Monday, 1 February 2016

Repurposing a Calico Flour Bag

On a very hot and steamy Sunday, I cocooned myself inside to make a sweet birthday gift for a very special Grandma. I wanted to work with what I had in my stash so I turned an old calico flour bag into a pretty drawstring bag that could be used for storing the small craft supplies she loves to work with. A practical, reusable gift to encourage her to indulge in her love of crafts. This is how I made it:

 Gather supplies:  calico flour bag, embroidery piece, pretty fabric and a length of ribbon.

Cut out a piece of pretty fabric, using pinking shears, to fit on the front of the calico bag. 
(This covers the print on the front of the bag.)
Turn over a hem on the embroidery, press with an iron and pin onto pretty fabric.

Fold down the opening of the bag so width of folded calico is just wider than your ribbon.
Fold calico over itself again.  Pin just above the edge.
 Remember to leave gap to thread ribbon through (see vertical pins in photo above).

Sew all around the edge of your embroidery to secure it to your pretty fabric. 
Sew just above the edge of the folded hem you've made around the opening of your bag. 
(Don't sew across the gap your have left for your ribbon.)

Position and pin your fabric, with embroidery sewn on, to the front of your calico bag.

Hand stitch close to the edge of your pretty fabric to secure to the front of your calico bag.
I sewed a simple running stitch with embroidery floss in a coordinating colour.

Turn bag inside out. Attach a safety pin to one end of your ribbon. 
Slide the safety pin into the gap you left in the hem around the opening of your bag.
Push the safety pin all the way around, pulling the ribbon with it.
Pull the safety pin back out through the same gap you threaded it into.
Cut two ends of ribbon to same length and knot the ends together.

Turn the bag right-side out and pull the ribbon so that it closes the opening.

Now all that is left to do is to fill this sweet little bag with crafting treasures. For our special Granny, we are putting in all the supplies she needs to knit a very cute little lollipop rabbit. When she's finished her bunny, she can refill her bag, not with flour, but with crafting supplies for her next little project.

I hope you had time for some crafting on your weekend too. 


p.s. Tomorrow, some sewing for a very different purpose!


  1. I love the sweet peas. She is a lucky Granny!

    1. Thanks, Lucy! Sweet peas are my most favourite flower because of their delicate scent. And this Granny is my most favourite Mum!

  2. Well isn't that a pretty bag, Meg. Well done.

    1. Thanks! I have a few more flour bags and a few more embroidered flowers. Just have to make the time to stitch them together.

  3. Oh wow! I love this. Such a great idea. xo

    1. Thanks, Julie. It was a really quick project to sew because I already had the floral embroideries from a project I began years ago and never finished. I made another like this years ago where I embroidered a sunflower from a drawing my then little boy had made. That turned out really well too:)