guest post: bec from smallbirdie

I have a fun surprise for you today - a guest poster! When I found Bec's blog, smallbirdie, I felt like I had found a little treasure. I love her style, her pictures, her tutorials, all of it! ok, I'll stop gushing now and let Bec share her tutorial with all of you: 

Hello! I'm Bec from smallbirdie and I'm so excited that Allison invited me to share a little tutorial with you today!

A little while ago, I shared a post about a coffee bean tote bag that I had recycled from an old coffee bean sack, but I have had a few requests for a tutorial, so here it is!

To make this bag you will need...
  • 1 coffee bean sack
  • Herringbone Tape 1.5 inches x 1.1 yards
  • Thread
(EDITED TO ADD: a reader has pointed out that 1.1 yards of herringbone tape is not enough. She has suggested that three yards is what is needed to finish this project. Thanks for pointing that out!)

Cut the coffee sack into two 15x19 inch rectangles, and also one 5x48 inch strip. Also, cut two handles from the herringbone tape 30 inches each. The remainder of the tape is for the boarder of the bag.

SECOND, Taking the strip of coffee sack, iron in a double fold about a 1/2 inch each fold. Do this for both lengths of the strip.
Now taking the two large rectangles of the coffee sack, iron in a 1/2 inch fold on the sides and base.

 Next, position the rectangles of the bag within the fold of the strip, making sure that they are centred with each other.
THIRD, Pin this in place and sew along the boarder. I found it easier to pin and sew one side in at a time.

It should now look like this...

Now it's time to add the boarder and handles. For the boarder, iron it in half along the length, and then pin in place around the top of the bag, placing in the handles as you go. I put my handles in 3.5 inches from the sides. Now, sew along the top, making sure you catch both sides of the herringbone tape.
Here is the finished product..

Now for the giveaway!.. I am giving one lucky blogger the chance to win this recycled coffee bean tote bag. To enter, all you have to do is...  

1. 'Follow' smallbirdie and come back here to this post and leave a comment telling me you did.  
2. 'Like' smallbirdie on Facebook  and come back here to this post and leave a comment telling me you did.  

Please make sure to leave you email address in the comments so you can be contacted if you win. 

 Giveaway ends on Friday, September 30, and the winner will be announced on Saturday, October 1st. 

good luck! Thanks for having me Allison!

Isn't this a great bag? It looks so easy too! Easy enough for me to attempt, which is saying something :) I just love Bec and all of her sweet ideas. Make sure you head on over to smallbirdie and show her some love.  



  1. What a fabulous bag! I just stopped by your lovely blog and was so charmed that I became a follower!

  2. Your bag convinced me. I am now a follower. Love to find great new blogs.

  3. Happy to find a new cute blog to follow!

  4. I am a new follower of small birdie's blog, I am happy to find it, there are some great ideas there! :)

  5. Thanks for the tutorial and giveaway! love it! I now follow smallbirdie! thank you.

  6. i'm a new follower of small birdie. great repurposed stuff! thanks

  7. new follower of small birdie.
    blessed.mama4 at yahoo.com

  8. Allison, you did an awesome job! I'd love to put your tote to use. I wouldn't hesitate to use it as my everyday bag. I follow your blog,

  9. N. Perez - I wish I could claim this bag as my own :) It is all Bec's talent!

  10. I like small birdie on facebook. Love your blog too Allison!!

  11. I am now a follower and a like-r on faceboook. :)


  12. Whoops, forgot the second comment. I "like" small birdie on Facebook. :)

  13. I love seeing repurposed stuff. That bag is adorable (and it's even my favorite color!!) I'm a new follower on FB and on your blog.


  14. Cute bag. Thanks for the tutorial!

  15. What a cool tote! I'm a new follower of smallbirdie's blog! :)


  16. I also liked smallbirdie on facebook!

  17. What a great bag! How do you find coffee sacks though??
    I'm a new follower!

  18. I'm a follower of smallbirdie!

  19. I liked smallbirdie on facebook! Where do you find those great sacks?

  20. i follow on gfc
    yanuzo at hotmail dot com

  21. I liked you on FB and I tried to follow you, but the button wouldn't click like the FB one did on your blog. I LOVE that bag! It's totally cute!

  22. Megan - just go to www.smallbirdie.com and follow on her blog. It is on the right hand side :)

  23. Debra, I sourced my coffee sacks from a friend who owns a coffee shop and also manages a coffee roasting company. Try and find a local coffee bean roasting place, or a cafe that roasts their own beans. The sacks usually get thrown out otherwise! Hope that helps!

  24. Oh no! I ordered twill tape based on the requirements at the beginning of this tutorial (in fact I ordered twice the amount to be on the safe side) and now that I'm trying to finish my bag it's not even close to enough.

    You need almost 2 yards just for the handles, and you would probably need another 1.5 yard for the trim. That's over 3 yards, but the materials list states you need 1.1 yards. :(

    1. So sorry Kat! I did not write the tutorial, so am not sure of the mistake, but it must have been a mistake in measuring or typing. I will update the post to add in your suggestion of 3 yards. Once again, really sorry for the confusion, and I hope you were able to finish the project.


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