Friday, January 13, 2012

Recycled Juice Pouch Tote Bag (and mini tutorial)

Have you seen all the things you can make with recycled juice pouches?  I have always wanted to make something with them, but since I don't buy juice pouches for my kids (which wins me the Meanest Mom Award), I have never had any to use.

Fast forward to a Daisy Girl Scout event where I saw a table full of kids and their juice pouches.   Jackpot!!!  I seized the opportunity and collected all the empty pouches.  I had just enough to make a little tote bag.

I love it!

There are many tutorials out there, so I didn't take pictures as I made mine, but I will share some of the tips I discovered to make assembly easier.

Unless you want your bag to smell like eau de tooty fruity, you will want to wash out the pouches.  The easiest way to do this is to cut a slit in the bottom of each pouch gusset, making sure not to cut through the front or back.  The slit will end up in the middle, and no one will see it.  Drain out any juice, wash with hot soapy water, and dry thoroughly.

I used a zig zag stitch for assembly, tacking well at each end for added security.  You will overlap the pouches when sewing them together, making a flat seam.

First, assemble your front and back panels, two side panels, and the bottom.

I made my bag 3 pouches wide and 2 pouches tall.  The beauty of this is you can make it any size you want.

Two pouches fit perfectly for the bottom of the bag.  Depending on the size you make, you may have to trim a little of the bottom to fit.

After you have all your panels assembled, you will attach all the sides together, saving the bottom for last.

Here is a little tip I thought of while constructing the bag.  When you sew your sides to the front and back, stop stitching about 1/4" from the bottom edge.  This will allow you to sew the bottom of the bag all the way around.  Be patient while sewing the bottom on.  The bags are very inflexible which makes this a challenging step.

Here is a bottom corner where the front and side edges are flared out to lay flat against the bottom.

I turned down the top edge and finished with the same zig zag stitch I used for constructing the bag.

One yard of webbing was the perfect length for the handles, each 18" long.  This is the only place I used a straight stitch, and boxed the webbing to the bag.

Ta-da!  That's it!

You can make lunch bags, beach totes, gym bags, zippered coin pouches...the possibilities are endless!  And the best part is, they're virtually free!  This bag cost only the price of the webbing, which was about $1.  Can't beat that!

Now, don't you want to run out and collect some juice pouches?


1 comment:

Yoona said...

This is so cute! I want to try to make this. Do you think it's strong enough for some books?