Thursday, 17 June 2010

43 cats to make one bag

Thank you for all your comments on the Scrapstore post, some good ideas there. I went again today. It's looking a bit bare now, and thankfully most of it has been passed on to teachers for their crafting classes and to playgroup leaders. I picked out some more fabric offcuts, and other bits and pieces for myself, I also bought a cupboard and an office chair. I have left strict instructions not to dump any fabric, foam, or rolls of window blind fabric, I will collect and store them for future use.

Another reason for going was to show them my latest bag made from 35 Felix cat food pouches. It is fully lined and very strong. I am throwing such a lot of these away, and they are so pretty, I was determined to make something from them.

First of all I had to think of a way to remove the food without damaging the pouch. The normal way is the tear the top off, but if you look at the bottom it has a gusset, so I took a small sharp craft knife with a pointy blade and carefully sliced through the bottom without damaging the outside. After they were empty I washed them in the washing up bowl after I had done the pots, and left them to dry for a couple of days on the drainer.

My first idea was to use all the four colours, but then I thought it would look better using just the red and yellow.

I machine stitched it all, and started by sewing four pouches together to make a vertical strip, then joining the strips by sewing the horizontal seams. I held them in place with cellotape at the back while I stitched them because they have to fit together very precisely. The seams are flat with a very narrow overlap.

Then I made the two sides using four pouches for each, and joined them to the back and front, with the seams on the outside.

The bottom is three pouches, and this is the only place you can see any of the writing. I have overlapped all the others to hide it. The hardest part was sewing the bottom in. I did each seam separately, starting right at the beginning and sewing right to the end. It would have been impossible to sew around the corners, it is far too thick.

The top is folded inwards to hide the writing, and the lining is a piece of fabric given to me, the blue matches the pouches exactly.

The handles have a vinyl stiffener inside them and are inserted between the outer and the lining. It is finished off with two rows of machine stitching around the top edge.

I am very pleased how this has turned out, I think I will make another now with the turquise and pink pouches. They will look lovely on my display at the Arts Centre.


  1. Wow! What a wonderful bag! Inspiring!

  2. What fabulous ideas you have!!!

  3. Oh my goodness, you are such a clever lady:) I would certainly buy one. Being a cat lover and owner it's tops in my book. Linda xx

  4. That is fab Ilona, well done.
    Twiggy x

  5. Love all your ideas! Cute bag especially for a cat lover.

  6. That is stunning, the kids at school make bags and pencil cases out of crisp bags, when they do that in their craft lesson, they dig them out of the bins, wash them and then make bags - your bag is fab

  7. This is lovely. I was wondering if your feline friend(s) having done so well in providing you with enough pouches to make a bag could take to drinking wine too! I need 350 proper corks to make two of the lovely bathmats on the link below. Only ten so far even after a trip to France.

  8. That bag is great, thanks for following my blog. I'm still thinking about the scrapstore, i think its dreadful that the council dont want to know, I think this will happen more and more due to the pending cuts x

  9. I love the bag! What a brilliant use for something that would be otherwise thrown away. I have only recently discovered your blog and I really enjoy reading it, you are an inspiration.

  10. What a fantastic bag, and what a clever, innovative and creative lady you are.

  11. ...and in the style of Andy Warhol too.


  12. That's terrific - clever lady.

  13. Hello!
    I saw this post today and I just wanted to say your bag looks lovely. Oh, and you can sell it. Probably.

    "What?" you say? Besides the fact it's very artsy and fashionable, I've seen something similar in a store in Bath. I'm sorry, I don't remember what it was called. I was just a visitor. But they had large bags made out of juice packets (the bendy ones) and the like, as well as picture frames and mirror frames made out of rolled/folded (recycled) newspaper with a varnish overtop. I'm not sure on the prices, but they did look quite funky.

    Mayhaps if you ever made more you could sell them yourself? Perhaps even to this store??

    Anyway. Lovely bag!


  14. I've started keeping cat food pouches to do this, do you use the double thickness of pouch or single thickness? thanks