Thursday, September 22, 2011

Up-Cycling: Goat Tote Bags

My five dairy goats eat grain that comes in woven polypropylene bags. The bags are great for getting feed to us from the factory without torn bags or water damage. But, after looking at some articles online, I found out that these woven polypropylene bags are not biodegradable and are not recyclable. I buy two bags of grain per week, which stack up after a while because the material seems too durable to throw away.

I saw some shopping bags made of woven polypropylene, and found directions for how to sew them myself online. Roughly, you cut off the lower quarter of the bag to center the cute label and sew the bottom together with the sewing machine. Cut the leftover piece into strips for handles. The material is difficult to sew, and the thread breaks a lot. I think if I used a fancy commercial sewing machine, I could get through my stack faster!

I made two goat chow tote bags, to test them out. I can fit eight of the half gallon glass canning jars I use to hold goat milk in one bag. This makes taking clean jars out to the barn much easier! I also use them take things to Sunday Market and bring home things I buy there. The material is waterproof, which is nice on rainy days. So far, the bags have lasted with heavy use for six months.

While at Sunday Market, a vendor who buys sugar in woven polypropylene bags saw them and asked me to sew her bags too. She is planning to use them for Christmas gifts. I have the goat chow bags for sale at my Sunday Market space, and am thinking up other items I can make with the bags.

Goat tested and approved!