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Friday, January 3, 2014

How to make recycled net bags into a scrub pad

We get various goods in net bags and quite often we just tear them open and pull out our onions, citrus fruits, and occasionally other produce and toss the bags. Don't toss them. They are useful for a ton of other uses. Quite a few of them pack down rather small awaiting use.

This is a bag full of bags that I've saved up over time. When you open your bags, don't just rip them open, if they have removable closures, use them. Don't worry if you do have a couple ripped bags, those can get folded into the center of the scrubbie. If the bags are stapled shut, take the time to snip off the very ends.

Whole heap of bags sorted out. As you can see there are some different grades of netting and different closures. These need to be cleaned up of labels and such. What needs to be cleaned up?
These are bags that aren't suitable for making into scrubbies- the more woven stuff or mostly plastic bags. These are really good for other uses though.

These are bags flower bulbs came in. They are nice because they are a sealed envelope.

Your typical onion bags
Cut off just the staple at the end!

Another typical bag type

Trim off right below the tag.

Ok, now that that's done, whew. We have a bunch of bits to put together. Of course going through a whole bag like this is a chore, but you can do it as a winter project :)

To keep it simple, you stack and fold in a bunch of bags. What combinations you use is up to you.

 This is three bags that have been stretched out to be sort of even, stacked. If you have a ripped bag, it will go onto the top of the stack so it's folded in.
 First fold, tucking raw edges inside
 Second fold, tucking raw edges inside
Turn 90 degrees, then third fold
And finally fourth fold.

 Now for stitching. Start in one corner, leaving a tail for tying off. Stitch all the way around
 Make sure your last stitch come out on the same side you left your tail. Tie your tails together, and snip off the extra.

And here we have the done scrubbie!

Made up one quick over the holiday as my last scrubbie was dying. Used 3 bags stacked, folded thrice and against that thrice again, then used a fat yarn needle and a scrap of yarn to seal the sides. It works great!

Using one of those sealed envelope bags is even easier.
 Stack and fold your bags like in the above. You might need to fold more or in quarters to get it to fit nice.
 Stuff those suckers in and lay them down nice.
 Fold over, and stitch along just the one side, being sure to leave a tail when you start to tie off at the end.
 Stitching and tying done! Now this scrubby has extra layers of the heavier yellow netting to make a more "scouring" side to the pad.

Fear not if you have zero stitching skills!
 These bags typically have small stuff, glass pebbles or marbles, small soaps, tea candles and so on.
 Take the lock off. Notice the barbs on the loop? Those need to be eased out of the cuff.
 Roll up a bunch of net bags and stuff the one net bag. Then put the loop and cap back on, being sure to do it tight so the bags are a firm ball.
And poof! Round ball scrubbie with zero crafting skills! You can cut off the tail end of the bag if you find it annoying.

So next time you think about tossing those bags or buying a new scrubbie- don't.

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