Craftster Community

MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS => Completed Projects => Topic started by: jamiewatchthestars on June 22, 2007 01:08:44 PM



Title: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 22, 2007 01:08:44 PM
you can make fabric from plastic bags!  

You will need:
-an iron
-a place to iron (i.e. an ironing board)
-2-4 large pieces of cardstock or posterboard
-a cutting device (i STRONGLY recommend craft knife or rotary cutter, but scissors will suffice)

Step 1: Collect a whole lot of plastic bags.  (Grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, etc.)
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049813_1579.jpg

Step 2: Straighten and smooth each bag.
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049814_7979.jpg

http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049818_2753.jpg

Step 3: Prepare the bag.  Cut off the base and handles.
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049820_3221.jpg

http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049821_3453.jpg

http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049815_2050.jpg

Step 4: Open the bag up.  Cut up the side of the bag with a scissor.
http://hs.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30049816&id=1461540289

Step 5: Smooth
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049817_2522.jpg

Now you are ready to actually create the "fabric."  The fabric will feel somethign like tyvek, which is traditionally used to wrap houses, but more recently used in jackets (american apparel has one).  It is very lightweight and durable.

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.  I used 6 bags.
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049824_4154.jpg

Step 7:  Turn on your iron.  I used the setting for cotton blends.  The rayon setting works well too.  

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.  
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049825_4388.jpg

Do not remove the top piece of cardstock until it has cooled.  Not only will you burn yourself, but you will create holes in your fabric.  Also, resist the urge to turn the heat on your iron up higher.  It will not speed up the process, it will melt the plastic and create holes such as these as well.  
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049827_4845.jpg

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 (below), continue to iron using the above method until it has fused.
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049828_5083.jpg

Step 10: Enjoy your fabric!
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049831_5799.jpg

Try different color combinations.  I figured out that it works best if you use all one color, or a color with white.  Brown tends to make colors murky, so try to use brown alone, unless you want that murky look intentionally.  Clear dry cleaning bags will create a see through fabric.

You can run the finished fabric though your sewing machine.  I suggest that you try a sample piece before beginning a project.  I didn't need to adjust my tension, you might need to, depending on your machine.
http://photos-289.ll.facebook.com/photos-ll-sf2p/v82/190/40/1461540289/n1461540289_30049833_6273.jpg

The "fabric" can be attached easily with hot glue.  The glue will melt and bond the bags very firmly.  Once you have fused the bags into fabric, you can cut it easily with a scissor.

Here is what I did with the fabric:

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=178445.new#new


it can also be used as a cheap, environmentally friendly heavyweight interfacing for bags, camera cases, etc.

No, it does not sound like a plastic bag when you wrinkle it up.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Fun4Bambi on June 22, 2007 01:22:34 PM
Crazy! Cool! Crazy-Cool!!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CheyElizabeth on June 22, 2007 01:53:31 PM
I love this! But when you say cardstock or posterboard.. where did you get yours? I think regular posterboard would be too thick?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 22, 2007 02:49:41 PM
i used scrapbooking cardstock, which is like the weight of oak tag, if you know what i mean by that?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: minouette on June 22, 2007 03:08:27 PM
 ;D

Fabulous re-purposing/re-using of a material. I saw a picture of a quilt made from coffee sleeves and I think one could make a quilt from plastic bags in this way. You could use it for a picnic blanket, because it would be water-proof.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Sansa on June 22, 2007 03:55:20 PM
I read the Handmade pattern which is similar and would like to add the folowing tips (not yet attempted by me).

1. They didn't actually sew their bag, they cut flaps and ironed them onto the bag, fusing them the same way as you made the pattern. I don't know how strong these seams would be but if your sewing machine was in the shop, it could be worth a try.

2. To make a larger piece of fabric, they set out the bags in a sort of woven pattern which let them make it as large as wanted, not just the size of the bag. I hope that makes sense. Thinking of an example...like popsicle stick houses, offset every other one.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 22, 2007 04:21:59 PM
1. They didn't actually sew their bag, they cut flaps and ironed them onto the bag, fusing them the same way as you made the pattern. I don't know how strong these seams would be but if your sewing machine was in the shop, it could be worth a try.

i tried this as well.  in theory, its a fantastic idea.  in real life, when you go to iron the seams, the amount of heat that you need to iron through a thick piece of fabric made mine bubble and get holes in it.

im sure it would work if you did it for a long time on a lower heat, i just don't have the patience.  i have been sewing my seams and then ironing over them to "seal" it.

