Tag Archives: recycle

Turn your Broken Umbrella into a Waterproof Totebag!


When you live in a city like Vancouver, you go through a lot of umbrellas. You might lose them, forget them somewhere, or more often, it breaks. Sheepie had given me this umbrella that had a really cute pattern, but broke only a few months. I was very reluctant to throw it away, so I decided to make a totebag with it.

The process is super simple. I had a lot of fun, and showing it to Sheepie after completion and seeing how amazed he was was priceless. He’s probably also happy to see that his gift isn’t going into the dump.

Carefully take the cloth of the metal frame with a seam ripper.


Then, cut out 2 large rectangles which will be the bag, and two narrow strips about 3 inches wide and 15 inches long – or whatever you can get out of the remaining cloth.

First, take the large 2 rectangles. On one of the short side, fold over half an inch and sew across.
Do this for both.idearabbit-totebag3 Sew the 2 large rectangles together with the inside fabric facing outward (so the outside pattern is touching face to face with each other) This is so that we can later flip the inside out, and you wont see any messy cuts or sewing. Remember to keep on side on the shorter side open!

Take the 2 long strips and fold them 3 times and sew across. These will be the handles.


Then sew each handle on each side of the bag. Have the strip overlap at least 1 inch and sew a box with x inside so it’s durable.


Turn the bag inside out and tadaa! A waterproof totebag!!

Wait. I thought I was done, but when I thought about how it would be folded and kept in my purse, I went through the discarded umbrella cloth and saved the strap with the velcro. I took it off using the seam ripper. I attached it to the middle at the opening.

Done? The last thing I  thought of is something extra. Not necessary, unless you’re thinking of giving this totebag as a gift. If you still have the pouch that most fold-able umbrellas comes in, cut the top off to the length of the folded totebag. If you want the edges to be nice, you can fold in a bit and sew. For mine, I cut the bottom off instead since I liked how the opening of the pouch was sewn.

idearabbit-brellatote5 idearabbit-brellatote6Once folded, it is super compact! idearabbit-brellatote7 idearabbit-brellatote8 idearabbit-brellatote9Now you’re finally done! Not only did you save $20 buying a new waterproof totebag, you are reusing your old umbrella for a one-of-a-kind totebag! You can keep the landfills cleaner by reusing your umbrella and not getting/buying those plastic bags from stores.

Since making it and carrying it my purse, it has already come in handy several times weather at the library or grocery shopping. Simply the best!

Why You Should Do It:

  • Reuses old umbrellas that are going to end up in the landfill
  • Eco-friendly by not purchasing plastic bags from shops
  • Unique, one-of-a-kind totebag
  • Because the material is from a fold-able umbrella, the totebag becomes really compact once folded, and is super light
  • You can brag to all your friends what you did – everyone has been amazed so far :D
  • It’s simple and fun!

For those of you who have made other things with umbrellas, give me a shout!

BC Hydro: Fridge Buy-Back Program

So with the recent hunt for a new fridge, a staff at Sears told me about the BC Hydro’s fridge buy-back program, and thought I’d look into it. For a fridge that measures between 10-24 cubic feet and is still working, BC Hydro will pick it up, recycle it, and give you $30  for it. (only when you call will you find out that you will get the check in the mail many weeks later)

Sears, along with many other appliance sellers will charge $25 to take back your old fridge when they deliver your new fridge. So, I thought this was a good deal that you actually get paid for something you don’t need and they will take it away for free. HOWEVER! There is a catch – like with any too-good-to-be-true story. :P

When I called them, they told me that the staff can not set food in the building of the apartment. This meant that I would have to pull and push the fridge out of my suite, into the elevator, out to the lobby and somehow get it out onto the streets to the truck. I asked the building manager if there was a place that I could leave the fridge when the Sears delivery staff were here to drop off my new fridge. He said ‘no’. No fridge can be placed outside my suite. Even if I could, the fact that BC Hydro can not come right away, it would mean that the fridge be sitting there or in my living room for 5 days.

Also, they only pickup during business hours – 7:30am-4:30pm. How convenient! How are people who work 9-5  and can not get time off suppose to do this? Luckily, my office was flexible.

I did make an appointment, but once the Sears delivery staff were there, I just let them take my old fridge – and I’m really glad I did! The two built men had a tough time getting it out of my apartment! Not so much because of the weight, but because my kitchen and doorway is sooooo tiny and cramped. They ended up scratching the laminate flooring T_T….not happy about that…argh. Can I send in a complaint to Sears and get some discount? lol

After the old fridge was gone, I cancelled my pickup with BC Hydro. Buy-back program fail?