Do you have so many custom reusable bags lying around that you don’t know what to do with them? There are plenty of uses for reusable bags besides taking them shopping with you!
Here are 35 awesome uses for all of the extra bags you’ve been given over the years.
- Plant tomatoes in them. Yes, it’s a little unconventional, but reusable bags make great upside-down planters. Just fill it with dirt, hang it up, and cut a slit in the bottom large enough to insert the plant’s roots. Make sure you keep it watered. Potted plants dry out more quickly than those planted in the ground.
- Take your kids trick-or-treating. Plastic bags are just no good when it comes to trick-or-treating. Too often, they have small holes in the bottom and you don’t realize it until half of the candy has fallen out. Give your little tykes reusable bags instead, and they’ll thank you later.
- Use them as beach totes. Put your sunscreen, flip-flops, and sand toys in the bag and hang it near the door so all you have to do it grab it and go. You might want to throw in some soothing after-sun lotion too, just in case.
- Use them as diaper bags. Why spend $20-30 on a diaper bag when you have reusable grocery bags from your favorite merchants that aren’t being used? Save your cash and buy the kid a new toy instead.
- Put your workout clothes in them. Take it to the gym instead of a duffel bag. Don’t forget the protein bars and bottled water!
- Use them as dance bags. Do you have kids in dance? Now they have dance bags! Let them carry their leotards and dance shoes back and forth in reusable bags instead of buying fancy bags printed with pictures of ballet slippers.
- Carry your knitting projects in them. Do you like crafts? Knitting is just the start. You can use your extra bags to hold all sorts of craft projects, from knitting and crochet to handmade beaded jewelry.
- Use them for karate class. Put you gi and pads into the bag, along with anything else you need to take to class. You may only be a blue belt in karate, but you’re on your way to becoming a black belt in reusing old bags!
- Carry your books in them. If you’re in school, you probably have a lot of books to carry. This is a good way to wear out your reusable bags. You might go through two or three per year, especially if you’re in college. Those textbooks are heavy!
- Decorate them. If your bag has a lot of life left in it but you just don’t like the way it looks, you can decorate it with glitter paint, rhinestones, and anything else you can find. Cover the name and logo if you want or just liven it up and make it look a whole lot prettier.
- Let the kids take them to camp. Your kids have filled up their suitcases, but there are still things on the camp’s list that they need to take with them. No problem! Just throw the excess into the custom reusable bags you got from your local market.
- Pack a picnic lunch. Take some sandwich fixings, fresh fruits and vegetables, chips, and anything else that sounds good, and head for the nearest park. Make sure you throw in a few sodas. They’ll help keep everything else cold until you’re ready to eat.
- Use them as overnight bags. Next time your daughter asks to spend the night at a friend’s house, have her pack her clothes, makeup, and nightgown in one of your unused reusable bags.
- Store your CDs or cassettes in them. Perhaps you’ve moved on to MP3s but you’re not quite ready to part with your old tunes. Stack them neatly in a reusable back and store it in the back of your closet until you’re ready to decide what to do with them.
Fill them with puppies! No, I don’t know why you would do that, but this photo proves that you wouldn’t be the first to try it.
- Hang them up instead of Christmas stockings. Not only will you save money by not having to purchase a stocking, but you can fit more goodies in it too!
- Use them as gift bags. Attach a bow and a name tag to a reusable bag to easily wrap an irregularly-shaped gift. Bags with drawstrings work best.
- Store your makeup in them. If you travel frequently, you can keep your makeup in the bag even when you’re home so it’s easy grab when it’s time for your next trip.
- Use one as a purse. Have you outgrown your little handbag? You don’t have to pick and choose what to take with you—just grab a tote bag and use it instead.
- Put your extra shoes in them. Carry your dress shoes to work or school in a reusable bag and change when you get there. You can also use your shoe bag to keep your clothes from getting dirty while traveling. Just put your extra shoes in the bag before placing them in your suitcase.
- Use them as laundry bags. If you have a large reusable bag, you can use it to carry your clothing to and from the laundry room.
- Tote your recyclables in them. Toss your recyclable cans and bottles in a large reusable shopping bag and use it to transport them to the recycling center.
- Make ruffled tote bags. Sew fabric ruffles to your reusable shopping bag to make a cute ruffled tote bag.
- Donate them to the local food pantry. If you really don’t want the ugly reusable bag you got from your local grocer, you can always donate it. Food pantries are always looking for bags to distribute food in, and custom reusable bags are usually just as welcome as the plastic kind.
- Make them into throw pillows. Stuff your extra reusable bags and use them as accent throw pillows on your couch or bed. Even relatively plain bags can make cute pillows.
- Use them to help you get organized. To make it easier to find things in your closet or wooden chest, sort the items into reusable bags, keeping related objects together. Next time you need something, you’ll be able to find it more easily.
- Use them to bag items at your yard sale. If you have a lot of extra reusable bags, you can use them for your customers’ purchases at your yard sale instead of using paper or plastic.
- Store art and craft supplies in them. Keep all of your kids’ crayons, paints, markers, scissors, glue, and so on all together in one place by storing them in a reusable tote bag. Hang the bag from their closet rod or stash it in a cubby when not in use.
- Keep Barbie and her clothes together. Barbie always seems to have more clothes than she knows what to do with. Keep it all together in a reusable tote. Use small zippered bags to hold shoes and other tiny accessories.
- Use one as a pet carrier. Do you have a small dog you want to take with you everywhere you go? Just tote her around in a reusable shopping bag.
- Make a tea party kit. Put your daughter’s tea set in the bag to keep everything together when she’s not in an entertaining mood. If there’s room, you could add a few fancy hats for the girls to wear while they play.
- Organize small toys. Put army figurines, toy cars, blocks, farm animals, sand toys, and train sets into separate bags and toss them into the toy box. Bags with zip or Velcro closures work best.
- Freshen up your clothes. Fill a reusable bag with scented potpourri and hang it in your closet. Everything will smell a little nicer.
- Assemble a first aid kit. Buy first aid cream, bandages, cold packs, and other first aid items and put them in one of your extra reusable shopping bags. Keep your new first aid kit in your vehicle in case of emergency.
- Store yarn and fabric. Fold up small pieces of fabric so they are the same length and the height of the bag and stack them so that you can see the end of each piece without taking any of them out. You can also use bags to store yarn.
Have you used up most of your extra bag stash now? If not, go back up to #24 and give some more to the food pantry or another local charity. Maybe the person who ends up with it will use it for their shopping and eliminate a few more plastic bags from the landfill.