2. To make a larger piece of fabric, they set out the bags in a sort of woven pattern which let them make it as large as wanted, not just the size of the bag. I hope that makes sense. Thinking of an example...like popsicle stick houses, offset every other one.


wow good idea.  if i ever get around to doing this again i'll try that.  i ended up just ironing all of the big bag sized pieces together into one ginormous fabric.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: aphie on June 22, 2007 04:56:31 PM
Ahahah!
I am so impressed with this idea! Thankyou so much for the tutorial, I'm already thinking of ways I could use the plastic bag fabric. :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: BlackOctopi on June 22, 2007 05:21:15 PM
This is great. I have a huge bag of plastic bags that I had no idea what to do with! I am totally going to use this thanks!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Lizzle on June 22, 2007 05:45:15 PM
SUCH a good idea.  Great way to reuse--beats taking them to the grocery store to be recycled, in my opinion.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Queen of the Savages on June 22, 2007 06:02:32 PM
Oh this is absolutely incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I really want to make a makeup bag out of this type of fabric. It'd be so neat if I can dig up my old sanrio hello kitty bag, or some metallic ones from a few years ago.


I'm pumped.
Thanks again!  :-*


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: lee-lee ess. on June 22, 2007 06:28:16 PM
This is a fantastic idea!  I'll definately have to try that... I have no clue what I want to make with it yet, but I know I want to try something!

Thanks for sharing!  :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: viri on June 23, 2007 03:29:22 AM
They don't sell heavy duty interfacing in my country so can't wait to try it. Any experience with the double sided  glue interfacing? If it stick both sides togeter I could have a neater finish than hot glue gun. Or Am I wrong?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: around on June 23, 2007 04:51:11 AM
this is a genius idea and i LOOOOOOVVVVEEE it!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: april_cocaine on June 23, 2007 10:42:02 AM
I love this idea! thanks for sharing :D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 23, 2007 12:13:19 PM
Any experience with the double sided  glue interfacing? If it stick both sides togeter I could have a neater finish than hot glue gun. Or Am I wrong?

i'm not sure what you mean by double sided glue interfacing...maybe you could clarify?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: TheWomanMonster on June 23, 2007 03:59:26 PM
I wonder if the resulting fabric would be too stiff for a raincoat?
Maybe I could line it with pretty fleece... Hmmm.....


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: pixing on June 23, 2007 05:03:14 PM
This is absolutely fascinating.  I wish I knew of this technique before I started using all cloth bags for shopping  :D

great tutorial - thanks


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: turtle bot on June 23, 2007 07:24:18 PM
okay you guys... something isnt right.... correct my problem please!!! okay so i tried it, it seemed fine for my sample.. actually it was perfect. so i decided to make a bigger piece. this: not so great. the cardstock was melted to the plastic and it ripped!! i was so sad, discouraged and run down... iam a softie. help please!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 23, 2007 08:16:40 PM
okay you guys... something isnt right.... correct my problem please!!! okay so i tried it, it seemed fine for my sample.. actually it was perfect. so i decided to make a bigger piece. this: not so great. the cardstock was melted to the plastic and it ripped!! i was so sad, discouraged and run down... iam a softie. help please!

my guess is that you didn't let the cardstock cool completely before pulling it off.  either that or your iron is on too high of a setting.
I wonder if the resulting fabric would be too stiff for a raincoat?
Maybe I could line it with pretty fleece... Hmmm.....

if you do less sheets of bag before ironing you could make a lighter weight fabric.  i saw a raincoat made from it someplace on etsy.  ill try to find a picture


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: turtle bot on June 23, 2007 09:57:58 PM
oh thank you... would i might be using the wrong cardstock? what was yours or where did you get it?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: viri on June 24, 2007 03:16:31 AM
They sell this really thin thing which servs for iron together two layers fabcric. it was papaer on one side and works like a fabric glue. You iron it on one of the fabricks pull off the paper and iron it onto the other fabric and you get one so even layer of fabric. It's like the sticky layer on the interfacing.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: winniethepoohbear on June 24, 2007 03:44:38 AM
wow this is so creative!! do you think it could be used to line a tote... I'm looking into linings for a bag I'm planning to make... would it be strong enough??


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: bronzfrog on June 24, 2007 06:59:58 AM
What a great idea!  I have a ton of plastic bags and this would be perfect for cosmetic bags.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: milkweed* on June 24, 2007 07:27:23 AM
thats so awesome, i think i might try that... :D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Mosquito on June 24, 2007 07:39:02 AM
Very cool! Thank you for sharing!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Liv_Hammond on June 24, 2007 10:00:21 AM
Awesome idea - there is a video tutorial on the Makemagazine vodcast for this weekend:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sB1mE8e35UY

Has links to a pattern for a messenger bag there tooo :)



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 24, 2007 01:26:39 PM
wow this is so creative!! do you think it could be used to line a tote... I'm looking into linings for a bag I'm planning to make... would it be strong enough??

yep!  its very strong.

oh thank you... would i might be using the wrong cardstock? what was yours or where did you get it?
i doubt it is the cardstock, but if it is, i used 12x12 scrapbooking cardstock.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: belbastafine on June 25, 2007 05:28:28 PM
They sell this really thin thing which servs for iron together two layers fabcric. it was papaer on one side and works like a fabric glue. You iron it on one of the fabricks pull off the paper and iron it onto the other fabric and you get one so even layer of fabric. It's like the sticky layer on the interfacing.

I know what you're talking about!  It's fusible webbing.  The brand I use is Heat N Bond Ultra, which works just like you described.  It requires high heat to melt the glue, but if the plastic melts to the glue first... 

