What I made Today: Month Challenge Day Six

>> Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Well I read on a blog somewhere- I wish I had a link because it was great- I read about fusing plastic bags together and making "fabric" out of them. I started this project on Sunday as Danielle and I sat and cut the red parts off of Target bags. I finally finished my recycled plastic bag bag today. These bags can be used for anything and I am saving up brown plastic bags to make a brown bag for bread.

I FOUND THE SITE with the best tutorial ever. click HERE for the Recycled Grocery Totes

What you need for this project:
30 white target plastic bags.
parchment paper
1 sheet of felt (I used wool felt that I had on hand which I buy by the yard but a 9 by 12 inch sheet would be enough)
Ironing board
white thread or contrasting color thread

first I prepped my massive pile of bags. I thought we had saved these for a while but I only had 20 target bags and 20 weis bags. I swear I have given target so much money I should have millions of bags. I wanted to blame John for my lack of plastic bags because why would I throw away my bags? They did take up an entire broom closet but that is not the point. I have some other bags from wegmanns but I wanted to try with the white bags first. I cut the bottom seam off the bag and then removed the handles. Then I cut off the side with writing or targets.

You put about 10 plastic bags (make sure all the dog hair is off of them, and debris- what is it about dog hair and plastic bags?) between two sheets of parchment paper and iron them together on a medium setting. You iron for about 10 minutes, constantly moving the iron so you don't burn holes in your "fabric."

when you are ironing the plastic bags shrink up and pucker- the trick is to get them to fuse together and melt completely without heating them so much that they pull together. you can feel if the layers are still separated. One of the reasons the target bags seemed to work better is they shrunk a little less than the weis ones I used. I actually burned a hole in part of the weis "fabric" by ironing it too much. I was unimpressed. I had cut off so many bag handles and seams to make that!

In the picture the "fabric" from the weis bags is on the right. the target bag fabric is on the left. They started out roughly the same size, so maybe I was doing it incorrectly but it seems to shrink up a little more.

Next I measured a milk jug and cut my fabric into a few pieces- 2 14 by 11 inch pieces, 2 6.5 by 11 inch pieces and one 14 by 6.5 inch piece. I also cut handles the length of the "fabric" and about 2 inches thick. I used a ruffled blade my sister in law Christina bought me two years ago that I still LOVE. You could have the same effect with pinking shears. The plastic bag fabric won't fray though, which is nice.

I used felt and cut out "milk" without tracing it so it doesn't look fantastic. I used felt because I was worried using interfacing to iron the letters on might ruin my recycled bag fabric. You could always it to stabilize any fabric you want to write the letters with. Using your computer to print out a large font word might look better as well, but I wanted to see how it would look if I just made it up.
This bag is recycled and fits two gallon size milk jugs. It is sturdier than bagging it with 10 plastic bags and shouldn't hurt your hand as much.

What did You make Today?


kathryn July 27, 2010 at 2:08 PM  

That is super cool--and super cute! You are so crafty!

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About This Blog

I am a stay at home mom with a little bit of a fabric habit. I like selling things on etsy to see if other people like the same things I make. I have two adorable kiddos and my husband is in medical school. So when the children go to bed and husband is still away studying, I use my lovely pfaff and bring myself to cut up the fabric I adore so much.
This blog helps motivate me to get things done.

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