Go ahead, say it. I know you are thinking it. I've gotten smug. My DIY kick has gone to my head and I think that I can do anything. I know, I don't blame you for wanting to slap me around a little. I've been making homemade bread, triple batches of dinners for the freezer, homemade chicken stock from leftover bones and stuff...I'm starting to annoy myself. (Though the chicken stock is really good, you should try it.)
Rest assured, my friends, you do not have to come over here and slap me. I have already been taken down a notch by the unlikeliest of things...plastic shopping bags. We all have these bags taking up space in our houses. Right now we have a nice stainless steel container from Crate and Barrel that houses up to 50 of the little buggers, but of course that isn't enough. We line the trash cans in the bathrooms and bedrooms with used Target bags, and yet, we still have bags stuffed in closets, hanging out in the garage, down in the basement and in the car. A normal person would gather all of these bags and take them to the nearest grocery store and put them in the bag recycling bins that most stores have out in front. But you should know by now that I am not a normal person. I was bound and determined to find some other PURPOSE for these bags that would save the earth or something.
Imagine my joy when I received my daily email from Tip Nut (www.tipnut.com) with a link to a page telling you how to make your own reusable grocery bags from the plastic bags they give you at the store. Hooray! I quickly read through all the steps and gathered the supplies and decided to give it a try. This was my fatal mistake. First of all this project involves melting several layers of these bags together to create a kind of "fabric" which you then cut in pieces and sew into a bag.
Let me say that again: You. Melt. The. Plastic. Bags. With. A. Hot. Iron.
Picture this: A stupid woman heats up her iron. She places several layers of cheap plastic bags between two sheets of parchment paper and slowly moves the iron back and forth. With a loud gasp, she realizes that the iron is too hot even though it is at the recommended setting according to the online instructions and the plastic is now melting, shrinking rapidly and starting to smoke. The woman's oldest child enters the room and becomes alarmed and only through some rapid word play is he convinced to abandon his quest for the fire extinguisher. A second attempt is made with a lower iron setting and a small section of plastic fabric is created. The woman is pleased with herself and momentarily forgets she is holding a hot iron. Stupid woman burns herself on the iron, cursing loudly. Oldest child pretends not to hear Mommy say naughty grownup words at the top of her lungs. By this time, child number three is finished with her nap and further attempts must be abandoned. Time to create 1 panel of a 6 panel project: 90 minutes.
I didn't even make it to the sewing part of this project. The end result in the pictures on the website looked absolutely adorable, but I was hot, pissed off and burnt. Yes, I would have been able to rid myself of about 64 plastic bags in one shot by making one reusable grocery bag with a handle. But, I might have burned the house down in the process and spent 10 hours doing it. At least that's what I told myself when I drove down to the A&P with my carload of bags, shoved them into the recycling bin and went inside and spent $4 on 3 pre-made reusable bags. Best $4 I ever spent.