It think that may work.  Or use the Heat N Bond Lite.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on June 26, 2007 07:06:45 AM
Not to sound like a worry wart... the only problem I have with projects like this is that it's really not contributing to a full circle of recycling. Weaving or crocheting the bags is better because there are no toxic fumes released while doing it. Methods are an important key in whether or not something is recycled well.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: sunnyskies*4* on June 26, 2007 09:27:24 AM
I just HAD to give this a try. I used wax paper like the You Tube video suggested and it worked great. There was no smell at all (and therefore I'm assuming no toxic fumes either).

I was very happy with how easily it sewed together and also that I could cut it easily on my scrapbooking cutting board!

Here's the end result:



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: cataway on June 26, 2007 09:34:07 AM
And now possibly no one will recycle them at all for fear of fumes, that was not constructive criticism because many people do not weave or crochet.  sorry, off my soapbox now :-X


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jareth_tights on June 26, 2007 09:40:57 AM
Is anyone else feeling the need to made clothing out of this? With a lining and making a fairly light material it should work right? Am I asking too many questions to help cover the possible insanity of my wannabeplan? heh


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: sunnyskies*4* on June 26, 2007 11:36:07 AM
Is anyone else feeling the need to made clothing out of this? With a lining and making a fairly light material it should work right? Am I asking too many questions to help cover the possible insanity of my wannabeplan? heh

GO FOR IT!

I would love to see the results.  Honestly this really makes a great fabric and I am dreaming up more projects too!



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on June 26, 2007 06:16:34 PM
just because you don't smell anything doesn't mean that there are no fumes released. if anything, you are just huffing the toxins yourself.

i wasn't trying to discourage anyone from trying this; crafters improve the world and our actions while crafting are important. we can't keep melting beads and plastic and not think about how that will effect ourselves or our environment.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 26, 2007 08:01:30 PM
how i think about it is that if you "live" in fear of everything (getting cancer from cell phones, toxic fumes from melted plastic, your car igniting from static electricity while pumping gas, etc.) then you will never actually get to live.

either way, just use a well ventilated room.

so yeah.  there is my two cents.  now back to crafting because this is a craft site, not a safety site.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 26, 2007 08:02:15 PM
also it looks great sunny skies!!!!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: panic_paizlee on June 27, 2007 01:15:51 AM
This is so cool! Thank you very much for sharing!

This is what I made using your tutorial!
https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=179427.new#new (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=179427.new#new)


Thanks again!
-Paizlee


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 27, 2007 06:52:33 AM
i finished my messenger bag.

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=179450.new#new


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: sunnyskies*4* on June 27, 2007 08:17:53 AM
Thanks Jamiewatchthestars!

I really like how your messenger bag turned out too. I like the colours.

panic_paizlee I really like the headbands. Very cool idea.

I am planning to make some library bags for my kids too. I've made the crocheted bags version but I like this method much better because it is alot stronger.

Nothing wrong with crocheting or weaving the plastic bags either, don't get me wrong here!  :D   


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: farhana on June 28, 2007 01:27:24 AM
hi! thanx for the tutorial!
u really inspired me.
n guess what?
i made a fabric out of trash bags.
n sew them into a clutch.
hehe.  ;D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: cyberology on June 29, 2007 04:56:19 AM
This is a fantastic new technique, very inspiring!

I hope you don't mind but I've emailed the URL for this thread to the teachers in our school's Textiles department (I work as the Art technician) and I think they'll be interested in trying this with our GCSE students.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: RecycleCindy on June 29, 2007 06:28:48 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful tutorial. This is just another fine example of how we can re-use and recycle all those plastic bags we get.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on June 29, 2007 07:59:08 AM
This is a fantastic new technique, very inspiring!

I hope you don't mind but I've emailed the URL for this thread to the teachers in our school's Textiles department (I work as the Art technician) and I think they'll be interested in trying this with our GCSE students.

hahah wow cool! of course i don't mind


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: LisaMRose on July 02, 2007 08:08:47 PM
Hey guys, just wanted to say I think this is a really cool idea! I will have to try it.

I wonder if you could sort of sandwich some paper in between the plastic bags? Would you be able to see what was on the paper through the plastic bags? Hmmm... definitely worth trying out I think! It would make the fabric a little stiffer where there was paper I imagine... but if you could find mostly white or solid-colored bags and put some sort of image behind them, it might be kinda nifty!

If someone tries this, let us know how it turns out. I wish I had time to do it myself but I probably won't for a few weeks!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: librarylolita on July 02, 2007 08:26:43 PM
OK, I tried the tut.  Got about six layers of plastic grocery bags.  Put a Scrabble board on the bottom.  Put a cover from a paperback book on top (about as thick as tagboard) and started ironing on a normal setting.  25 minutes later, no fusing.  I turned the iron setting up higher and still nothing.  Am I doing something wrong?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: panic_paizlee on July 02, 2007 08:29:10 PM
I wonder if you could sort of sandwich some paper in between the plastic bags? Would you be able to see what was on the paper through the plastic bags? Hmmm... definitely worth trying out I think! It would make the fabric a little stiffer where there was paper I imagine... but if you could find mostly white or solid-colored bags and put some sort of image behind them, it might be kinda nifty!

