Why Everyone Should Have A Rag Bag

ragbagAs soon as I decided to get on and make some pastry yesterday I remembered what I was going to tell you about the day before!


It seems very old fashioned to have a rag bag, or in my case a rag box, but I couldn’t consider not saving bits of fabric.

Most of the contents of my box come from old clothes, there is I think the remnants of one sheet in there and a couple of old baby blankets. The clothing is stripped of anything useful first, the buttons, poppers and zips, for example. Then it gets folded up and put into the box.

Why? everyone under 50 screams at me. Well, I’ll tell you. The contents of my rag bag have, over the last couple of years turned into, or been used for:

  • Pretty little wardrobe fresheners filled with flower petals.
  • Needle cases for hand-sewing needles
  • Pincushions.
  • A denim shoulder bag.
  • Two latch-hooked rag rugs.
  • A patchwork cushion cover.
  • A bag that hangs on the washing line for clothespegs.
  • Stuffing for a bedraggled, but much-loved teddy bear.
  • Cleaning cloths.
  • An ironing board cover (part of that sheet I mentioned)
  • Make and do crafts for the great-grandchildren.
  • Fire lighting tinder.
  • Wrapping glassware before putting it into a box for storage.
  • Crochet doormat. (Yes, you can crochet fabric with a big hook)

I’m sure there are a few things I’ve missed, but the point is in addition to reusing something that was going to be thrown away, I have had the pleasure of making small hand-made gifts as well as finding practical uses such as covering the ironing board when the old cover got a tear in it.

The bits salvaged from the garments that were going to be dumped have repaired broken zippers, shirt cuffs missing buttons and have provided suitable eyes and a scarf for at least two snowmen. See, one mans rubbish is another mans treasure!

I’ll chat with you soon dear, I’m a little busy right now, I am making some pies to take to the community centre tomorrow. Love to the family.



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Granny Spear was born in a small cottage in Devon, Southern England in 1925. Married to farm labourer Ernest, she raised her family in the heart of the countryside without any of the amenities we rely on today. Using skills passed down from her mother, who had learned those same skills from her mother, she not only survived but positively thrived living a self-sufficient, off grid lifestyle. Outliving her husband, one of her children and two of her grandchildren she stayed in the cottage until 2003 when a serious fall saw her hospitalized. She now lives with her daughter just four miles from her old home. For her 89th birthday her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her an iPad, which she instantly rejected until they showed her Angry Birds…After much persuasion she has agreed to share some of her knowledge with us about what she calls the ‘old days’

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 6th, 2015
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  • MenderInCanada

    I save all sorts of cloth bits as well, and a surprising number get used as backing to mend clothing rips and tears.
    Repairing clothing will become a much more valuable prep asset in the future when money and clothing are scarce.

  • PrepNana

    My mother, a WWII English ‘war bride’, was also very frugal. I still have her button box (full of buttons) and my own box filled with old curtains, sheets, pillowcases, clothing scraps, etc. I also have the sewing thread organizer my father made for her back in the ’60s and it is filled with various colors of thread. It’s amazing how often I need to get just a bit of thread to patch a tear or hem. None of these things take much room and, on more than one occasion, have been very useful. Waste not, want not 🙂

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