Tools + Supplies Those mesh produce bags that your onions and oranges come in are too useful to be thrown away! Check out these five crafty projects that help you upcycle your mesh produce bags.

Published on March 28th, 2011 | by Julie Finn

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5 Crafty Ways to Upcycle Mesh Produce Bags

5 Ways to Reuse Mesh Produce Bags

Those mesh produce bags that your onions and oranges come in are too useful to be thrown away! Check out these five crafty projects that help you upcycle your mesh produce bags.

There are two times each year (once when the local onions are at their peak (and therefore at their cheapest), and once when the non-local oranges are also in-season somewhere) when our family seems to have plastic mesh produce bags coming out of our ears. Unlike the paper or even the occasional plastic bags that end up with us that we easily re-use or recycle, these mesh produce bags seem to have no other destination but the trash.

If you do a little research, however, which I was eventually fed up enough to do, you will discover that plastic mesh produce bags are an excellent crafting material. They’re versatile, easy to craft with, and can be used for a variety of durable and useful projects. There are tons of projects around that use these bags, and tons more that I know you’ll invent for yourself, but here are five exceptionally good craft projects to get you started:

clown wig from a mesh produce bag

My little girl was desperate for one of those puffy polyester clown wigs before I made her this colorful yarn clown wig from a mesh produce bag. She was thrilled! With a latch hook and the right color of stash yarn, you can make a wig for your own little Rapunzels and Pippi Longstockings, and every other hairstyle in between.

Mesh Produce Bag Dish Scrubber

I have a friend who upcycles plastic grocery bags into dish scrubbers using her crochet hook, but dish scrubbers crocheted from mesh produce bags, like these from Christi at Going Green Crafters and Artists, are even scrubbier, while remaining scratch-free and safe on all your cookware and countertops.

[This image is the property of Christi at Going Green Crafters and Artists.]

mesh produce bag gift wrap

Mesh produce bags are produced in colors that are often quite lovely, especially if paired appropriately with other materials in complementary colors or textures.

The D.I.Y. gift wrap ideas using repurposed mesh produce bags, courtesy of Creature Comforts, are all simple to create and gorgeous to look at.

[The image on this page is the property of Creature Comforts.]

mesh produce bag finger puppets

Since mesh produce bags are sturdy and washable, they’re also a terrific choice for kids’ crafts. When Let’s Go Fly a Kite made ballerina finger puppets, mesh produce bags were the perfect material to use for the ballerinas’ tulle tutus.

[The image on this page is the property of Let’s Go Fly a Kite.]

mesh produce bag hammock

At The Mother Lode, when a kid wants a tree house, a treehouse is what the kid gets–a magical mini tree house, that is!

One of the reasons that this mini tree house is so magical is that it includes natural and recycled elements, from the real tree branches that make up the house to the garage sale toy fence and the doll’s hammock made from a mesh produce bag.

[The image on this page is the property of The Mother Lode.]


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



7 Responses to 5 Crafty Ways to Upcycle Mesh Produce Bags

  1. And don’t forget – they work great for covering plants! I’ve been saving mine all winter to cover my row of strawberries and blueberry bushes this summer :)

  2. And don’t forget – they work great for covering plants! I’ve been saving mine all winter to cover my row of strawberries and blueberry bushes this summer :)

  3. I also have request – I have a hobby of upcycling too, but sometimes you have to amass a quantity or stash the item for a while before the product you are upcycling becomes useful. I have several stashes thoughout my house – salad clamshells in the kitchen cabinet, a few empty clear squeeze bottles in the pantry for the next frequently used condiment (like Jelly)…. and then the miscelaneous pile of stuff including baskets, sturdy small boxes, and empty storage containers under my sofa table next to my craft room (I’ve been meaning to make a skirt for the table to hide the stuff) — and lets not forget about the garage!. I have friends who comment on my stash of stuff cluttering up my house all the time. Before you say “get new friends” , I’ll say they have a point. I get frusterated with the dust bunnies hiding in and around these things and I do have to put a price on my sanity. I don’t want to be a packrat in the meantime. Do you have any tips for stashing stuff? I may not be the “greenest” person around, but I do feel good when I can make something go a little further, or maintain or do away with extra purchases and “stuff”.

    One of my favorite “green” projects is the appliance box houses my kids have from our washer and dryer. We fold them up and slide them in along the side a deep closet (and behind our basement couch before we had the closet) and take them out for special times, like school breaks or meeting a goal, etc. – we’ve cut windows and a door in them, the kids color to their hearts content (which is like a archive of their coloring phases) because the boxes are now FIVE YEARS old! We recently added curtians to the windows too :)

    • Julie Finn says:

      Personally, if I’m going to keep something, it has to fit on a shelf or in a closet and look tidy–no floor storage allowed! Otherwise, I recycle it, donate it, or throw it away. I figure that I do a lot of good for the environment–I don’t have to do everything!

  4. kathy s says:

    I made a wig with a doubled over mesh produce bag and wool scraps back in the ’80’s when I used to dress up as a clown-usually for our children on their sports day at school- the wool was shorter than yours but I think I used more it always stretched and sat on my head well and was a great option from synthetic as it allowed air to circulate- i still have it but it has a few holes in it now as our dog didn’t like it when he was a puppy and tried to “kill” it-I don’t dress up anymore but the grandkids will use it for their dress ups.

  5. Pingback: Ask Umbra: Eat a baby orange, kill a baby seal? | Grist

  6. Cathy C says:

    I love this idea to recycle and upcycle mesh produce bags, I shared this idea and image from Pinterest on my blog I included a link to your blog and credit that this is where I got the photo and idea. I hope this is ok. I also shared directly from you blog to google+
    http://cathythinkingoutloud

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