If someone tries this, let us know how it turns out. I wish I had time to do it myself but I probably won't for a few weeks!

I tried it... And it didn't really work for me. I used cut out letters with about 5 layers of plastic underneath them and one layer over them. And the paper tore through the plastic. Maybe if you put two or three layers of plastic over the paper it won't tear through the plastic.... I'll have to try again!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: blue_concubine on July 04, 2007 04:49:53 AM
This is a great idea.  ingenious!  Thanks for the tute.  I will be trying it for sure.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: greencraft on July 04, 2007 12:23:50 PM
Love the innovative idea! I just returned from the store with WAY too many plastic bags and now I know just what to do. Mind if I post this, along with a photo of your fabulous bag, at http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com?

alissa


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on July 04, 2007 12:53:22 PM
Love the innovative idea! I just returned from the store with WAY too many plastic bags and now I know just what to do. Mind if I post this, along with a photo of your fabulous bag, at http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com?

alissa

go right ahead.  thanks.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: unsay on July 05, 2007 09:23:14 AM
Plastic bags only cost a store a penny to produce, but comparatively cost the public 17 cents apiece to deal with as waste because often they can't be recycled.  This is an AMAZING way to deal with the waste we all have.  Trash to treasure, indeed. =)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: sheltiemomx3 on July 06, 2007 05:09:27 AM
I work in a Health Food Store and we use bags that look like regular plastic, but are biodegradeable, be sure NOT to use bags that degrade. All your work could be for nothing if one layer disappears!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on July 06, 2007 06:40:59 AM
there was a ban on non-biodegradable bags in California. they may even ban them all together or put a tax on them. Ikea started charging 5 cents for each bag if you want one now. that money goes to planting new trees.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: dani_gosick on July 09, 2007 10:33:26 PM
This is great! I love re-using old grocery bags!
If anyone is interested they are also GREAT for stuffing pillows and such. Although if its a pillow for comfort it makes a bit of noise. But i have also used shopping bags for stuffing in felt animals... and when you really stuff it all in there it gets pretty solid and you cannot tell that they are garbage bags!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: librarylolita on July 11, 2007 01:07:53 AM
OK.  I finally got the fusing to work.  The tagboard I was using was a bit too thick, so I tore the back off of a phonebook and that worked.  I still get some holes every now and then, but I kind of like how it looks.  I decided to try a hat.  Here are the results:



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: biscuitANDsissy on July 11, 2007 05:48:53 AM
that is beyond awesome - my mother is going to think I'm crazy when I start stealing all the plastic bags


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: ultimate_sacrifice on July 11, 2007 02:06:53 PM
I LOVE YOU!! OH MY GOSH THAT'S AWESOME!!  :D :D :D :D :D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: wowxoxo on July 15, 2007 09:36:26 AM
SUCH a good idea.  Great way to reuse--beats taking them to the grocery store to be recycled, in my opinion.
oo! idea! you could TAKE them from the grocery store recycling bin!  muahahahahahahaha


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: AmysIntoWishin on July 15, 2007 02:03:23 PM
Kudos and many thanks for the tute.  I recently became a member of craftster, and just watched the video for the messenger bags, somewhere in bags & wallets.  I was very impressed by this and was hoping for more info.  I happened upon you and VIOLA!  I love the overlapping idea for one large fabric.  I'm going to give this a try.  AHAHAHA... Taking the bags from the store's recyling!  Anyone else thinking, post office??  Tyvek envelopes!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Sheerterror77 on July 15, 2007 02:24:32 PM
wow thats ingeniusly crazy!

but im wondering...
What does the finished fabric feel like? Do you think you could make a skirt from it? Would you have to line it for it to not bother your skin and do you think it would tear easily

im still in awe of the ingeniusness :o


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: librarylolita on July 15, 2007 06:00:59 PM
but im wondering...
What does the finished fabric feel like? Do you think you could make a skirt from it?

It feels like thin but really stiff plastic.  It's easy to sew and pretty durable.  You could make a skirt out of it and line it (that'd be excellent), but be forwarned that it'll make a loud crackling sound when you walk.  I'd also make the skirt with a little give, because the seams might get thin if the plastic is repeatedly pulled tight with sitting, etc.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Keke on July 17, 2007 10:44:26 AM
OMG I am so excited this is great for a day that you are bored want something to do, cannot find anything good in your fabric stash and are too poor to go buy some! I will try it tonight! thanks for the tut!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: mystico_tala on July 17, 2007 07:48:12 PM
Fantastic!  I've been wanting to find a way to use all these plastic bags!  I'm planning on using the 'fabric' to make a lining for a fabric grocery bag type thing I'm making :)  I never would have thought of it.

