It’s one of nature’s ironies that cold weather and runny noses go hand in hand with citrus season and its Vitamin C remedy. This time of year the greengrocers’ shelves are piled high with mouthwatering, fresh and juicy oranges at irresistible prices. And every morning my kitchen is filled with the subtle aroma of delicious and healthy, freshly squeezed orange juice. Yum!

My only gripe is that the economically priced value packs come packaged in those pesky, stretchy mesh bags that I’m never too sure what to do with. Until now.

Last week we challenged ourselves to think up a handful of simple upcycling projects that the kids could easily get involved with. This is what we came up with:

One: Drip dry bath toy bag

This was a really quick and easy project. We created the perfect bag to keep our bath toys in so they drip dry and don’t gather mould.

  • First we folded and tacked up one end of the bag with a waterproof, nylon thread
  • Then we folded down the other end and hung it from a suction hook attached to the bathroom tiles

Two: It doubles up as a beach toy bag

Make another one and take it to the beach!

It also doubles up as a beach toy bag!

It also doubles up as a beach toy bag!

Three: Drainage hole covers for plant pots

Stash some bags away until Spring and then get the kids planting seeds. The mesh stops the dirt from seeping out of the drainage hole but still allows the excess water to freely drain away.

  • We cut off a strip of bag and folded it in half a few times
  • We placed it in the bottom of an empty plant pot, then filled the pot with our potting mix

Four: Tutus for dollies and finger puppets

This was lots of fun!

We dressed one of our toilet roll finger puppets in an orange mesh tutu, just using an elastic bag as a waist band. It would work just as well on real dollies or soft toys.

Orange mesh made an excellent tutu for our toilet roll finger puppet!

Orange mesh made an excellent tutu for our toilet roll finger puppet!

Five: Fancy packaging for birthday presents!

If like me, you’re torn between wanting a present to look exciting and inviting but not wanting to be wasteful with the wrapping, you could try using orange mesh as a fancy ribbon or decoration.

We wrapped a book in newspaper then made a sort of messy bow on the top with the mesh. I don’t think it looks too bad, do you?!

Upcycled orange mesh ribbon and bow

Upcycled orange mesh ribbon and bow

Some other ideas

We also thought of scrunching up some orange mesh bags to use as a scourer, or placing them over growing fruit as protection from birds, and also taking them to the markets to pop our fruit and veg in.  If we’d given ourselves more time we could have tried these ideas out and I’m sure come up with many, many more ways to upcycle our orange mesh bags.

Feel free to let us know if you can think of any more, and how you go trying them out.