One day as we were feeding all our animals, I looked at the pile of empty feed bags and thought, “we can’t just throw all these away! There has got to be some way we can reuse them!” I just knew that there had to be something we could do with them, rather than just throwing them away. Once my mind started thinking that way about feed bags, they have become my “go-to” on the homestead.
Here are a few of the ways I have reused both paper and plastic coated feed bags:
Puppy Kennel Liner
Puppy pads are expensive, and newspaper is too easy to shred. A trimmed down paper feed bag, with all three layers left together, makes a great, disposable puppy kennel liner for those inevitable “mistakes” your puppy will have during rest time in the kennel.
I have wonderful friends that are willing to share patterns with me, but I always struggled with a way to copy those patterns for future use. Then I discovered paper feedbags! I cut off both ends and open them up and separate the layers so I have thinner papers. I have even gone so far as to iron them to reduce the folds in the paper. Once I have these large papers I can trace and cut most any pattern.
Trash Can Liners
This may not be too unusual, but if you haven’t tried it feedbags work great for your 13 gallon size trash can. I sometimes find them too tall
so I just fold down the top. I don’t like to trim them because that excess length can be folded down to help close the bag once filled with trash.
Feedbag Tote Bags
This one went around on pinterest a few years ago and there are lots of complicated patterns there but there’s a super easy was to make totebags from your plastic covered feedbags!
– turn the bag inside out and wipe it to get rid of any feed residue.
– cut the top down to the approx. Height you want for your bag, saving the trimmings to use for straps.
– fold the top over twice to form a hem. Stitch close to the edge. Note- you are using the already closed in bottom of the feedbag for your tote bottom
– cut the trimmings from the top in half to have two pieces. Fold over 1/4″ on each long edge then fold it in half (lengthwise). Stitch close to the edge. Do this with both pieces to form your straps/ handles.
– attach the handle in a place on the top of the bag that is comfortable for you to use when carrying.
There you go- a completed feedbag tote!
Like many of you, we use fireplaces and the wood cook stove to help heat our home in the winter. After a little experimentation I found that pieces of paper feed bags cut into approx 6″x6″ squares can be folded and twisted to create long burning fire starters. If you really want to reuse items, stuff a little dryer lint in the middle before you twist the bag pieces. That will make them burn even longer.
I enjoy painting signs for around the farm- Milk For Sale, Please Honk, and bible verses. But with limited freehand painting ability, stencils are my friend for making these signs. I always hesitate to just start tracing stencils onto a board since you really can’t erase mistakes, so I found that feedbags make the perfect template paper. I split the layers of the bags so that I am working with a thin piece, then cut it to the same size as the sign I am making. I can then trace my stencils onto that piece of feedbag to design my sign, with a big eraser to correct mistakes easily. To transfer my design to the sign I rub a piece of white or colored chalk all over the back side of the paper then carefully lay it over the sign wood. Being careful not to move the template I trace over each line until the design is copied in chalk onto my board. Then I can paint the sign and simply brush away any leftover chalk to have a clean and more professional looking sign.
Outdoor Table Cover
If you are having a farm side picnic and need a quick table cover, why not a feedbag? You can use with the plastic or paper bags for this, and either the plain or decorated side. Add some mason jars for drinking your lemonade or sweet tea, and let the picnic begin!
Other arts/crafts ideas are endless if you look at a feedbag.
They are great for kids to color on, lay underneath projects to catch drips and spills, and use for any sort of “practice” before using more expensive products.
The possibilities for reusing feedbags are endless- hopefully these ideas will get you thinking on how to make them your “go-to” on the homestead!