Monday, March 24, 2008

New Thing #73--Reuse and Recycle

I try to be a good "steward" of the environment. We recycle as much as possible (glass, tin, aluminum, paper, cardboard, and as many plastics as our trash carrier will take). I try to accumulate as few plastic bags as possible, and recycle those we do get (along with the newspaper plastic wrappers). However, today I found an alternate use for plastic bags. I made fabric out of them.

I found the directions on Craftster. It was pretty easy. You need an iron, an ironing board, 2 pieces of cardstock (I used pieces of brown kraft paper instead), and a cutting device (I used an Exacto knife).

The directions as listed on Craftster:
  • Step 1: Collect a whole lot of plastic bags
  • Step 2: Straighten and smooth each bag
  • Step 3: Prepare the bag. Cut off the base and handles
  • Step 4: Open the bag up. Cut up the side of the bag with a scissor
  • Step 5: Smooth flat
  • Step 6: Get out your ironing board (or other ironing surface.) Lay down your cardstock, and then 5-8 plastic bags on top of each other. More bags will make a thicker fabric, but also take longer to iron.
  • Step 7: Turn on your iron. I used the setting for cotton blends.
  • Step 8: Line up the pieces and iron them together. Be sure to put a piece of cardstock on top of the stack. If you do not, the plastic will melt directly on your iron and you will RUIN YOUR IRON. Go back and forth, pressing firmly down on the iron.
  • Step 9: Take a look at your fabric. Has it all fused together? If so, you are ready to sew with it! If the fabric still has parts that feel like plastic bag, continue to iron using the above method until it has fused.
I used red and white Schnucks grocery bags; the wording was quite visible (and backwards) in the finished product; next time I'd make sure that didn't happen. The fabric felt something like tyvek. It shrank in size quite a bit as it was ironed together. It was very easy to cut, and easy to sew with my machine. I added a piece of velcro and a button to accessorize the flap of my new tote bag.

1 comment:

  1. Good grief...now I know why I don't do things like that. Too many steps.