Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Grandmother's Apron Carryall

**See the bottom of this post for a short tutorial on how to "football fold" a grocery bag. This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

I like to reuse the plastic grocery bags that I get from the supermarket. There are times that I have so many that I end up with terrible storage issues. Years ago I had them stuffed into a couple of tubular fabric grocery bag holders until they both broke. I never really liked those holders because they do nothing to reduce bulk. Since then, I have been stuffing them into other grocery bags as you can see in the photo below. This method is the absolute worst and is extremely bulky.


Yesterday, I decided to try and fold the bags into the smallest, flattest pieces possible. After fiddling around a bit, I resorted to the only fold that I know that is compact and stays together without coming undone.

My hubby played finger football as a child and he taught us this fold. He would take a strip of paper and fold it into a "football" and play a game of finger football with his friends. This game also kept our son entertained for hours when he was a little boy.

I spent some time in front of the television folding these bags into little triangles and tossed them into a laundry basket for the time being. When my son returned home from classes, the first thing that he said when he saw them was, "Footballs! What are you going to do with all those footballs?" I had to laugh because he's 21 years old now and he still recognizes these triangles as footballs.

There are ninety-seven plastic grocery bags in this pile. As you can see, this has tremendously reduced the bulk.


Of course, once I had these folded and reduced in size, I had to come up with a suitable storage container that would be non-bulky and allow us easy access at the same time. As you can see, my grocery bag holder is modeled after a peg or clothespin bag. I am calling this design, Grandmother's Apron, just because it reminds me of one.

All ninety-seven "footballs" fit nicely in the Grandmother's Apron Carryall with room to spare. Mission accomplished!!

On another note...Mousie sends smoochies to all of his Aunties that sent him virtual hugs and kisses! He's feeling much better today and will soon be back to his favorite activities like hiding in cardboard boxes and shredding them to bits and pieces!

I would like to thank you all for your wonderful comments and emails of caring and support. You have all been so kind and it has meant the world to me that you care. We're hoping that it is what we all suspected, constipation! My heartfelt thanks goes out to you all!


Have a happy day, everyone!

Aloha!



TUTORIAL--HOW TO "FOOTBALL FOLD" A GROCERY BAG.


Neatly flatten your grocery bag.


Fold in half lengthwise.



Fold in half again.



Start at the bottom end of the bag. Fold up one corner. If the folded portion looks like a triangle, you're on the right track.



Continue folding...



...until you've reached the handle.



Fold the handle in half. It may require more than 1 fold depending on the length of the handle. The handle should end up being about an inch long.



Fold up one corner (the side that is slanted).



Tuck the handle into the opening in the triangle.



Flatten with your hand. All done!!


Happy Recycling!

66 comments:

craftydiane said...

What a great idea, Lettie! My brother loved playing with those little footballs! I will have to try this with my bags. I have been folding them but like you said they always come back open. It is nice to see someone else reuses the plastic bags. It seems everybody is making the shopping bags to take and use instead of having their groceries put in plastic bags. I like to use them to take my lunch in and we use them in small trash cans as liners.
Have a Blessed Day,
Diane

Catherine said...

What a great idea!!! Love the holder and please, please can we have a tutorial on how to fold the bags like that?
Smudge & Lester are very pleased to hear Mousie is doing better!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Great idea. Leave it to you. Glad kitty is ok. That constipation will get you everytime.

Juana Elena said...

wooow,excelente idea para guardar y reciclar las bolsas del supermercado amiga,me gustan mucho tu blog y tus tutoriales,saluditos....

Juana Elena said...

I´m sorry,i not speak english....

The Blue Plum Shop said...

Very cool! I'm in the process of cutting strips of plastic bags. I'm having knee surgery next week and I'm going to keep myself busy by crocheting the strips onto hangers. Guess I should take some pics for a tutorial...:)

Craftpassion said...

Great idea! Love your Grandmother's Apron Carryall! I will go back and start folding my huge bulk of plastic bags. Thanks!

Mary said...

I love this! I'll be folding my bags from now on; thanks.

sweetiepie said...

This looks like a better way to fold them than the way I do it. Mine have a tendency to flip open. I also love Grandmother's Apron. Very cute.

Take care.

Sandra :) said...

OH YAY!!! Zoomer and I are really happy to hear Mouse is feeling better -- he's gorgeous, and I hope he has "clear saililng" from now on :)

Love the bag (or clothespin) holder!

AverettLadyNana said...

Thank you so much for the tut on folding the plastic shopping bags. I wondered yesterday how you had done it and was going to go back today to leave a comment and ask you to tell how you folded them.

Pam said...

Love this idea. I have an under the sink bag that takes up way too much room. This is a project I will have to try. Thanks for sharing.

Melody said...