[EDIT]Here is the bag I made with it :)

My plastic pieces

Finished bag

Plastic lining!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: queercat on July 19, 2007 02:14:38 PM
oh wow!  i love this, thanks!  i'm always making things out of trash bags and stuff that could get thrown away... :D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: mamakay on July 19, 2007 10:09:19 PM
This is officially the absolute most awesome thing I have ever seen.  I'm so doing this after I conquer half my pile of half-finished crafty-ness.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Lydia the Strange on July 20, 2007 02:48:12 PM
If you do not have cardstock, you can use wax paper and it peels off easy as pie. Infact I think it works far better than cardstock.

Also, instead of cutting the bag down one seam after you remove the handles and base, just fold it once in half then again in half, Do the same to the next sheet and then insert one side i9nto the first sheet you made, then iron them together to form a seamless sheet of fabric. You can add as many sheets as you want to make it as large as you need.

Works perfect every time for me.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: barbolot on July 20, 2007 04:00:16 PM
First, this is an awesome idea and a fabulous tutorial. 

Next, I tried this.  Twice.  The first time, I forgot not to peel the cardstock while warm, and got some holes.  But I did have large useable pieces.  The second time came out a lot better.  My question is, does your "fabric" have wrinkles/small bubbles?  I absolutely could not get mine smooth.  What am I doing wrong??


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: adadancer13 on July 22, 2007 12:14:20 AM
That's awesome. Thanks for the tutorial. I'm going to have to try this!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on July 22, 2007 09:57:10 AM
My question is, does your "fabric" have wrinkles/small bubbles?  I absolutely could not get mine smooth.  What am I doing wrong??

small bubbles means that you didn't iron enough.
wrinkles means that you ironed too much.


i suggest making sure that you do a similar time on all sections and then going back and touching it spots that need it.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: barbolot on July 22, 2007 10:58:46 AM
My question is, does your "fabric" have wrinkles/small bubbles?  I absolutely could not get mine smooth.  What am I doing wrong??

small bubbles means that you didn't iron enough.
wrinkles means that you ironed too much.


i suggest making sure that you do a similar time on all sections and then going back and touching it spots that need it.
Thanks for the advice... I'll give it another try later this week.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: dreamersdisease on July 24, 2007 06:39:01 PM
this has to be one of the coolest things i've seen, it's completely revolutionary. i was about to go to bed buttt i think i'll try this instead : ) so how did you get this idea?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on July 25, 2007 12:24:28 PM
so how did you get this idea?

it just came to me!!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Nuhbe on July 25, 2007 02:02:32 PM
Such a great idea!!! I'm always keeping plastic bags and try to reuse it, but that's the best idea I've seen forever! thanks! 


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: italianchildhood on July 27, 2007 02:35:17 PM
That is very interesting.
We used to cut them up in little strips and crochet purses from them. Haven't done that in a long time. Might have to give it a whole new try!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Nahanni on July 31, 2007 08:08:34 PM
I tried this and had the plastic bad melt to the cardstock. ???
The pieces that didn't stick are totally cool!   :)
What can I do.  I really want this to work.  Any suggestions before I go off and experiment some more?
Right now we are trying to soak off the paper to see what actually did take...
Thanks!
Nahanni


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Nahanni on July 31, 2007 08:13:27 PM
That is very interesting.
We used to cut them up in little strips and crochet purses from them. Haven't done that in a long time. Might have to give it a whole new try!

You got any pictures of those purses?? Would love to see them!
N


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: tattooed_jen_ell on August 01, 2007 05:49:53 AM
I see lining for purses and make-up bags in my future. This would be wonderful so lipgloss or chapstick melts or gets loose it won't bleed through. Wonderful!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Brihene on August 02, 2007 05:45:29 AM
Cool! Another good website for recycled crafts is http://www.mmsb.nf.ca/Craft%20Book%202006.pdf


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: RequisiteFoxy on August 02, 2007 05:49:07 AM
Very cool! I always wondered what to do with all those bags :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Le_Femme_Floral on August 07, 2007 10:22:51 AM
I made some of this last night, thanks to you - but I was wondering if melting the bags hurts the environment?
I heard the making of them does. (Gases or something)
What do you think?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on August 07, 2007 07:20:03 PM
*pokes my previous post*


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: BettyBravo on August 17, 2007 07:32:13 PM
I mean dang, I do my best at recycling, using the special little bin for my aluminum glass and cardboard, so I am not a recycling genius, but... it seems to me that when you dump your old bags at the retailers for recycling, they dont take them immeadiately out of there and reuse, they have to offer new ones (im talking wal-mart, target, etc...) so.. it seems to me that when they gather up the used bags, they must melt them first to make the new ones. Is this how it works???? I am just curious...  :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on August 17, 2007 10:30:24 PM
they don't usually get recycled into new bags. they get chopped up and turned into various things like certain types of insulation for example.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: xyoung*craftiex on August 18, 2007 06:02:00 AM
omg that is so good, i looked at your makeup bag, which looks really good. I'm between a purse (american wallet?) or -copying you! he he ;D - a makeup bag! thankyou for this idea!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: crzychick on August 19, 2007 12:01:54 PM
That's really clever  :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: lintacious on August 20, 2007 11:27:36 AM
Just a heads-up, EtsyLabs made a tut about this as well, except they use parchment paper instead of cardstock.  That's cheaper and I always have that on hand.

