No Sew Rag Bags

We use washcloths and dishrags instead of paper towels. We use them all the time, and have quite a few. We need them for the dishes, spills, washing up the babe after every meal. For months now, they have been a big pain. They have been juggled from one place to the other not really having a proper home. When we were visiting Hubby’s grandparents in December, his grandmother had a massive box of magazines ready for recycling. She let me go through them and keep whatever I wanted. I saw this idea in a Good Housekeeping, though they intended it for keeping lingerie in the closet. I had completely forgotten about this until I ran by the torn out picture the other day. This, I thought, would be perfect to house all of our towels. It needed to be somewhere in reach of the kids (so that they can grab a washcloth), but still not a huge eyesore. In a perfect world, all of the towels would be neatly stacked somewhere, but let’s face it, that isn’t ideal. I spend all the time to fold them up, and then they just end up in a messy pile anyhow. So now, as soon as they are clean, they go into their new bag and just stay there until needed. No folding necessary. All you do is find a pretty vintage pillowcase and a wooden embroidery hoop. I already had these in my stash, two vintage pillowcases at 25 cents each, and two wooden embroidery hoops at 25 cents each from my thrift store. I used a 10″ and 12″ hoop. Now, technically this is no sew, unless of course you’re me. Then, because you haven’t loosened the hoop quite enough, when you try and scootch the fabric around, you simultaneously tear two rips into your pillowcase. Then you spend the next 20 minutes hand mending the tears. Normally though, this involves no sewing at all. If I really wanted to take a lot of time, I could have trimmed the top of the bag to make it even instead of just letting it fold down into the bag, but I kind of like this way better. Then if I ever decide to swap the pillowcase out for another colour or pattern, I haven’t ruined these. Anyway, you need to put the inner hoop down inside the pillowcase and fold the top down into it. In order for it to lay straight, you need to put more of the front side of the pillowcase down in , than the back. I hope that’s not too confusing. Really, just play around with it and get it to lie like you want it to. Then cut an approx. 6″ length of ribbon (I used twill tape) and fold it in half. You are going to lay the raw edges down on top of the fabric that is folded over the inner ring. Make sure that the raw edges are pointing away from you and that the fold is hanging towards you. Carefully put the outer hoop on top, catching the hanging ribbon, and tighten. If you are using vintage fabric, especially, be careful not to pull the fabric around too much, otherwise you might indeed end up sewing. On a completely side note, the other day I really felt like some kind of hot chocolate with a twist. I opened the cupboard that holds all of our tea, coffee, etc. and saw a tub of Nutella staring at me. I wonder… Yes indeed it was delicious. I heated up some milk on the stove, stirred a spoonful of Nutella in, and yum. Yum, Yum, Yum. The girls both have colds, and I think I’m coming down with one too. I’ve got a nice scratchy throat. I’m hoping it doesn’t last too long.

food, green, home, sewing, thrift store finds • Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 • 21 Comments »
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21 Responses to “No Sew Rag Bags”

  1. Bley says:

    Fantastic! Those would be great for dirty kids clothes too to hang in their rooms. Attractive, and useful! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Emma says:

    What a great idea! I can think of many, many uses for such a bag!

  3. Petit Filoux says:

    You said the magic word – Nutella. Honestly, don’t get me started, I could eat the stuff by the spoonful!!!
    Anyway! Great idea! I’m on the lookout for thrifted hoops for a couple of projects I have in mind, but can’t seem to find them anywhere…

  4. amanda makes says:

    What a clever idea! Thank you! Hope you and the girls soon feel better! Lots of love, Amanda xxx

  5. Its_Lily says:

    Nutella is a staple in my house. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Now I can add it to milk? Does it get any better than Nutella? No way.

    The hanging bag idea will also be great for storing all those scraps in the sewing room that are awaiting inspiration. Good post! Thank you.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    They look lovely and so useful too. I can think of quite a few ways I could make use of some of those too – thanks for the tip.

  7. Mousy Brown says:

    They are a brilliant idea! I think between us we should write a book with 1000 uses for an old pillowcase πŸ˜€ Hope the cold doesn’t get too bad – keep drinking that hot chocolate, I’m sure it will cure all ills xxx

  8. kristina says:

    What super ideas…for the bags and the Nutella! Hope everyone is feeling better soon. K x

  9. Something even I could do πŸ˜‰

  10. SparklePetal says:

    Genius idea! I should so totally use this to tidy up the pile of face cloths I have on hand in the dining room to swipe over Snow White after her meals! Sadly I don’t have a pillowcase or an embroidery hoop to spare right now, but I can be on the lookout now!

    Hope your germs don’t turn out to be too debilitating. My stinking cold has me unable to speak the last two days πŸ™ It’s not so easy telling your little girl ‘No’ when all you can manage to get out is a feeble squeak…!

  11. Shaunta says:

    What a great idea! I want to make some now. I’m headed to the ‘big city’ this weekend, so I’m going to scour the thrifts for some embroidery hoops. Where did you hang them?

  12. Anna, Sydney says:

    How clever. Useful even for keeping the ugly garbage bags, making them feel prettier too.

    Hope the cold doesn’t get you!

  13. Kate Ross says:

    Hi there
    just popped over from Mary Poppins blog and so glad I did what a fab idea I’m off to do it right now.
    Have a great week

  14. kendra says:

    ooh! love this idea! so fast, easy, and you can re-do or un-do too! thanks!

  15. Sarah says:

    We use lots and lots of rags, too. I like the idea of putting them in a pretty bag. I am one of those crazy people who folds each rag and stacks them neatly (with folded edges aligned)–and then washes about 20 rags per day. I spend too much time folding, I think!

  16. Farmama says:

    I love this idea! I have the same problem with folding the towels and then they end up a big mess! I think I may try this. Thanks for sharing!
    love from sara
    Oh and I hope your cold is just a tiny little quick one!…

  17. This is an excellent idea… I’ve been needing to sort out storage for our cleaning rags too. At the moment they are in a plastic bag dumped under the sink.

    I think I have everything I need to do this too!


  18. Jennifer says:

    I’m so glad everybody liked it, it is really handy and a great way to showcase some pretty fabrics. I hope you girls who are looking for hoops and pillowcases find some soon.

    Shaunta, we have some kitchen cupboards that stick out into the kitchen. I had Hubby hang two large eye hooks at the end of the cupboard (up into the countertop overhang, so that nobody gets hurt on them) and we hang them there. Perfect for the kids to reach and grab one if they need one. Plus, they make the end of the cupboards look nicer.

  19. elizabeth says:

    I love this idea. The girls need to take a bag to collect their valentines in and this will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Almost always I manage to get rid of my junk responsibly but it’s sometimes demotivating when I observe just what some industrialised nations are doing to our beautiful planet!

  21. Marybeth says:

    THANK YOU!!! I have been fussing about wht to do with my dish towels/cleaning rags etc.. I will make one for clean and one for needs to be washed!! AND they will look absolutey perfect hanging with my aprons!! Perfect perfect!

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