Reusable Shopping Bag to Apron!

I promised you a project today, and here it is! When I was working on Anna’s changing table transformation last week, I had this ingenious idea {if I do say so myself!} I have quite the collection of reusable shopping bags, but my favorites are the huge bags from TJ Maxx. They have the cutest patterns and colors, and for only 99 cents each, I can’t leave the store without a new one :)
I thought it would be fun to make her a little apron to wear when she is “working” in her ice cream parlor. I had this bag in my collection in the perfect colors, so I thought… how cute would it be to have matching mommy-daughter aprons? There was plenty of bag for both!
I started with my apron…

The best part is, you just leave the bag handle as it is and it becomes the top {neck} strap for your apron! I continued to cut down to include the bottom piece of the bag to make the apron longer. It still wasn’t quite as long as I wanted, so I added a few rows of ruffles. Then I just sewed on 2 pieces of ribbon for my ties.

For Anna’s, I used a little apron she already has as the pattern, and cut it out {using the top edge of the bag as the top of the apron}. I left the sides unfinished because the material is plastic-coated and doesn’t fray!
I added some pom poms and ribbon for her trim, and then re-attached the “handle” for her straps on top. I also used velrco to make it adjustable around the neck. Look at it on my baby…. Oh my cute!

She loves it so much, she wanted to wear it all morning… I even let her wear it to the store :) I had one of my friends snap this picture of us together:

{My apron is quite a bit longer than it looks here!}
These were SO quick and easy to make! The most time-consuming part was adding the ruffles and trim, but those are not even necessary… they would still be super cute without it. And they are great for kids because the material is totally wipeable! I am so excited to make more! $1 for 2 aprons — how can you beat that? Wouldn’t they make cute gifts?
Let me know if you try it!
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  1. says

    CUTE!! Seriously, how do you come up with these ideas?? I laughed out loud when I read this, because I think we could be cousins. I TOO love these TJ Maxx bags and can’t leave the store without one! At Christmas they had really cute Christmasy ones and I used those as placemats for a Women’s Christmas Luncheon at church. They doubled as take-home gifts. Clever, eh?? :)

    Also, could your daughter be any cuter?? Adorable!!

  2. says

    oh, look how talented you are :) I found both your links on Not Just a Housewife link party… I love these! How cute, and I think even I, who doesn’t sew, could figure out how to pull this off!
    PS, I also have an Anna! :)


  3. says

    Well my little Nat-cat and Holl-doll you two are too cute for words. I have just discovered these bags and in fact just bought the same bag you used for the apron last week – great minds do think alike. I’m planning on showing your idea for our mother’s day work meeting at church. What a big girl Anna is getting to be – it’s still so funny that she’s blond! I think I know who is in charge of WW craft night this
    year!!! Your blog is adorable and I love the name – I can remember how excited I always was to see MY sister’s suitcase in the hall :) Keep up the good work. LOVE YOU BOTH! YFA Kath

  4. says

    How AWESOME!!! We must be on the same wave length!!! Your aprons are darling! I love all the embellishments! So super cute!!! Thanks for your comments on my blog. I am your newest follower!!!



  5. says

    This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that??” ideas. :) SO creative!! I will definitely be making some of these for myself, my daughters and all of the other ladies/girls in my life! Thanks so much for sharing! I pinned this. :)

  6. says

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    • says

      I hope you see this comment :) The ruffles were actually pretty easy, this was only my second time attempting a ruffle! You just need to cut your strip of fabric at least twice the length of the section of the apron where you will be attaching it. Depending how much you want it to bunch up :) Then you just adjust your machine to the biggest stitch size, and lower the tension. Sew the entire length of your fabric strip, and then sew it again right under the first row of stitching. That way, if the thread breaks when you are gathering it, the ruffle will still stay in tact. Does that make sense? Leave the ends of the thread long on both sides and don’t backstitch. Then just pull one end and your fabric will start to gather, creating your ruffle. Once I had all three ruffles done, I pinned them in place on my apron, and sewed them across the top. I hope that helps!!

    • says

      Another little tip: If you zig zag OVER dental floss (taking care to NOT stitch ON the floss), then pull the dental floss, it will gather quickly. Vinyl or tyvec could be a little difficult in doing the double stitching. But I use the dental floss no matter what the fabric is now, it’s so much easier.

  7. says

    These are adorable… my daughter and I saw them and she thought it was a kiddo apron and an American Girl Doll matching apron. I showed her the pics that it was a mom and daughter matching set but I think we might try to do her idea and make a matching set for her and her American Girl. :) So cute! Thanks for sharing.

  8. says


    Great information! Reusable shopping bag is typical plastic bags. These reusable bags come in different sizes are can be made of different materials . Today and customers all over the world enjoy this type of bag. Thanks a lot….

  9. says

    LOVE this. We’re getting a TJ Max in our little town soon – now I really want to go there! With 2 little girls and a few nieces of my own – this will be a great gift idea! Thanks!!!!

  10. says

    I can’t believe how quick and cute these are!!! I will have to try this. Although I never wear an apron… but for the dramatic play area? Great idea!!

    Lindsey @

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