http://etsylabs.blogspot.com/2007/05/long-overdue-fusing-plastic-bag.html (http://etsylabs.blogspot.com/2007/05/long-overdue-fusing-plastic-bag.html)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Thursdays_war on August 21, 2007 07:13:01 PM
Awesome for eco-friendly projects.. ty! :D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: WhiteBeltGrrrl on August 25, 2007 02:44:17 AM
I was really excited about this project and tried it out using all of the resources that the vast internet provides and was unable to 'make it work'. (And I mean that I spent hours) I am in awe of anyone that was able to pull anything out of this...  Snaps to you!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: JanetD on August 29, 2007 01:15:00 PM
Awesome idea, I know I will have to try it at some point.

A few pages back, someone mentioned using paper cutouts sandwiched between the plastic bags as an embellishment, and it didn't turn out.  I wonder if those plastic window cling thingys (I see them mostly for holiday decoration, but sometimes other themes as well) would work?  Something to try...


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: dablondeemu on September 04, 2007 07:04:49 PM
id love to try this!! ;D
but will it smell like melting plastic?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: ReuseCrafter on September 04, 2007 08:14:48 PM
OK, don't come and sue me if you end up with some dread disease someday, but I would generally consider the ironing of the bags to be safe.

They are made from #2 plastic (HDPE) and is considered safe.  Typical applications of #2 plastics are soda and water bottles, milk cartons and other food storage containers, microwaveable containers, shampoo and laundry detergent bottles.  HDPE is also used for water pipes and im heat applications such as solar heating panels and geothermal pipes.  Pipes for geothermal heating are joined by fusing.  The melting point for HDPE is 230 degrees Farenheit or 110 C.  Many objects made from HDPE are heat formed.

Garbage bags are made from #1 plastic, PET.  Both of these are the most easily and commonly recycled types of plastic.  The process used to recycle #1 and #2 plastics is to chop them into small pieces, melt them down, and then the melted plastic can be spun into thread.  These threads are then used to weave new items, two of the most common being carpeting and . . . T-Shirts . . . that can be ironed!

Another common way to recycle #1 and #2 plastics is injection molding.  Sometimes they are mixed first with recycled paper or cotton textiles, including denim and money.  The chopped plastic chips are melted and injected into molds to make anything from reuseable drink bottles, coffee cups, pens, and children's toys.

Although shopping bags and drink bottles are both #2 plastics, plastic bags should be separated from other plastic recyclables, as their thin structure requires different machinery for handling. 

There are 7 kinds of plastics.  Most plastics have a recycling symbol on them with  a number inside.  That number is there to tell us what type of plastic it is and how to handle it, as well as to sort it from other types of plastics,  The recycling symbol in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean it can be recycled, or recycled in your area.

Plastics #1, 2, 4, and 5 are generally considered "safe," while #3 (Vinyl) and #7 less so and #6 being debated.  #6 plastic is often heated.  In fact, this is the same thermo plastic that is used to make Shrinky-Dinks.  However, Styrofoam is also a #6 plastic but should never be heated. 

I taught Environmental Education for seven years through my county's Solid Waste Management Authority, and my hubby and I now own a recycling business, and that is where my information comes from :)

Anyway, I would consider ironing/fusing the plastic bags as "safe" as ironing a T-Shirt, or any other blended clothing item. I can't wait to try it myself.  I realize this is a crafting forum/thread, not a recycling one, but several PPs brought up concerns.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: ReuseCrafter on September 04, 2007 08:18:21 PM
Oh, and sorry, one more thing to add -- the degradeable bags only work if you either compost them yourself or take them to a compost waste facility.  The same holds true for the degradeable diapers like G-diapers (or if you break them up and flush them).

Otherwise, if you put them into the regular trash, they will go to a landfill, and nothing degrades in a landfill. . .though I wn't comment any further in this thread.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: sunnyskies*4* on September 05, 2007 10:03:45 AM
Thanks for that interesting information ReuseCrafter! I am glad to know that it is indeed safe to fuse these bags.

dablondeemu, I only did a small project with this idea so far but I did not notice any smell at all.

My only real issue with this idea is that all my shopping bags are very boring and not inspiring me to do much more with this yet. Beyond that this idea is great!



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: lintacious on September 08, 2007 11:11:43 AM
i tried this as well.  in theory, its a fantastic idea.  in real life, when you go to iron the seams, the amount of heat that you need to iron through a thick piece of fabric made mine bubble and get holes in it.

I agree. It always seems that "ridiculously simple why didnt i think of that" ideas are not ridiculously simple nor work as correctly when you try to do them. 

I did not have no where near the patience to make any fabric out of the bags, everything got holes and bubbled or shrank.  I used parchment paper instead of card stock (ala etsylabs) but the entire thing just made me really disappointed. 

