It’s Dollar Store Week!
The Garbage Bag

I would like to commend the fine people at Dollarama for selling what might be the most beautiful garbage bags I have ever seen.  I’m pretty sure they’d burst into flames if they got too close to a bright paint colour, but wow … they’re pretty.  Lest you think I’m weird, I have to tell you I don’t normally  gush over  garbage bags.  But seriously … did you see this garbage bag.  How could you not gush?

As beautiful as these white woven trash bags are, I had an idea that they could be something even more beautiful.  And something you didn’t actually, you know… throw out.  And I was right.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention” and YET AGAIN those people who say things were right.  How DO they do it?

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I was at Dollarama a couple of weeks ago looking for something in particular.  They had the item I was looking for but, … how shall I say this …it was uglier than a rotten tooth.  So, as is often the case when I’m at the happiest place on earth, I strolled down another aisle to see what else they had.  And right there in between the dog poop bags and the candles, I found the garbage bags.  Perfect!

What was this mystery item I was originally looking for?  Well …

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… I was looking for a plain white tablecloth.  These garbage bags look like a cross between linen, silk and burlap on the table.  They have a nice sheen, without the cheap looking shine of the actual tablecloth I found at Dollarama.  The rough weave gives them a casual chic look that you don’t often find in a plastic trash bag.

And here’s how you do it …

Instruction Gallery:

Get your garbage bags laid out.

If you're lucky like me and own a steamer, steam the fold marks out of your bags.

Otherwise use one of these on a low setting. The bag will melt, so don't iron directly, use a sheet or t-shirt as a barrier.

cutting bag

Cut both side seams of the bag. Stop once you get to the bottom seam of the bag.

Big bag

You now have a reallllyyy long strip of garbage bag. 'Course it probably won't hold much anymore.

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Prior to cutting the hemmed ends of the bag, slide a thread out. This gives you a straight line to follow for cutting.

See? Told ya. Cut the hem off using the missing thread as a guide.

Once you've cut the hemmed ends off, pull a few of the threads from all of the edges. This will make them slightly frayed.

See the nice edges now? Don't fray too much though. That would make your garbage bag table runner look tacky.

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Either use three in a row across the table like I’ve done here …

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Or use one down the centre like I’ve done here …

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Total cost for 3 garbage bag runners? $2. If you don’t have an actual Dollarama around you, these bags are the same as woven feed bags, so if you can find yourself some of those you’re on your way to either a handsome pile of garbage on garbage day or a rather nice looking kitchen or dining room table. Dealer’s choice.

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28 Comments

  1. Amy says:

    Holy Cow, Never found bags like that before. Are you related to Martha, or maybe you just channel Martha? Too friggin cool. I was trying to discover what you might have used them for before looking at the picture. But I have to tell you that was pretty darn inventive. Can’t wait to see tomorrows post.

  2. Andrea says:

    I love the ‘careful not to fray too much or your garbage bag runners will look tacky’
    Out of context and with zero pictures one might think it was tacky, but K – you did it again!
    Has anyone called you a genius besides your own mother?

  3. Tricia Rose says:

    I haven’t come across woven rubbish bags here in California – are they a Canada thing?

    Now I know I’m old Karen – I have accumulated so many tablecloths, textiles and fabrics it would never occur to me to go looking for more!

    • Karen says:

      Hee. I don’t have what you’d call a huge accumulation of anything after the great purge of last year. Except flower vases. Kept plenty of those. I’ve never seen this type of garbage bag before I happened to spot it in the Dollar Store. Now that I’m aware of them, I’m sure I’ll see them everywhere.

  4. Langela says:

    Ok. Some of your ideas have run through my mind at one time or another, but I rarely follow through with them. But then there’s this idea. Never in a million years would this have crossed my mind. And it’s brilliant! Were you able to look at the bags in the store? Or was this something you discovered as you went to change out the garbage at home. Well, whichever it is, this turned out so cool. And a bonus is that you don’t have to worry about stains!

