Monday, May 17, 2010

recycling plastic bags


I've been thinking a lot about plastic bags lately... and how to use them in my craft.

There a challenge running for the month of May, over at my group on Ravelry... to create a project which recycles a plastic bag.

Any kind of project at all.

Using any technique you like.

Which got me to thinking... there's so many things that I haven't yet tried with plastic...

One is to FUSE it... to take about eight layers of plastic, sandwich them between sheets of greaseproof paper, and then iron them so that they fuse together. The resulting plastic sheet can be cut and sewn, just as you would with fabric.

I've tried fusing once before. It wasn't exactly successful, so I tossed the idea... but I'm starting to think that it would definitely be worth another try.

The second idea that I would love to try is WEAVING with plastic strips. I saw a fabulous bag (you can see it here) which I would love to make. It uses woven squares of plastic, which are then patchworked together and stitched into a bag... and it looks amazing.

Despite those ideas running around in my head, I started on an entirely different plastic project:

I'm working on a crochet bag... using two strands of plarn (plastic yarn) and on strand of audio cassette tape. It's my first attempt at combining plarn and cassette tape.

So far, so good... Stay tuned to see how it goes!



Kristy said...

I love the colors!

drenka said...

I love these colors.
I also wanted to try fusing bags but I am afraid to do that.It seems a little dangerous.
I love the weaved bag

frill.friend said...

Lovely colors ! About the woven squares ... wonder if they could be fused ?

Kyliie said...

That is soooo pretty!

Echo said...

I am working on plying plarn with some acrylic and adding beads to the 2nd ply for some texture, I spin on a pioneer, so I won't have to worry about getting caught in the orifice. This project and some of those on your blogspot are very inspirational.

Jo said...

I've always fancied trying the wonderful iron-on T shirt designs that Filth Wizardy describes. She just cuts her design out of plastic bags and irons them onto T shirts so that they fuse into the cloth.

Why haven't I tried it? Because I'd have to find the iron! And some plastic bags that are a good colour. And then I'd have to find the adaptor for the plug because I foolishly bought the iron in our nearest city forgetting that it is actually in a different country (I'm English - I expect to have to do something dramatic like crossing a sea if I'm going to a different country) and I didn't even think they might have different plugs there - but they do.

But someone else might like to try it - there are very clear instructions at:

misha said...

This bag

is the most beautiful thing I've seen made of plastic bags! Ever!

Although, I do admit the current project looks promising! :)

julie said...

That's the loveliest plarn crochet I have seen!

Guanaja Sharon said...

I have not crocheted with plastic yet as I just can't get enough bags together. In spite of the fact that I live on an island with too many plastic bags, I carry cloth bags to market when I shop so I seldom get a plastic one. However, a woman on the coast in La Ceiba, Honduras has a blog: and if you check it out on through the string I have given and scroll down for about 3 blogs, you will see sample of her crocheting efforts!

As to weaving, I checked the site and the bag would be great for shopping here. However, I have never done weaving, don't have a loom and getting one is really not an option here! Oh, well, I'll stick to crochet. Just too bad after a major hurricane went through our island in 1998 and destroyed it, all my video tapes were bad and since I had no idea what I might do with them I had to burn them! Don't cringe - on an island with no garbage disposal, that's the only choice we have! I only burned one or two at a time so that the foul smoke would not be overwhelming! The locals take their garbage to the dump and everything is burned there! Ugh!

Good luck with the bag and I would love to see a photo of the completed project.

Jennifer said...

I made a few knitted shopping bags with plarn--but never again. It was three years ago, and I can still remember how awful it felt! My hands were like hamburger for a week afterwards... I think crocheting with it would be easier on your hands, but I really don't feel like trying again!

Colombo said...

This is a really cool way to recycle plastic bags. I recently did my own bag recycling experiment in which I melted them down and cut childrens' blocks out of it. It came out nice!

TJ said...

Glad to see you experimenting with plastic! BUT, in can be easier than fusing ... just plain plastic bags cut into strips rolled into balls - so much easier on the hands and the ultimate product is sturdy ...
My grandma cut up old plastic bags and would make heavy duty rugs for the work room and basement.
My Mom took this in another angle ... in the country (in Canada) where she lives, the paper arrives in a long translucent plastic bag of either blue, green, yellow or pink ... she cut them into strips, and crocheted a colourful stripey floor mat for our cold basement floor laundry room. It must be about 10yrs old now, it is still cushy to the step, and completely insulates your feet from the cold floor!
Try it .. fast and satisfying!

party bags said...

Very nice crochet! Using recycled straws, you can make a lot of crafts from it. This would probably be one of its finest products.

jade said...

The symbol should be as close to the bottom center of the product as possible. Colored plastic sheet