Friday, February 18, 2011

Plastic Bags: soon as extinct as the dinosaurs whence they came?

More and more stores are starting to discontinue the use of plastic shopping bags.  And that's a good thing, since they are not biodegradable and pretty toxic depending on where they are made.  .Apart from reusing them or putting them in the recycle bin, you can also repurpose them for all kinds of projects.   Fusing several layers together using an iron, can give you a basic sheet that can be painted on or sewn into other projects.  You can also cut the bags into thin strips and then knit or crochet a purse, for example. The purse on the right  was made by Cindy of "My Recycled".    I have tried crocheting with plastic bag "yarn" as well, and it is fast and easy. 

Recently I made these envelopes from a layer of three or four plastic bags, (handles and bottoms cut off so that they can be layered flat) and topped by a colorful page from a magazine.   Any  pretty paper you may have  would work. Then I placed it all between two layers of parchment paper and with a hot iron I pressed on it for about 10-14 seconds, covering the entire area until the plastic bags fused and bonded to the decorative paper.

The parchment paper is removed and the edges trimmed to about 8 x 10 inches and folded  into envelopes, closing the sides by using my sewing machine.

I then sewed on  buttons (buttons with "stems" are pushed  through a hole and  kept in place with a safety pin inside) and added ribbons, lace, and/or elastic closure loops, and other embellishments.  You can use these envelopes for grocery coupons or whatever else you can think of.
The links  below have helpful tutorials and examples:

It is important when fusing, to work in a well ventilated area or have a fan nearby as it is probably not a good idea to inhale any possible fumes, although the actual ironing time is not very long, usually not more than 15 seconds.  But:  safety first.  Have fun!

~ Tranquility and Tolerance ~

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