Looks like I have another thing to add on my list of things that I MUST make! I relly like this idea. The thing I use is a white plastic holder that is getting old, dirty and gross.

Thanks for so many great ideas.

Tudy said...

What a neat idea. I am going to do it too. Living in a mobile home it can get very rough to store all those bags and I hate to throw them in the trash. Thanks again.

Hope all goes well with the constpation.

Aunt Jenny said...

Great idea! My oldest boys and husband (and me too!) would know right away that those are "footballs". How fun. I can use a cute clothepsin bag instead of the ugly tubular cloth bag that I never liked the looks of...thanks so much for the idea!!
I have a couple of 12 year olds that can be set to work folding bags! I tend to use my cloth resusable bags when I go big shopping, but if I stop real quick for one or two things, or send husband to the store I still end up with bags..I love this idea!

Suze said...

My mom folds all of her plastic bags like this. I have my plastic bags at school folded like this in my desk drawer. Now to do this at home will take me forever! 8)

Poppedijne said...

What a great idea. Here in Belgium we do not get anymore grocerybags. You are obliged to carry reuseble bags and if you want a plastic bag you have to pay for it. If only I have known this trick some years agoo!!! Your blog is so fantastic. This week I teached my quilting students the money flower. They all loved it!!

Annette said...

That is so cool!! Thanks. I am going to give it a try.

jmk said...

Fabulous idea! I had a bag stuffed in a box with some yarn I'm working with at the moment and just gave it a try. Perfect. Thanks for sharing.

Clare said...

I love the football folds. If I did this my sons (even though they are adults) - would probably be shooting them all over the house. I also cut the plastic into strips and crochet reusable bags out of them. I think I will fold some just to store in a cute clothes pin bag.
I'm glad your kitty is feeling better.

Stephanie D. said...

Oh, my, I haven't played paper football in years!

I use the bags to line the small trash cans, but it's easy for them to overflow. However, the grocery store has a large recycling bin for the plastic bags right outside the door, and I discovered the food bank needs bags all the time, so I don't have to worry about overage now. I'll have to find something else to put in that cute little bag!

Charlsey said...

How clever you are. My husband taught our daughters to play "football" with sugar packets in restaurants. I will definitely have to fold some plastic bags for them. My daughters are 26 and 37 and they still play sugar packet football. Now my grandchildren are joining in the fun. Thanks for the reminder of great memories.
Charlsey

Lorraine said...

I love your Grandmother's carryall. I remember the boys in middle school used to play football as soon as they were done eating lunch and all during study halls in the cafeteria. What a memory and what a lot of folding you did!

waltraut said...

What an interesting way to keep plastic bags tidy. I tried it immediately and it looked very good. Even my sons wanted to know where I found that idea.
But nobody ever had heard about folding paperfootballs, so I put the whole thing in my blog. I hope it is allright with you.
Greetings from Switzerland

jenniferw said...

This is brilliant! Thanks for a great idea, Lettie!

Huckebein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Huckebein said...

Lettie, this idea is so great! Today I foled all my bags and my husbad was surprised. simple but good

greetings from germany!

suebear said...

This idea is really great can't wait to get home to clean up that pile of plastic bags. Then will make the apron to put them in it will look great on the inside of my pantry

Posti4 said...

I so love this idea! My under the sink cabinet is full of plastic bags! I am going to get to work! Thanks for posting, JudyP

ooperhapsoo said...

soooo super cool!!! thank you so much for your tutorial!!!!! i have learned sooo much from you today and can't even steer from your page!!! THANK YOU!!!! you make my life soooo much easier!

Mrs. V. said...

This is such a wonderful idea! I have so many of these hanging around because I use them to clean up the kitty litter box. I love how you have figured out how to reduce the bulk.

Sewloony said...

I just stumbled upon your blog (literally) and i think that the plastic bag footballs are a brilliant way to reduce bulk. I currently have 3 large bags of bags taking up space in my pantry so hello more space!!! Thankyou so much!!

Sarah said...

Fantastic idea! I have so many of these. They are becoming a problem. Problem now solved. I can't thank you enough.

Anna said...

That is exactly how i fold my bags!!! I was so exited to see it here. They look smart, and don't need so much space. Lovely.

Tanya said...

I hate the ugly, bulky mess of plastic bags. This is a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing. Do you also have a tutorial for making the Grandmothers Apron bag? I would love to make that too.

BumbleVee said...

I fold my grocery bags that are perfect...and just stuff in the rest that are only good for liners or fridge foods because they have openings in them..... that way I can always tell which ones have no splits or holes in them. My "foldeds" are not quite as perfect as yours..but, eh... it's still pretty tidy....

anneg said...

