Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How Difficult Can I Make This Project? Let's Find Out.

This is a simple project. Extremely simple. However, I did not see how simple it could have been until I was finished with it. I'm going to tell you how I did it and then how I should have done it. Learn from my mistakes.

So many of my projects begin with something that bugs me. I'll have some storage for something, but it isn't pretty and eventually I need to find a solution. This was another one of those projects. Tell me that this picture is familiar to you, it will make me feel better:

It's plastic bags.  From the grocery store.  Let me be clear: I have reusable bags... I use them... but somehow, these plastic bags always find their way into my home.  I keep some on hand just in case I need them and the rest get recycled.  But what do I do with them in the meantime? I put them in a plastic bag and hang it on the closet door.  It's oh-so-fashionable, yes? NO.

I have some kitchen towels and rags that I hate.  They look OK, but the texture... it's not right.  Something felt... weird.  But they're perfectly fine, so I don't throw them out.  But today, they've found a new purpose in their lives: they're going to hold bags for me.

Remember when I said there's an easy way to do this?  Here's where it starts:  This project could have been put together with hot glue ALONE.  It would have taken 20 minutes to complete.  I could have taken a nap instead of spending hours hand-stitching because I don't have a sewing machine.  But let's look toward the future and not the past... at least maybe you'll get to have that nap.

I got my materials ready:
See those pins? Totally unnecessary if you're heeding my warning.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR RIGHT HERE AND NOW.  Take ribbon or elastic and thread it through the bottom hem of the towel.  If you wait until after you've sewed the thing, you'll have to rig up an old wire hanger to thread it through and it will take a million years. Ask me how I know.

I folded the dishtowel lengthwise in half, wrong side out.  I measured 7" from the fold and pinned a line across, like so:
I then sewed at the 7" mark, making a tube out of the towel.  If you have a sewing machine, this takes no time at all.  If you don't, use a hot glue gun.  Trust me on this one, it will be just fine.

Once I had that done, I did the same with the washcloth, except I only made a tube about an inch wide for the handle at the top.
I pinned it to the top of the towel tube (also wrong side out) and sewed in on. *cough* usehotglueinstead *cough*.
If you threaded your elastic or ribbon through the bottom, all you need to do now is turn the holder right-side out and tighten the elastic at the bottom.  If you didn't, you'll need to wrestle with the ribbon for a billion years, swearing like a drunk sailor the entire time.  You may or may not slam your fist on the table in the process. Several times.

The bottom will look like this (it's still inside-out in the picture):
Now see? Wasn't that totally easy and it took just a few minutes!  Yeah... right.  Well, for you it will be!  And the end result is much nicer than a plastic bag hanging on a door:
Much better!

*By the by, for weeks now, I've been trying to figure out how to reply to people's comments directly... I thought it was some complicated html code that I just hadn't found yet. It was far simpler than that. If you've commented on something in the past, it's very possible you will get a reply from me now. Don't be alarmed. :)

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7 comments:

  1. cute!! I have some of those awful dish towels as well - last night as i was drying my hands i was thinking to myself "these just dont feel right!" but i bought them just last week so i can't throw them out yet :-/

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  2. That is such a great idea. I was just thinking that I need to make something like this for my dad.

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  3. Turned out great! I've got similar project in mind for my plastic bags. You've inspired me to get going on that.

    Thanks!
    Jennifer

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  4. Hi, Priscilla! You've got so much creativity and I'm admiring them all. Can you please share your creative posts at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :).

    Btw, I also have a blog party called Market Your Biz and Giveaways so please feel free to link up your online shop and giveaways on Tuesday at 5 pm.

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  5. lrussel5@comcast.netSeptember 15, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    So cute! Quick tip for you... if you ever need to thread a ribbon through a casing like that, Use a large safety pin, pin through the end of your ribbon and secure it closed, insert it into the end of the casing, then by holding onto the pin, "shimmy" it through the casing, sliding it along, bunching the fabric, straightening out the fabric as you pull the pin with the ribbon through to the other end... quick and easy.

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  6. I have made these using the blue field of stars on a worn out flag..I machine sewed mine I used the metal grommet that was on the flag to hang it on a nail....we have a red white and blue theme at our lake house.

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  7. You know? You never fail me. I have had such an awful, horrible day and I SO needed to laugh! And so...I came here to your blog. Not ONLY did I find myself with a side ache from laughing, I actually found a pretty darn good project to control the plastic bag apocalypse that is occuring under my kitchen sink cabinet even as we speak. THANK YOU!

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I love all the comments I get from you! Because of an insane amount of spam, I had to turn off anonymous commenting but I'd love it if you'd comment anyway!

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