Saturday, August 30, 2008

Make a Difference

Hello! A few days ago I mentioned that I was working on a super easy and inexpensive project that anyone can do. When I was a kid, the term Reduce, Reuse, Recycle was popular. Now, its Go Green! No matter what you call it, we all need to do more of it and this project can help. I truly believe that if we all did our part, we can make a difference.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I go to Walmart and they put like, two items in a bag. I buy six things and go home with four different bags. Why do they do that? I know those bags are flimsy but surely they can hold more than a box of Q-tips and some shampoo. I constantly find myself taking things out of the bags and putting them in with others...while the clerk just looks at me. Or if I buy just one or two things, I tell them I'll carry it and save a bag. Every now and again I get a thank you for that.

This project is a small solution to those flippy little bags that clutter our landfills and drive me absolutely insane. Tote bags! That's right, by carrying a reusable tote bag you can eliminate or reduce the number of those little bags that you see flying around everywhere. Retail stores are starting to sell more of them but they cost anywhere from $15 on up to as much as you can imagine. Spending a gob of money on a tool to help save the earth doesn't make sense to me, so I decided to make my own. Most plain canvas tote bags I found were around $5 but with a coupon, you can get them much cheaper, as I did. The only downfall I found was that I was limited in size options. So if you're looking for a really large bag, you may need to invest a little more money. I plan on doing some research to find extra-large bags so that I can make a complete grocery shopping trip without using any store bags.

So I started with my washed canvas tote bag, iron-on transfers, and a design. For my design, I used a Doodlebat, dbtrees. I had been wanting to customize a tote bag for a while now so when I found this Doodlebat, I had an idea! Each letter of the alphabet is represented by a different tree. I started with all the letters then started omitting the trees I didn't particularly like. Once I had a good row of trees, I randomly changed their colors to add a little contrast. I found a saying that I thought was fitting and added that below the trees in the font CK Alis Writing. I think I downloaded this font (for free) from the Creating Keepsakes website a while back. So here's the design:I then printed the design on an iron-on transfer sheet. You can purchase these just about anywhere that sells office supplies. There is a difference though between regular iron-ons and dark iron-ons so watch for that. Be sure to print according to the directions, your image should be mirrored. I trimmed my design to get rid of the extra white space. Though it irons on clear, you can still see the transfer sheet on the material so I like to eliminate that as much as I can. Place the transfer face down on your fabric and begin ironing according to the manufacturer's directions.Once you've ironed on the transfer sheet and it's cooled, slowly peel it offViola!Except it looks a little plain to me: *waving magic wand* There, much better! A close up of the details: Now, wasn't that easy?! Head the the craft store today and buy your canvas bag so you can begin to make a difference.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go hug a tree.


Kristal said...

LOVE THIS! Can I have one please?

Carol said...

Nice job! In my neck of the woods our grocery stores sell their own canvas tote bags for 99 cents so I've finally gotten into the habit of using them each time I go. What a lovely way you found to go green!