Thanks for sharing this great idea with us. I just dropped into your blog, and I have already tried to fold the plasticbag. Wow!
Thanks from Anne in Tromso, Norway:-)

Kitty said...

that's how my dad always folded his hankies ever since he was in the Navy when everything had to remain neat in a duffle bag.

It's also how flags are folded, which is why I always knew it as a flag fold.

Abt your Storage bag, it reminds me of the old fashioned clothes pin bags. I love it. Thanks for the cool memories.

rachna said...

Hi Lettie,discovered the link to your site,I really find your recycling ideas phenomenal, uyou are really great at the job

TCahal said...

This is such a great idea!! Thank you so much for sharing! I have a million and one bags that I need to get to folding :o)

Lisa said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!! I have a lot of bags to fold...

Merry said...

Brilliant...off to fold some plastic bags. :-)

Ru said...

Hello Arlette,
What a lovely blog!! And I have learnt a lot from here. Thanks for all the tutorials you post. Would it be OK if I linked them to my blog( I just started a new one...:))--especially the 'folding the grocery bag' tute?
Thanks.
Rupi.

Ru said...

Thanks for dropping by. Your blog has some super, super ideas. There is so much to learn here!! Thanks for sharing all this stuff.

Naturally Me Creations said...

This is such a handy idea! My gran showed me how to do this a few years back, i still use it! :) Such a tidy space saver.

Arevilo said...

You saved me with this tutorial :)
Thanks!

Debbie said...

Brilliant! Thank you for sharing!!!

Christy said...

I played with these as a little kid - so much fun! I got right up, before I even commented to give this a try - brilliant!!

Lkekko said...

What a Great Idea... Your one of the best

SensationallySarah said...

Thank you so much for your post! It is such a fabulous idea!

Here is a link to my own football folding experience because of your blog!

http://sensationallysrh.blogspot.com/2012/02/fabulous-football-folding.html

ant1nella said...

From across the other side of the Pacific in Austalia, a warm G'day and thanks for a brilliant idea in organizing those pesky plastic bags, that seem to somehow multiply... ant1nella

Swimming Upstream said...

Just stumbled upon this posted on pinterest and I love it!

AmyJ said...

Love this. I found on another link (I think it was on Pinterest) to store them in used tissue boxes.
Works great. I put one under each bathroom sink for the waste cans in there..
Another idea is to place the footballs in the bottom of the waste cans UNDER the bag in use, then you always have one handy.

Melinda said...

Great idea for the plastic bags! I usually bring reusable bags to the store, but still end up with plastic bags (great for cleaning up after the dog).

LiveLoveGoPreach said...

Kept kids busy for hours...all trying to see whose was best! Plus now hubby and I have footballs to play with on date nights...can't tell you how many people we have accidentally hit while waiting for our dinner at a restaurant...Good times! :)

Karen Roth said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the super easy tutorial! It's a big help!

Now I just may need to keep some of the plastic bags I have been giving to my sister-in-law now :o).... I also found another cute tutorial somewhere else on making a plarn clothes hamper that I want to try.

Just think people if you quit using plastic bags then you will no longer have plarn to play with :o) No more cool market bags, no more rugs, no more bowls....that would be a sad day! People will just find other trash to throw in the lakes, rivers and oceans.

Anyhoo, how about getting us a tutorial on the Grandma's Apron carryall, it is just too cute and I would really love to create one for myself and both of my sister-in-laws :o)

candi said...

I can't believe I didn't know how to do this. so easy and so much better than stuffing the bags into an empty bag and not.being able to close the cabinet door! Thank you!

Annalyn said...

Wow! That was way too easy! I just did it. Thanks for the great idea!

Denise said...

I used to fold my notes like this in middle school! Great idea!

Marva said...

Oh how cool! I came across your Tute on Pinterest! That will save me sooo much room! And I see you have all kinds of sewing tutorials! So glad I found your blog!

Angie - Bumble Bee's Craft Den said...

Wow great idea!! Just tried it, so easy!!! Thanks!!

John & Hannah said...

Fantastic idea! I am going to have to see if I can make the fold work for me.... then I am going to carry lots of these in my diaper bag for cloth diapers, for potty training little ones, for who knows-what-that-happens! Thanks for the great idea!

Hobby Sewer said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. This is so neat and easy. I have already started folding.

Lindsey Stell said...

Hi, I am with Sage Magazine and we would love to feature this in our magazine. Just let us know if you are interested. Thank you! sagemagazineonline@gmail.com, sagemagazineonline.com

Melissa French - The More With Less Mom said...

I have linked to this post in my article Frugal Road Trip with Kids – What To Bring http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/06/02/frugal-road-trip-with-kids-what-to-bring/

Mum said...

Thank you so much for this great idea. I can't wait to get started.
Love from Mum
xx