MHL Upcycle: Basmati Lunch Sack

Rice is part of our daily fare so we buy these 15-pounds of Basmati rice that comes in this burlap sack.

I think we have about 3 and I planned to make them into a huge grocery sack to use so we can cut down on bringing home plastic bags.  But, for months now, B. had been using a Trader Joe’s paper bag to carry his lunch (another small step to help the environment)and it started to fall apart.  So I made him this using one for the Basmati rice sacks.

This is a very easy project that you can hand sew (if you have lots of time in your hands) or machine sew.  I decided not to cover the existing Basmati brand design because it added charm.  I made it boxy so it wouldn’t look so much like a lady lunch sack.  I was happy that B.didn’t feel his masculinity threatened by the brand design but I think shaping it like a little purse would be pushing it.

I lined it, of course, and used some fabric I got from a Freecycler.  It’s pretty sturdy and can even stand on its own.  Teehee!

I never would have thought of making a post about this but one of B.’s students asked him about the sack and wanted to know if I was selling.  Well, I hope this inspires people to make one instead.  Let’s work with what we already do have and recycle, shall we?


10 thoughts on “MHL Upcycle: Basmati Lunch Sack

  1. infobloomer says:

    I just got a bag from our neighborhood grocery store and I came online to find out what I could do with it, since the material felt so strong. I found this blog and I can’t wait to try it out on the rice bag. Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. sally ong says:

    I kept a few burlap sacks and also those plastic ones but don’t know how to sew a bag. Very much would like to make those gunny sacks into a useful bag but just don’t know how. My father owns a baking supply store and often have these gunny sacks. I love all those bags made from jute gunny sacks into cute tote bags.

    • It’s not that hard. I made this one mostly by hand and used a big needle and thick thread. Apart from making the sack shorter, I didn’t even cut the sides of it. I simply folded them in. Then I sewed a lining on it so all the folds are covered. I used a sewing machine for that but only because the material I used easily frayed. Since you have a lot of sacks (lucky you!) you can experiment with a few before finding your own method of making a bag. 🙂 Good luck! And thanks for commenting, Sally!

  3. lizzie! this is GENIUS! so effing cool. i recently bought a new purse (because all of mine were falling apart) from kate spade and it’s fancy and cute but it is just too small. i think i may have to make one of these and make it my every day bag.

    have a lovely long weekend, dear! xo

    Thanks, Audrey! It’s amazing how this humble bag has received a lot of compliments. I posted it as a filler for those days when I didn’t feel like blogging. I’m glad it’s inspired you to make your own. Show us when you’re done. 🙂

    Have a fun, restful, and lovely weekend yourself! 🙂

  4. I saw this from BurdaStyle – this is such a great idea! Burlap rice bags make excellent sturdy totes. Too cute!


    Hello, Raven! I’m thrilled that you like it. It’s true! It’s really sturdy and people seem to like the Basmati rice design. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  5. Ohhh that design is 3 thumbs up!!! 🙂 It looks like one of those placemats with vintage-y Campbell soup designs. 🙂 I bet if you posted it on Etsy, you’d get flooded with orders! 🙂

    Hello, Kooky. 🙂 I’m flattered to get rave reviews from someone with 3 thumbs. Heehee! Thanks for the encouragement. I shall think about that Etsy idea. 🙂

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