In an effort to use as few plastic bags as possible, I have more tote bags than anyone could carry. And if I see one I like, I’m probably gonna add it to the collection. Extra points if it gets really small and packs itself up! But I also like those retro style rope bags that are great for carrying produce or bottles. They’re very resistant, virtually weightless, and they’re essential in the everyday trip to the grocery store. So I decided to make my own. After trying a few versions, I ended up making this one in 3 shades of pink and using the most basic of knots. Read on for the full instructions!
What you need:
- 15 m string (I used 3 colors) + extra for the handles
- (optional) bowl, adhesive tape
Cut 12 pieces of string measuring 125 cm each (or longer, if you want a longer bag).
Divide the strings into two groups of six. Arrange them on the bottom of an upside down bowl or simply on the floor/table. The groups of string should meet at the middle.
Stick the horizontal group to the bowl with tape to secure in place. Take one piece of string from the second group and pull it over and under the horizontal strings. Do the same with the others, alternating rows like you would weave. This will be the bottom of your bag, so make it as tight or loose as you wish.
Now knot the strings two by two, close to the weaving.
When you’ve completed a round, move on to the second row. Take two strings from neighboring knots, and knot them together, a few centimeters lower. Do this all around and keep alternating strings to form diamond shapes.
I made a total of 5 rounds of knots. You can make more or less, depending on your preference and string length.
Now you can cut the string ends to the same size and divide them into two groups, as shown above.
Take your first group of string ends and divide it in half again. You will have 6 strings in each group. Knot, glue, sew or melt their ends together. To cover, take a separate piece of string or rope and knot it very tightly using the buttonhole stitch technique. Repeat for the other handle.
This is what my produce bag looks like empty. I like how using different colors of string created a pretty gradient effect!
When I started this blog in 2010, I was making jewelry like a madwoman, almost every day. I had a table set up in front of the window and everything. I guess I’ve lost excitement over the years, probably around the time I closed my online jewelry shop. And then came the DIY tutorials… These I still like making, although I haven’t been feeling as creative lately.
One medium that can cure such a rut is clay. Lately, all the projects I think of are based on air dry clay. Despite having to wait 24 hours for it to dry, I think it’s great to work with. I love that it’s white, like a canvas, and I love how easily sandpaper can alter its look. And that’s how I made these faceted beads.
What you need:
- air dry clay
- nail polish in different colors
DIY faceted beads:
1. Using air dry clay, make balls in different sizes. Pass a toothpick through each one and allow them to dry completely (about 24 hours, depending on the clay you use).
2. Rub each bead with sandpaper to make the facets.
3. Paint the beads with nail polish. I used three girly colors on every bead, but you can choose a color for each bead or a single color for all of them. Whatever tickles your fancy!
If you use more than one color on a bead, remember to wait for the first color to dry before proceeding.
You can align the beads on a string or chain to create a necklace or bracelet. You can also mix them up with ready-made beads and stones for a unique look.
Go here for the tutorial on how to make the embroidery hoop pinboard.