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Reusable shopping bags – get your DIY on!!

Australia has been moving towards banning free single use plastic bags for some time.  From 1 July 2018, free single use plastic bags will be phased out from major retails stores, making them banned virtually nationwide.

Bans of single use plastic bags in various states started back in 2009, with Queensland and Western Australia being the latest states to ban single use bags on 1 July.

Each year, major supermarket chain customers would use an estimated 6 billion plastic bags.  That’s a lot of plastic bags!

So now what? There are plenty of options for reusable bags, but have you considered making your own?

They are not as difficult as you may think!  Alana from Rosie Petal Patterns has a fabulous reusable bag pattern for the DIYers! Based in Australind in the South West of WA, Alana developed a pattern to suit the major supermarket bag packing racks – making them easy to pack, no fuss!

This is what Alana has to say about developing her pattern:

“Around August last year I began experimenting with fabric shopping bags. I was surprised to find there was a bit of a science to it! After consulting with my audience at Rosie Petal and experimenting with my prototypes, my check list of “must haves” were: They must fit in the bag holders at all the major shops, they must be compact enough to be stored inside my handbag, and they must be strong and comfortable to handle and carry. And of course, be beautiful! Many months have passed since then, and I am so happy to wake up to new stories of people having fun sewing their BYO bags. I love stories of stashes being sewn up instead of lingering on the shelves, and how they are being gifted to dear ones, school fetes and fundraisers. A practical gift is the best kind in my book!”

For once in my life, I am actually prepared for a change!  I’ve been planning this for ages, as I ALWAYS forget to bring grocery bags with me!

I purchased Alana’s pattern some months ago to test them out in preparation for this change in Queensland.  The pattern is really easy to follow, with both pattern pieces or measurements provided, depending on which works better for you.  They don’t take long to make, but I do suggest if you are making several at a time, cut them all on one go and make them in a ‘production style’ (ie make all straps at once, sew all bag components first etc).  Alana also has her own pattern group, so if you are stuck, you can always ask for tips and advice.

I love how you can completely personalise the bags – use bright fabrics, use your favourite licensed character fabric, upcycle with vintage sheets, spots and stripes – the options are endless!

They also make a fabulous handmade gift for friends and family, or end of year gift for teachers.

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DIY Handmade Lip Balm

As the Christmas season looms, it can sometimes be difficult to find unique gifts to give friends and family that won’t break your budget.

Well look not further! This DIY tutorial is so easy, AND it’s super cost effective!!!

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Finger Knitting a Christmas Tree Card by Amanda’s Woollen World

It’s that time of year when we start seeing all the Christmas items pop up in the shops and my little 6 year old thinks Christmas is tomorrow! She always wants to have some yarn on the go (like mother, like daughter) and like most little kids I know, she loves to make cards. So we decided this year to combine her love of yarn and card making and to finger knit a Christmas Tree this year and then make it into a Christmas Card.

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