The Shoebox Bagettes

A bag is a great item for a shoebox. Some of the children and families have to walk long distances to collect their shoebox and may struggle to carry the box home, especially if they cannot get all the items back inside it.

A bag would also be very useful for the recipient in every day life, perhaps as a shopping bag, a school bag or somewhere to store their belongings if they are living in an orphanage or hospital.

If you live in the UK and would like to get involved in a communal sewing project for your shoeboxes, why not become a Shoebox Bagette?

The Shoebox Bagettes is the only UK-based chapter of The Green Bag Lady.  This is a great project with the aim of reducing plastic bag use by encouraging people to carry and use fabric bags instead. Since 2008, Teresa and her team of volunteer "Bagettes" have made over 50,000 fabric bags using donated material and given them away for free, in exchange for a promise to use them instead of paper or plastic.

In our chapter, the bags are made specifically for our shoeboxes. You can use them in your own boxes or donate them to a packing party or your local warehouse for use as fillers. We sew special Green Bag Lady labels into our bags with an allocated number written on them. If the recipients were able to, they could contact Green Bag Lady and let them know where the bags have ended up.

If you would like to know more, please contact us via the Facebook page or by sending a message to craftingforshoeboxes[at]gmail[dot]com

 Boy 2-4 shoebox for Operation Christmas Child UK

Girl 10-14 shoebox for Operation Christmas Child UK

Teenage girl shoebox for Rotary

Teenage boy shoebox for Rotary
Family shoebox for Rotary

Elderly shoebox for Link to Hope

If you are interested in this project but don't live in the UK, please take a look at the list of chapters here, as there may be one near you that you could join. Alternatively, if you would like to start up your own, you can contact Teresa at greenbagladyinfo [at] gmail [ dot] com 

Of course, you can make some bags for your boxes without being involved in a chapter. Here is a video featuring the Green Bag Lady herself showing how to make their bags, and there is a written pattern here.
For alternative tote bag patterns and tutorials, please visit our Pinterest board.
Happiness is handmade

UPDATE -  in June 2015, we had a giveaway at our birthday party.  The prize was a pretty pink bag made by a Bagette in the USA.  The winner placed it inside a shoebox and we waited patiently to find out where it ended up.  You can find out where here - how exciting!


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