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Apr 14, 2009

Recycle Your Grocery Plastic Bag

Do you have the habit of keeping your grocery plastic bags? I do, and have plenty of them in my carbinet. I know that I will find good use for them one day instead of throwing them away into the dustbin and loading the landfill.
I emptied them out on the weekends as there were too many to keep. Looking at them and noticing that some plastic bags are so beautifully designed, it seems like such a wastes, so I made this!!! Fused plastic sheet for various crafts, you can even sew on them. At this point of time the outlook of the plastic sheet doesn't seems appealing to you but it will be a great art when you put them together with other material. I am going to use them to make a recycled tote bag!!!
Let me bring you to the tutorial on how to make these fused plastic sheets. I will keep the recycled tote bag for another post in few days time, so please come back and check for the updates.

Material

  1. a pair of scissors,
  2. 2 sheets of blank white paper,
  3. a thick towel,
  4. iron,
  5. plenty of thin grocery plastic bags, and
  6. a well ventilated room

Method
Cut the grocery plastic bags into flat rectangle sheet, i.e cut away the handles, the bottom and side seams. Stack 6-8 pieces of equal size together. The most top and bottom plastic sheet must be white and blank.

Sandwich 2 pieces of plain white paper in between the plastic pile. The paper must be bigger than the plastic so you won't iron and melt your plastic and stick on it.

Set the iron to medium heat and stroke across the plastic pile slowly and evenly. The heat from the iron will fuse the plastic sheets underneath. Remove the iron and press against the pile with a thick towel to let it cool down slowly. Please don't touch it as it is quite hot for your bare hand to handle it. As it cools, the plastic pile will harden and shrink a little, you will hear some creepping sound. If you skipped this step, your plastic pile will shrink and roll up while it cools, as a result, you won't get a flat plastic sheet.Take a closer look of how it looks after the fusing. See, they are bonded together!!!

You need to try out a few times to get the right temperature. The photo shown below was my failed trial. The reason being was that I set my iron temperature too high and the plastics were melted and formed holes. If you find that you plastics are not fusing, that means your iron is not hot enough, increase the temperature or stroke it longer.



If you have any questions, please do leave comments below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Good luck.

UPDATE *** I have used this fused plastic sheet combined with other material to make a tote bag.

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6 comments:

Joanne April 14, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

What a great re-use idea. Looking forward to seeing the bag!

Food For Tots April 17, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

How abt making them as the book cover?

Craftpassion April 17, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

Food For Tots - Great idea, yes, we can make slip book cover with it!!! Note book cover, coaster, table mat etc... may look cool too!!!

Anya from PassiFlora magazine May 1, 2009 at 10:18 PM  

Great tutorial and beautiful bag! Thanks for sharing your ideas.
I linked the tutorial at PassiFlora magazine http://passifloramag.com/2009/05/plastic-bag-crafts/ Hope you don't mind!

Anya

Anonymous,  May 5, 2009 at 11:13 AM  

Can you tell me how to stop my bags from shrinking...

Craftpassion May 6, 2009 at 12:36 PM  

Anya - Thanks for sharing my post in your PassiFlora magazine. I don't mind as long as you direct a link to my blog :)
Anonymous - I presumed that you meant shrinking after washing, right! Sorry, I have no idea about how to prevent it, but I will normally wash and test the fabric before making it into a bag. If you really need to wash the bag, may be you can try dry-wash it but you have to check with the laundrette if the material can be dry-washed.

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