I come from a long line of savers, which mostly has equated to frantic, jump-inducing yelps on holidays like DON’T RIP THE WRAPPING PAPER, WE CAN SAVE IT and DON’T THROW THAT AWAY, WE CAN USE IT AGAIN and SQUEEZE OUT THE SPONGE!… okay, the last one happened to be a running joke in my family, but you get the point. And maybe it’s not technically a “long line of…” but my mom definitely put the fear of life into my brother and I while unwrapping gifts on Christmas and birthdays. To this day we pause and ask her if we can rip it or if we should save it, and I wouldn’t be lying if I said she probably has some wrapping paper bits and pieces from the ’70s in her collection 😂
With all due respect, I’m not actually trying to throw my mom under the bus, what I am doing is preparing you for what is about to be a DIY that isn’t so much a DIY but more in line with a WHY THROW SOMETHING AWAY THAT IS PERFECTLY USEFUL while I simultaneously try to convince you that I’m not actually a hoarder.
But growing up with all of these little rules actually made me very conscious environmentally about waste… and led to how much I truly despise it (any OG readers here remember my beSmartbeGreen grocery bags I was making c.a. 2007 before it was mandatory in CA to bring your own bags?). This is probably why you see the same furniture in my house for decades, repurposed and restyled to look fresh and modern in new spaces. This is also why I still have some of my favorite clothes from my grandma, my mom and my past self, and wearing them through the years as they come in and out of fashion and why I probably enjoy DIYing so much. We were taught to take care of what we had as if it was a matter of life and death, and it probably was in some ways. However, when I am looking for something new, I have always preferred thrift shops and second-hand shopping first to see if I can find a cool vintage one of a kind treasure before purchasing something new. This wasn’t so much handed down from my mom, but instead came from hanging out with my friend Rosie while her grandma serviced and collected coins from the laundromats they owned, we went dumpster diving out back behind Goodwill to pass the time.
All of these things, while also at some point possibly becoming habits of MUST for a struggling single mom and not so much of a CHOICE (and what we’re all going to have to do if inflation keeps creeping up), created what I think are good habits for humans to live by as a means to somehow (and though I’m not a fan of this phrase) lower our carbon footprint on this planet we inhabit by basically trying NOT to destroy it by filling it up with more waste (and by buying less and reusing whatever we can).
While I had at least two but probably more like four perfectly good (yet very old) comforters for my bedroom and my guest room beds, Chad bought me a new and very pretty blush pink comforter for my room and also gave me an extra one he had and wasn’t using for my guest room. (Pst. he is a shopper and not as concerned with need vs want or waste like I am and yes we argued about it and yes new things are fun and nice sometimes) and in all honesty, I LOVE my new pink comforter for its soft coziness and look… and each comforter came packaged in these huge bags made of the same soft and cozy material, which were TOO NICE TO JUST THROW AWAY. In fact, I just couldn’t throw them away and so I grabbed my seam ripper and easily and quickly turned them into laundry bags.
They would also be fantastic beach or lake bags, picnic bags, toy bags for kids, to store other linens or to hold used wrapping paper scraps -because YES, I obviously save wrapping paper too 😜 … anything really! They’re not sturdy enough to carry books, but can be useful in so many ways instead of just ending up in a landfill, we can reuse them.
And so, this is less of an instructional DIY post and more of a way to maybe get you to look at things a little differently before just throwing them away… with a creative eye, you can make anything useful AND CUTE 🥰
PS. I am wearing a new (from Christmas, Thanks mom!) loungewear set in green from Jockey (the local shop), which I have in blush pink too and green shorts for summer. I’m adding them all to the shopping widget below because they’re so soft and comfy and cozy!
Here’s How You easily and quickly Up-cycle your bags…
All you need is a seam ripper, which you can get at any fabric, sewing, or craft store… or online.
Basically, you carefully use your seam ripper to break the threads… This is simple, there are a few ways to do it.
You can flip it inside out and break each thread then pull the long top thread all out at once…
OR, you can do it from the top, which is how I did it here, because it was easier that way.
Once you break a few threads, you can pull back the paper/board a bit, then use your seam ripper and break a few more, then pull, then seam rip, then pull, etc. and so on until you can pull it up entirely.
Then you go through and pull out the little threads left behind.
It’s really that simple and takes about ten minutes.
Making this post took 500 times longer than making these bags 😆
These bags also had a few smaller labels, which I used the same technique for.
The only tip I will give you is to be careful when using your seam ripper to only get the threads when you yank. It’s easy to accidentally poke a hole in your material and rip it as well, so make sure you’re only ripping the thread.
My closet room is located just past this little laundry area at the top of the stairs and makes for easy folding and putting away… HOWEVER, I keep all my sweats and loungewear and pajamas downstairs in my bedroom, so these bags actually really help in carrying everything up and down the stairs. Otherwise, I toss all my dirty clothes into the large basket sitting on top of the dryer that I used to keep my living room plants in. … you can see it here in my last living room as well
Since you can see a peek into my guest room on the lower level, I thought this photo below of the same room (in progress) with the original white comforter in the bag sitting on the bed was a must too, for perspective, of course. And any longtime readers can also probably point out every item in it from old rooms in my old houses, everything BUT the BIG COMFORTER BAG sitting on the bed. And in fact, the queen platform bed frame, which was in the triangle kids room in my old house, was purchased way back in 2003 for an apartment I lived in with my cousin… I can’t make this stuff up 😂
Keep Reusing, Repurposing and Up-Cycling DIYS
* Find all my DIYs here