I'm sure it works for some but meh.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Bigmouth on September 09, 2007 06:36:38 AM
I did this recently.  I made it small (the size of the cut bag)--and I didn't have a big piece of cardstock, so I layered inkjet printer photo paper.  I had to iron it a couple times, because it didn't fuse in the places where the cardstock was layered, but it worked perfectly when I moved it around.  The hardest part was being patient enough to wait for it to cool down.  Mine had six layers of plastic.

I was so afraid I was going to use too much heat, but it worked just fine.  I think the thickness of the photo paper helped.  I spent a couple minutes ironing it, actually, because I thought it would fuse much more quickly than it did.  I kept the iron moving and kept going over it, like I do with larger iron-on transfers.  The results were nicer than I expected.  Thanks for the directions and the inspiration!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: clare_bear_83 on September 12, 2007 12:03:45 AM
i tried it today for the first time. I think my card stock was too thick, so i used 4 layers of newspaper.
not only did it work perfectly, but i now have a groovy random newspaper print on my fabstick.
anyways, just thought i'd share :-)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: A2JC4life on September 13, 2007 04:47:02 PM
Does anyone know if this would be food-safe and/or washable?  I'd like to make some of these: http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/ (http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/) and this looks like it might possibly make a good lining.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: BonEsInspired on September 14, 2007 03:36:09 PM
I am so excited! I can't believe my luck. Yesterday I find this AMAZING website and today I found a solution to putting awful, terribly polluting waste into something VERY useful! Thank you so much for your post and tutorial! My boyfriend and I are very impressed. You wanna know what he said? "Cool. It's a lot better than making plastic trees!" lmao. I have pondered for a very long time what can be done about pesky plastic bags and how to reuse them so I do not feel so guilty bringing them from the stores. While pondering out loud with my boyfriend one day, on a trip home from the grocery store, I said: "Plastic trees? Insulating buildings somehow?". Nope. Making fabric. How Brilliant! ;D


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: ReuseCrafter on September 18, 2007 09:03:15 PM
Does anyone know if this would be food-safe and/or washable?  I'd like to make some of these: http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/ (http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/) and this looks like it might possibly make a good lining.

The plastic shopping bags are made from #2 plastic, the same kind that is used for soda bottles and milk cartons.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Bigmouth on September 19, 2007 02:59:23 PM
Does anyone know if this would be food-safe and/or washable?  I'd like to make some of these: http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/ (http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/) and this looks like it might possibly make a good lining.

The plastic shopping bags are made from #2 plastic, the same kind that is used for soda bottles and milk cartons.

Don't let the printed part of the bag face into your food.  I noticed quite a bit of it transferred to my cardstock when I ironed the plastic.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: bubblecup on September 19, 2007 05:30:09 PM
What a great idea for reusing those plastic bags that seem to overrun the house.  Can't wait to try it.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on September 19, 2007 07:07:24 PM
What a great idea for reusing those plastic bags that seem to overrun the house.  Can't wait to try it.


100th reply!  :]


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: IHearTreesCry on September 20, 2007 02:15:38 PM
I found this tutorial original and very helpful, so I made my first project with fused plastic bags...it's my first time, so the "fabric" isn't even (i didn't follow the tutorial exactly).

I am, however, happy to report that the whole thing from start to finish (and I mean going from plastic bags to fused-bag-finished-product) only took as long as it took me to listen to 3 CDs.

and finally...




comments?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: kellieperson on September 20, 2007 08:52:07 PM
holy cow!!!

now i know what to do with those 538538953 extra winn dixie bags!!

thanks a lot!! i don't know what I'll make with this fabric... but atleast it won't crinkle!  ;)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on September 22, 2007 05:28:31 AM
I am, however, happy to report that the whole thing from start to finish (and I mean going from plastic bags to fused-bag-finished-product) only took as long as it took me to listen to 3 CDs.

wow i love your bag.  good job


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: ragamufyn on September 25, 2007 01:09:59 AM
i am going to attempt to do this with my 5-10 year olds at my recycled crafts class tomorrow!

plastic sucks
http://www.bestlifeonline.com/cms/publish/travel-leisure/Our_oceans_are_turning_into_plastic_are_we.shtml


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: honeystarr on October 17, 2007 03:18:33 PM
2 questions. would this same thing work if you put a plastic b-day party tablecloth in between the bags? it would give the duller bags a lil color. also has anyone tried embroidering the bag afterword? i'm trying this and so far so good but i was wondering.. oh and i love this idea!!! oh and my 2 cents, to the person so concerned about not full recycling and toxins being let out:[not to be mean but..] first at least this is a step towards recycling! i mean to me thats way better than what some people are doing! and the toxins, instead of worrying about what lil we crafters are doing[ i'm sure we aren't producing a buttload! you should use your time and be trying to shut down/ change their ways of big companies that are putting out so much toxins and whatnot. i mean if you start there that would surely help the cause for a greener earth. thats just what i think so ...


