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Upcycling IKEA Bags Ideas

By Kim Robson:

I see people using old IKEA bags at the laundromat and grocery store all the time. They’re capacious, tough as nails, lightweight, easily folded flat, inexpensive at a buck, and easy to carry because of their sturdy woven handles. “Frakta” means “to carry,” and since 1996, the iconic blue polypropylene Frakta bag has been doing an amazing job of carrying things for millions of shoppers.

The bags have a whopping 19-gallon capacity and can handle up to 55 pounds without tearing. They’re built to last for 1,000 trips, so if you use it once a week for groceries or laundry, it should last over 19 years! But what other uses can we put them to?

Ever since luxury fashion house Balenciaga created a $2,145 Italian leather version of the bag, do-it-yourselfers have flooded the internet with Frakta hacks. And here at Green Mom, we LOVE us our DIY and upcycling!

Let’s start with the obvious uses, some of which you may be implementing already:

Laundry Hamper: Keep three in your closet – one for whites, one for darks, and one for “To Be Donated.” When they’re empty, they can double as kitty forts.

Recycling Center: Keep several lined up in the garage for paper, glass, plastic and aluminum recycling. The handles make them so easy to tote to the recycling center or recycling bins! They’re also the perfect size and toughness for toting firewood.

Frakta Means “To Carry”: Of course, people repurpose the bags into, well, other types of bags, such as fanny packs, backpacks, messenger/computer bags, or wallets. They also make great tarpaulins – you can even incorporate a built-in carrying bag for it, which can double as a gear bag!

Clothing & Accessories: For the truly ambitious, there’s no end to the creative items people have made with IKEA bags: dog coats, dresses, corsets, utility vests, hats; and, for the Nipponophiles, there are even Japanese clogs and a stylish face mask / ponytail holder!

Gardening: Not only are the bags great for toting potted plants home between the nursery, your car and your garden, but once there, why not use them for gardening containers?

Kid Stuff: My absolute favorite category here — the adorable articles you can make for your little ones, like a painter’s smock, a wee raincoat, a kiddie pool, a mini ball pit; or just keep it simple with a baby hammock!

About Kim Robson

Kim Robson lives and works with her husband in the Cuyamaca Mountains an hour east of San Diego. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, cooking, and animals. She has written a blog since 2006 at kimkiminy.wordpress.com. Her interests include the environment, dark skies, astronomy and physics, geology and rock collecting, living simply and cleanly, wilderness and wildlife conservation, and eating locally.

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