the bag before you start painting in case the paint bleeds through. I like the sort of used and abused look that the sponge painting gives it.

Kellie blogs regularly at Greenhab: The Browns Go Green!


  1. I think these bags are so much better than any bought none green plastic containers. They are not only green and less expensive, they are individual and would be easier to keep track of. Have a great trip.


  2. Very cool idea! I posted a link to your tutorial at Craft Gossip Sewing Blog:

  3. what a neat idea, and have a super trip......

    Gill in Canada

  4. Wow, these are great! I'll be linking. Have a safe and amazing time. I can't wait to hear all about it!

  5. Easy Energy, Inc. makes a cool portable electronics hand charger that doesn't use batteries or solar power so it can work anywhere. It's called the YoGen® and it's a compact, easy to use, uniquely efficient hand-powered charger for use with cell phones and other small electronics devices. (OTCBB: ESYE)

  6. I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.
    Traveling bags
    :) :)


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