Friday, July 9, 2010

The Big Pantry Clean Out

So, I know I haven't posted in forever. Sorry dudes. I would like to give some excuse but the truth is I'm lazy and unmotivated.

Last week I finally got frustrated enough with the state of my pantry and did something about it. At first I was just disgusted with the avalanche of plastic grocery bags that rained down on me every time I needed something. We use these bags for cat litter and the occasional lunch that won't fit in my lunch box. So they're a necessity, but I really needed a way to keep them under wraps.

Enter grocery bag holder.

But even though this one was a deal at $10, I remembered that my grandmother had one made out of fabric, and I wondered if I could make one with some scrap fabric. I found some directions (google grocery bag holder for tons of options. I chose these from Make It and Love It.)

I used some fabric and bias tape from my scrapbox, and bought half a yard of elastic for just 11 cents. How's that for a budget project?

I started with a rectangle of fabric, 20 by 25 inches, and pinned the short sides with a hem wide enough to push my 1/4" elastic through.

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Then, I threaded the elastic. This was absolutely the hardest part of the project, and I struggled quite a bit. I eventually figured out that my best bet was to pin the elastic at one end, and poke through the other end with the sharp end of a skewer. Then I poked the skewer into the tube, and scrunched the fabric down until the elastic was exposed. Then I took it off the skewer, pinned it down on the other side, and sewed down both sides.

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You will need two pieces of elastic. 11 inches for the top, where you can put the bags in, and 6 1/2 inches for the bottom, so you can pull them out one at a time.

Then pin the long sides together, right sides in, and stitch up the remaining side.

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Finally, add a loop for hanging. You can use ribbon but I just used leftover bias tape. Turn it inside out and stuff!

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And if the little peek into our pantry shelves doesn't make you break into hives, then check this out.

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I didn't even take a picture of the rest of the pantry, since I couldn't look at it without crying. But armed with some serious determination, I bought a few bins and tackled everything else. After a few bags of trash and the discovery of several rolls of toilet paper buried under a pile of crap, we now have a clean, beautiful pantry.

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We have a bin for snacks/breakfast, one for condiments/vinegars, one for Italian, one for soups/broths, and one for Mexican.

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Since I took this picture, I also added a drawer organizer for some of our smaller hardware related stuff.

I'm just so happy to say I can actually walk in here!