    • Karen says:

      Langela – I saw the bag of trash bags in the store and guessed they could be fashioned into some sort of table cloth. I bought them for the specific purpose of turning them into a cloth or runner. Worked out better than I could have hoped!

  5. Sherry says:

    And once again you AMAZE me! Clevah, clevah girl. Can’t wait to see what else you’ve done. Humor me as always…

  6. That is the best use of trash bags I have ever seen. They would also be great for outdoor parties. Spills would be a breeze.

    See…this is why your house is so popular you nut 🙂 I will have to come and give you heck if you say bad things about it again. Poor pretty house, your mama has lost her mind.

    The big frame is OMW worthy!!

  7. rp says:

    great job! this will work perfectly for my patio table on the balcony. and no biggie if it blows away 🙂

  8. Karen says:

    Wow, I am loving this idea. You give a whole new meaning to “talking trash” at the dinner table. Seriously, you are my new hero. I will never look at my local dollar store the same. I am stealing this look for my dining table. And the best part, when the meal is done? I only have to fold up the runner and throw it all out!

  9. Brilliant. You most definitely need to put together a digital product to go along with all these ideas of yours.

    Dollar Store Diva’s – I’ll be your first buyer.

  10. Jenny says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  11. Nicole says:

    I love the Canadian dollar stores. We have nothing quite so good in the states. Last time I went with my lovely and stereotypically rich Jewish in-laws we bought $150 worth of Dollarama wonderfulness – a whole shopping cart full. It took no less than 10 minutes to ring everything up. My husband’s 100-year-old grandfather (who comes with us to stockpile Aero Bars) kept repeating in a daze “$150 at the dollar store, I bet they’ve never seen that before.”
    It’s a beautiful place.

  12. Jan says:

    Wow! Just found your site and am so excited my smile alone could light a city block (and no, I have not had my teeth capped out like the Hollywood stars!). I’m going to use your mirror planters for a pre-prom formal dinner I’m doing tomorrow night. Always looking for ways to show my teens you don’t have to spend a lot of money in this life…

  13. Cheri says:

    Genious!!!!

  14. Angela says:

    just came across your site and love it. i like the idea of do it yourself but am not very creative. thanks for sharing your creativity with us. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Angela – Thanks for stopping by! You don’t need to be creative. You just need to be able to copy someone who is! 🙂 ~ karen

  15. Mulva says:

    I’m a thrifty store/garage sale junky! How about using old flour, sugar or even seed sacks in the same manner?

    • Karen says:

      Mulva – You’re right. And I just happen to have a cute chicken seed sack right now that’d be perfect! ~ karen

  16. Amanda says:

    wowza doesn’t even cover it! I found one of your ideas on Pinterest and have been on your blog for hours now! yes I burned dinner while perusing your ideas 😛 oh well! I’ve bookmarked SO many of your blog entries, I think I need to make you your own folder! TRULY inspirational…I am going to roll pennies tomorrow and hit the Dollar Tree with a new found eye for their treasures! THANKS for the great ideas!!! (ps, i love you!… ok thats a little stalkerish…but I live very very far away so don’t be alarmed. Just be warned I may comment on every blog you have 😮 heeheehee!)

    • Karen says:

      Amanda – Weirdo! Just kidding. Im glad you’ve found my blog. Pinterest has been the best thing to happen to my site in a long time, LOL. Feel free to comment away. If you visit often enough you’ll get to know the other regular commenters as well. Have fun at the Dollar Store! I’ve been really busy building a chicken coop lately, but now that it’s done I may make a trip myself! Welcome aboard and thank you for becoming a Patron of the Arts! ~ karen

  17. Vicki V says:

    What’s the brand name of the bags so we might be able to find (or order) them here in the U.S.? Love this inexpensive idea!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Vicki V – There was no brand name for the bags. I believe they were made expressly for Dollarama (our Dollar Store). They’re basically feed store bags, so a feed store is the place to find them otherwise. 🙂 ` karen

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