How to Reuse Coffee Sacks and make a coffee sack bag

coffee sack bagIt’s been quite a while since I last posted a tutorial and with the summer holidays in full swing that (hopefully) means extra time on your hands for getting crafty. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to reuse coffee sacks and make a coffee sack bag!

I love old coffee sacks with their rustic charm but finding a use for them can be harder than you think. They’re made for strength which means the material can be quite rough with a largish weave. They’d make great looking cushions but you might not enjoy leaning against them but their hardwearing nature makes them perfect for a shopping bag tote!

What You’ll Need

1 Coffee Sack

Colourful/patterned fabric to use as lining

Fabric to make bag handles (needs to be reasonably strong, not a lightweight cotton)

coffeesack1Step 1

Give the sacks a good wash, it’s easiest to do this in a rubber tub outside if you can, then peg up on a washing line to drip dry.

coffeesack2Step 2

Once dry cut out two large rectangles from the sack, both the same size as each other. The actual size you cut will depend on the design printed on your sack and how large a bag you want to make. As long as both rectangles are the same size it doesn’t really matter.

Step 3

Using your lining fabric cut another two rectangles the same size as those made from the coffee sack.

coffeesack3Step 4

Now take the fabric you have chosen for the bag handles and cut two identical long rectangles of fabric (length is dependent on how long you want you handles). Fold each long rectangle in half and iron to make a centre crease. Unfold the rectangle, fold each of the cut edges into the centre meeting the ironed crease, iron into place and then refold in half. This should enclose the cut edges. Sew along the open side.

coffeesack4Step 5

The handles can now be sewn onto the right side of each coffee sack rectangle along the top short edge.

coffeesack5Step 6

Next sew the top edges of the lining fabric rectangles to the top edges of the coffee sack rectangles (right sides together). The handles will hang between these two layers.

coffeesack6Step 7

You can now sew the whole bag together. Unfold the lining and coffee sack piece that you sewed together in the last step. Lay with the right side up onto a table, then lay the other coffee sack/lining piece on top so that the right sides of the fabric are together. It will make one large rectangle which you sew all the way around leaving a gap at the bottom of the lining.

coffeesack7Step 8

Before turning the right way we’re going to give the base of the bag some structure. To do this you need to squash each of the four corners to make a triangle and then sew straight across (see pic), do this to each of the corners. If you’re unfamiliar with this technique then check out this tutorial on the sewing directory.  Trim off the excess fabric.

coffeesack8Now turn the entire piece the right way out through the gap left in the lining. Sew closed the gap in the lining and push inside the bag.

Optional Step: Once the bag is complete you can top stitch around the top edge of the bag to give a good finish and extra rigidity.

Furniture Shopping

A while ago I was helping my parents pick out a new chest of drawers when it became apparent that buying a quality piece of furniture can be prohibitively expensive.

In my house we’ve always had a preference for solid wood construction but this seems a rarity in high street stores and if you can find it you pay a huge premium for the pleasure. If like me you enjoy an antique look, then it is possible to pick up some great pieces at auctions and online sales, however you are limited in terms of design and the added concern of condition checks can make purchases a lengthy process.

If you’re looking for a modern look you are even more limited! However I’ve recently discovered Furniture Plus Online who stock some beautiful solid oak and pine furniture at great prices, so I thought it was worth sharing a few pieces with you all today.

mcod350Mottisfont Waxed Solid Pine 11 Drawer Multi Chest  

My parents loved the Mottisfont chest of drawers with its clean lines and apothecary appearance. The combination of ascending drawer sizes makes this a versatile piece of furniture that could also double as a small sideboard.

lundyLundy Painted 2 over 3 Chest

I loved the Lundy pine painted chest of drawers. Made in the UK from solid pine and available with a solid oak top I think it would look beautiful sat in my bedroom.

sideboardMottisfont Painted Pine Chichester Sideboard

I love this sideboard! The drawer pulls are beautiful and the colour would look very at home in my dining room.

Mottisfont Waxed Solid Pine Large Floor Standing Wine Rack with Drawer

I think I need this one too, to match the sideboard of course! I’m having visions of wondrous dinner parties already.


To take a look at the full range of Solid Oak Furniture from Furniture Plus Online click here.

Living Walls, Liberty London and Drinks!

During my recent trip to London I took the time to endulge in a spot of retail therapy. Shopping in the capital is always exciting. When I was little it meant trips to Hamleys and exciting new places. These days it’s often the novelty of visiting a store I might otherwise have only visited online.

One such store was Anthropologie. I’ve often admired their quirky home ware, the aprons in particular. So when I found myself close to their London store I had to pay a visit. Perhaps the most striking element of the whole store though is not the clothing or even the aprons, but the giant living wall next to the stair case. Apparently living walls are notoriously difficult to grow and maintain, but this rather large beauty shows it most definitely can be done. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all large city stores incorporated nature so effortlessly into their stores.

Another must see was Liberty London, putting aside the many wonderful things to buy, the store itself is really quite gorgeous. I love that it has retained so much character, so few stores do these days.

I began by making a beeline for the Richard Weston scarves. These scarves featured recently on TV and they are now an exceedingly popular line. They seemlessly bring nature and luxury together.

I finished my trip with drinks in a bar called Strawberry Moons. I’ll freely admit that my friend and I picked this bar primarily because we loved the name. But it didn’t disappoint us. Every day between 5-8pm they have an extended happy hour where there is 40% off all drinks. So we settled down to some cocktails and snacks. The ‘snacks’ were so huge we couldn’t finish them so if you find yourself shopping in the Regent Street area it’s a good place for a bite. Plus they have one of the funkiest dance floors that I’ve seen for awhile. It was a tad too early for me to be donning the floor, plus I was rather tired, but it certainly looked made to dance on.