Monday, May 30, 2011

Dye Your Reusable Shopping Bags

OK,  so this is one of those things that started out as something bad and turned into something great.   I discovered that some of my reusable shopping bags were stained.  It was quite disappointing because I really like them since they are made out of organic cotton and a lot more washable than the other reusable bags out there, (recycled plastic kind).  Oh, they'll probably withstand a few washings, but will eventually break down.   So, now what do I do with my stained bags?  I tried soaking them in Oxy Clean, but that didn't work real well, maybe if I had washed them right away, but they sat a couple days without being tended to.  I'm a really good procrastinator!  I was busy!  So then I soaked them in bleach, which took away most of the organic cotton color, no big loss for me.  Now what do I do?  How about dyeing them a nice coral pink?  Of course I did not find exactly the shade of pink dye I had pictured in my head, so I bought 2 boxes of pink and one box of red and filled my washer half full of hot water along with the dye.  The bags immediately turned a light red color.  I still wanted them more of a pink, so I finished filling the washer to full capacity, (hoping they'd lighten up) and then went out to my car in search of more bags to dye.  (I can't waste a good dye bath!)  I found a few more in my trunk.  Those bags did not get pre-washed like the others, so they dyed more of the color I was after.  I really like this happy "accident" of sorts.  How fun is shopping gonna be with my more "personalized" shopping bags?  I would so do this again!  Except that they did require lots of ironing after they came out of the washer and dryer.  So, what do you think?


After (Salmon Red)

After (Salmon Pink)

Another idea I have rolling around in my head, is to sew a panel of cute fabric down the middle of the bag, covering up the writing and therefore personalizing them (I thought of this before they were dyed).  This panel could also be a pocket if left un-sewn at the top.  But I'll stick with these for now.  Way cheaper and easier too.  I'm sure I'll definitely use them more now that they are cute and girly.  Oh, and by the way.  Most of the bags I bought were $1.00.  The first couple of bags I bought were about $3.00, but a year or so later, they were only $1.00, so much easier and cheaper than buying fabric to make my own.  And now they are cute too!