Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bags of Chicken Feed: Instructions

As promised, here are instructions and pictures for making your own bag out of empty chicken feed bags. I have another version in the works, so I'll add an addendum to this post if it ends up working out.

What you'll need:
  • Empty chicken feed bag
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Thread matching the color of your bag

Step 1: Empty out the last bits of chicken feed. Remove the bottom closure and any remnants of the top's closure (that papery strip with string that you rip off to open the bag).

Shake out the remaining chicken feed dust. There's more in there than you think.

If you're inclined, rinse out the bag with a hose or outside spigot. Dry bag and lie flat.

Step 2: Cut off a 6 to 8 inch strip from either the top or bottom section of the bag. This section will be used to make the bottom and the straps.
The determining factor for whether you cut off the top or bottom of the bag is what part of the bag's picture you want to save (A.K.A what do you want the front of your bag to look like?).

For this bag, I wanted it to look very much like a chicken feed bag. I wanted the feed name Layena to be on the top of the bag. So, I cut off the top of the bag just above the brand name, Purina.

Something to keep in mind: the width you cut will be the width of the bottom of the bag. Make sure not to skimp and cut a strip that's too thin. It should be at least 6 inches wide, preferably 8 inches. My cut was closer to 6 inches on this bag and it did make for a skinny bag.

For the sake of instructions, I will refer to this section as the 6-inch section from now on.

Set aside the 6-inch section you cut off. We will use it later.

Step 3: Turn the bag inside out.

Step 4: Fold over the top of the bag approximately an inch. Pin the section in place using your straight pins. This fold will give the opening of your bag a "finished" edge and reinforce it so you can add the straps.

Sew around the top of the bag. Just make sure not to sew your bag closed!

Remove the pins from this section when you are finished sewing.

Step 5: Get the 6-inch section you cut off in Step 2 and set aside. Right now it is a loop. Cut each side, so you now have two 6-inch sections rather than a loop.  Set one of these two pieces aside.

Step 6: Cut the other piece in half to make two 3-inch sections. These will be the straps. 

Step 7: To make the straps, fold each of the 3-inch 
sections in half and pin closed. 

After pining the two pieces closed, sew each piece to create the straps. Remove the pins. 

Step 8: Pin each strap to the inside top of the bag. Securely sew straps to bag. Remove pins. 

Step 9: Pin the 6-inch section to the inside bottom of the bag. See the picture below. 
Sew this section. Remove pins. Continue for all four sides of the bag's bottom. 
*Note: The corners are the hardest part. They are always the trickiest part to the entire bag assembly. 

Step 10: Make sure you've removed all pins and trim all the strings. Turn your bag inside right. Ta-dah!

Enjoy your homemade bag and Happy Shopping!

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