Monday, July 28, 2008

a way to use those old plastic bags!

I'm pretty excited, I finally found a new way to use plastic grocery bags! Admittedly I don't have that many now because I usually bring my own bag to the grocery store, but sometimes I forget, as do my parents. Well now I know what to do with them!

I learned how to fuse plastic bags together to create a stronger and thicker material. You can sew it, cut it into shapes . . . the possibilities are endless!
So far I've been making these cute little flower pins and hair clips. I think they are pretty cute. I pinned one to the dress I was wearing today and it really looked great! I think it would also look nice pinned to a purse or beach bag.

This is how you do it
1. lay plastic bags on top of one another and try to smooth them out as flat as possible
2. stack about 3-4 plastic bags, make sure the inked side isn't going to touch the iron, just turn it over or fold it inside out, I like to put the prettiest bags on the outside:)
3. cut of the handles and the bottom of the bags so you have one even slab
4. put a piece of wax paper (waxy side down) underneath the plastic bags (if it is up the wax paper will fuse to the bags), then I use a piece of printer paper on top
5. heat the iron to a synthetic setting, but if it is not hot enough, turn it up a bit, you kind of have to experiment, my synthetic setting was way to low, but the cotton setting was way too hot, so I settled somewhere in the middle
6. now its time to iron! keep the iron moving and don't let the iron touch the bare plastic bags (they will melt onto it), move the paper around to where you are ironing. I like to start in the middle and work my way to the edges. (also you should probably do this in a pretty well ventilated area)
7. after that side seems pretty fused and stuck together, turn it over and iron the other side
8. ta dah! now you have a plastic bag slab that you can cut up, sew or do to whatever you want!

just remember practice makes perfect, start out slow, this process is pretty easy, but there are always a few kinks to work out.
(I learned the basics through esty labs.)

I'm hoping to fuse some more tomorrow and maybe experiment with making some little change purses or makeup bags. We''ll see how it goes:)

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