9.30.2009

How to make a "green" tote~

I believe in trying to go "green". I'll admit, I'm not 100% good at it, but I do try. So when I saw this idea in a magazine ages ago (sorry, I don't remember what magazine it was) I decided that I had to give it a try.


Here's how to make a great "green" tote out of an old wool sweater. (you can left click on the very ugly photo above - I took it when it was getting dark and I realized I didn't have a "before" photo to share - to enlarge it if you want to be able to read what I typed in the boxes. )

EDITED TO ADD: I've had a couple of readers that mentioned they think the article was from Country Living.



1. First find yourself a wool sweater. I haven't worn the sweater that I used for my tote in probably 10 years, but I still liked it and always knew I'd find something to do with it.


2. Wash the sweater in hot water and then dry on a high heat setting. This will cause the sweater to shrink and will felt the wool.



3. Then cut the sweater as shown on the photo above.





4. Fold the sweater so the side seams are now in the front and back. (The felting will cause the seams to be much less obvious)





5. Turn the cut sweater inside out and sew the bottom closed.





6. Fold the cut edges over and hem.








VOILA! A recycled wool tote that will look great all through the fall and winter.

Linking to DIY day at A Soft Place to Land.

Have a great day~


43 comments:

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

The bag is fabulous. And looks so easy to make. All I need to do now is find a wool sweater at the thrift store.

Shana said...

Looks great! I saved this idea from that magazine too! I think it was Country Living... I had planned on making them for Christmas gifts for all the girls in my family, but didn't get it done last year, so maybe this year it will happen! Thanks for the reminder! :)

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

I love it! It looks amazing, and I'd never in a hundred million years guess (looking at the "after" picture) that it originated from a wool sweater! I.AM.SO.MAKING.THIS! Thank you SO much for sharing this! I am so excited, and where is a wool sweater around here?!

Angie said...

So cute and what a great idea!

Marianne@Songbirdisnesting said...

That looks wonderful! Must have been a great sweater to begin with.

Molly @ A Bit O' Shine said...

Now THAT looks fantastic. I tried felting for the first time earlier this summer when I made some wool dryer balls. Now I'm interested in felting all kinds of things, I'll have to give this one a try even if there IS sewing involved. :)

Laura said...

What a great idea! I love the idea of making something old new again!

Pam said...

I love this idea, too. I saved the article from Country Living myself with every intention of making my own bag. Now, I just need to find a wool sweater.

Our really empty nest said...

Love love love this idea, will try it, and send pics, thanks for sharing, sue

Runner Mom said...

What a darlin' idea!!
Thanks!!

Hugs!
Susan

Jen R. said...

I love that idea! I am going to GW today!

jmberrygirl said...

Beautiful! You could also take part of the collar (especially from turtle necks) or sleeve and make a small pocket inside or outside the bag for cell phone or keys... the little things that get lost in a big bag! =)

pk said...

What a great bag! I love this idea (and it looks SO cozy to boot).
pk @ room remix

TRICIA @ The Zoo said...

Love, love it! I have sooo many old sweaters sitting around and waiting for this little makeover.

XO*Tricia

paige said...

i'm so impressed!

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

What a great idea!! I am going to try this for sure!

Meredith said...

I have a beautiful full length chocolate brown wool coat (from my living n Utah days...after 9 years in the greater Phoenix area I think it is time to part with it...) Do you think this could be done with that kind of wool?? I have been racking my brain for a project with said wool coat. I am thinking me and some special people could use one for Christmas! A coat should make a couple bags, right?

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

What a fabulous idea! I have so many old shirts that I can apply this too.

Thanks for sharing!

Amanda said...

I'm in love with that tote. Thanks for the idea.

MamaBug said...

I'm finally caught up with all your wonderful posts! (I've been distracted the past few weeks with canning, etc.) I love the fun things you do!

Janean said...

You go! The tote is grand. Great blog by the way.

Sue said...

What a fun idea and great little tutorial! Thanks for sharing. I am hitting the thrift store tomorrow.
:- ) Sue

kari and kijsa said...

That looks so cute! We saw similar bags at a boutique for over $100! What a great post!

Have a blessed day!

smiles, kari & kijsa

Wendy said...

Cute! I made one like that from a t-shirt, but I like the sweater better!

Kara@ Creations by Kara said...

Fabulous idea! I'll have to start scouring thrift stores for cute sweaters. :)

Amber said...

What a wonderful re-use project. You're right, it is a perfectly warm and cozy accessory for fall and winter!

Lisa-Marie said...

This looks amazing! Also, I think I might do this for a cushion cover as well!

Lynn said...

Wow, is this ever cute! What a fantastic project. Now I just have to find a sweater to cut up :)

Lainey-Paney said...

...man. Can I just send you my old sweaters???

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Very cute. I always hang on to sweaters I love, but they are dated or pilly. What a great way to wear them in a fresh, new way.

Shelley said...

What a great idea! I have wool sweaters that are truly 15 years old that I keep keeping because they are wool. Now I know why!

Anna See said...

Are you kidding me??? This looks fabulous. I love the patterned sweater you picked.

Mandy said...

Very cool project - going to try this one out!

Connie said...

So very fabulous. From wool sweater to gorgeous bag...AWESOME.

Amber said...

I am so looking for a wool sweater at the thrift tomorrow. I am getting my first sewing machine next week and I think this will be one of my first projects. It's so cute and looks EASY!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

That tote is absolutely adorable! I love the pattern on the dark one. I would never have thought to make such a thing out of a sweater. Amazing..

Donna

Cindy Harvey said...

Yes. This will be put on my to-make list. Awesomeness.

Sheri said...

Uh! No way! I JUST donated old sweaters to Goodwill, literally yesterday! Bummer! Oh well...someone will be cozy warm this winter.


I have a linky party going you may want to link up: http://theshadesofpink.blogspot.com/2009/10/room-month-great-pumpkin.html

Dresser Girl said...

OH MY STARS!! I love it and know JUST the sweater I'm doing that to!!

Heidi said...

Looks great! I saw a how-to for just such a project in a Family Fun mag. (but out of kids t-shirts). ;)

Lolli said...

Fantastic! Now I am wishing I didn't throw out those old sweaters!

C-re said...

Ok, I thought I posted my dilemia but I guess not.

I was working on this last week. My problem is that I can't get my felted wool to advance under the needle. It's too thick! Is there a way to change the height of the presser foot on a sewing machine (not just lift it up and down but raise it for this project)? Otherwise, I may have to hand sew it and I don't think it'll be as strong. I've read my manual and looked online but nothing so far.

I have a cheapie Singer Simple machine...$99 special from Wally World. I'm a fairly new sewer so this is new to me.

Help!!!

Katie said...

Love it!
Katie
www.katiescreative.blogspot.com