Time for a change of Pink.... oh I mean Pace.

My daughter is going to a birthday party tomorrow and I of course dreaded buying yet another gift bag or wrapping paper that would conceal the gift beautifully and then in moments be destroyed and thrown in the trash. Eew.
I knew that the girl who is having the party LOVES Barbie. I means she really loves that doll. I forgot that some little girls play with toys like that. My daughter has always been the type to enjoy playing a game of pretend Star Wars or anything to do with animals. She has never been a big fan of dolls. That is until she had a play date at this friends house. She came home with some Barbie clothes and a doll and she was in love:) Well this post really isn't about all that.
We have been saving these juice bags for about a month now. We only needed 12 barbie bags for this project (which I'm calling 'Operation Birthday bag'). For the sides and bottom I used some old Caprisun pouches we have had kickin around for ages.
All right I have to go. It's almost Earth Hour!!! Time to unplug.

How I Upcycle coffee bean bags into usable tote bags

1 large tote bag takes 21 small coffee bags to complete. Here is a basic photo step by step of how I make it happen.
It all starts with a bag full of coffee:)
Use the coffee to make yummie drinks.
(yes I made these)

Take the empty bag and cut off the top. I do this over and over and over.
I pretty much hate this step
This step takes the longest. I have to lay out all the coffee bags and tear off each sticker. The thing is the stickers don't come off easily. In fact I tear off as much as I can then I have to use Goo Gone to remove the rest of the sticker. This is a messy and lengthy process. I tend to get little cuts under my nails from the sharp edges of the stickers and I dirty a lot of rags. Just to give you an idea of how long this takes, last night I worked on this step for about 5 hours and came out of it with about 60 perfectly clean ready to sew bags.
Step 5
This is what the bags look like once I get all the stickers off. In this picture I have already sewn some pieces together.
Step 6
This is what the front and back panels look like. There's a lot of lining up and measuring of the bags when sewing these parts together.
 Step 7 sewing
This is where I sit and sew and sew for hours. I will usually spend a full day doing prep sewing. This is where I sew the little bags together to make the panels or sides of the tote bags. Then I sew on the velcro and handles. I make sure I have enough parts for each tote and then sew the bags together on another day.
Here I am sewing the piece that covers the velcro. It just looks nicer this way:)
 Step 8
This is where I start piecing the all the parts together. Here is a bag with most of the sides put together.


Life takes over

There are times in our lives where things happen that we are not expecting. Christmas and the weeks leading up to it are always a busy time. This was very true for me and my family. We had a great holiday season and we were ready to jump into 2012!

On January 15th my niece was diagnosed with Leukemia. She is a bright and active 14 year old (Almost 15!). She has been fighting like a warrior these past few months. This has hit our family hard and we have all been focused on supporting my sister, brother in law and the two kids. You can follow their journey here. https://www.facebook.com/Bronwyn.vs.leukemia

I am jumping back into my sewing and upcycling. This past week I have found it relaxing to make some bags. I thought you might be interested to see my process for creating the large tote bags. In my next post you will see pictures and get some info on the whole process. Check back tomorrow!