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: bookstorebabe on October 17, 2007 04:29:22 PM
I figure it keeps a little more plastic out of the landfill.Reduce,reuse,recycle-it's reusing. My kroger store has started selling cloth shopping bags for 99 cents,and insulated ones for 3.00.I still want to make some plastic fabric someday.A big funky recycled tablecloth would be nice-even just to keep in the trunk for a ground cloth.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on October 17, 2007 05:47:40 PM
in fact, I do use my time to try to make changes. i work in the field of architectural sustainability. i have recently been working on studying how Tyvek responds in a fire. it's very similar to the plastic bags and not all plastic bags are made of the "good" kind of plastic. some plastic bags when melted or burned do release toxic fumes regardless of whether or not they smell like anything (think of carbon monoxide).

the worst part about doing this kind of thing as part of my job is knowing that I can't shut down the companies who do this. frankly, businesses need plastics bags for the convenience of their shoppers even if they cause the environment harm. the only way i can do anything at all is to improve education about plastics and safe things we can do with them when building. i liked to share my knowledge with the Craftsters here because, like a real crafty type, i think that crafters really can take over the world with the mad innovative skills.

i've seen this project done before and i want to challenge everyone to try something new with plastic bags as your medium that doesn't require melting or the addition of any glue at all and see what you come up with. Craftsters love a challenge don't they?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: skittlz420 on October 21, 2007 03:16:10 PM
That's amazing. I'd also like to see the american apparel jacket.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Phantasma on November 07, 2007 06:03:57 AM
This is so brilliant!  I've shared this link with SO many others!  Thank you for your creativity!  This rocks!! :-*


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: instantkarma on November 07, 2007 10:17:18 AM
I tried this yesterday and attempted to make a bag. I ended up with a cuff.  ;D
It's still pretty cool - just takes some trial and error. Also, MAKE SURE your workspace IS CLEAN. I ended up getting a lot of hair in my fused bags that looked just awful.  :-\


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: beruta on November 08, 2007 05:05:45 AM
That`s great! I`ll make one of this "fabrics" soon! I`ll try to insert something else between the layers and see what happen! When I make it I`ll show you! Thank you for the tutorial! I`ll send it to my mom, who although she NEVER takes plastic bags when shopping, she has LOTS of them!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: honeystarr on November 08, 2007 03:04:34 PM
i ironed a reese cup paper[a single the outer orange wrapper] in between and it seemed to work good. it looked cool but i think the iron needs to be set lower cause i got sum holes. also i ironed a really pretty leaf and it worked well too. not too sure how the leaf will look in the long run but thats all i've tried so far.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Asbjörn on November 14, 2007 03:06:54 PM
I was thinking about the "sandwiching things in the plastic" idea as well. I was thinking of those huge flat sequins (no idea what they're really called), as well as the possibility of plastic stickers.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: brookeincraftland on November 15, 2007 03:55:40 AM
GREAT! I can't wait to try this. How fun. I am going to look up what you made.



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: breeba on November 15, 2007 08:56:21 PM
so great now i know what else i can do with plastic bags instead of crochet them ;)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: bookstorebabe on November 18, 2007 07:25:51 AM
in fact, I do use my time to try to make changes. i work in the field of architectural sustainability. i have recently been working on studying how Tyvek responds in a fire. it's very similar to the plastic bags and not all plastic bags are made of the "good" kind of plastic. some plastic bags when melted or burned do release toxic fumes regardless of whether or not they smell like anything (think of carbon monoxide).

the worst part about doing this kind of thing as part of my job is knowing that I can't shut down the companies who do this. frankly, businesses need plastics bags for the convenience of their shoppers even if they cause the environment harm. the only way i can do anything at all is to improve education about plastics and safe things we can do with them when building. i liked to share my knowledge with the Craftsters here because, like a real crafty type, i think that crafters really can take over the world with the mad innovative skills.

i've seen this project done before and i want to challenge everyone to try something new with plastic bags as your medium that doesn't require melting or the addition of any glue at all and see what you come up with. Craftsters love a challenge don't they?

You make some very good points.I do believe you know what you're talking about.That being said, I still believe ironing plastic to make fabric is better than sending the plastic to the landfill.Especially if it keeps you from buying a new plastic tote bag/tablecloth/whatever. I did buy the cloth grocery bags-the hardest part about using them is remembering to take them back out to the car as soon as I've unloaded them! I still need to make a fabric bag that will fold up small and fit in my purse to be handy for everything else.It does require extra thought and planning.Have I quit bringing plastic bags into the house?Not 100%,but I've slowed it down considerably.

Non ironed plastic challenge? I know you can make "plarn" to crochet or knit with;unfortunately I can't do either.Something I've heard about but haven't tried yet-latch hook.Cutting plastic into small strips,and using regular latch hook canvas.Supposedly it makes a great doormat.Right now I'm too broke after car repairs to even think about craft shopping,but it's on my list for after christmas.
Some other ideas I've never done,but am curious about-weaving.I could see wrapping and old picture frame with twine(for durability) and weaving plastic strips instead of yarn. I could see that as the basis for a tote bag.I don't know if it would hold up as a rug,or be too slippery to be safe,and my cat would probably chew on it.Craftster axiom-the more time consuming(or expensive) the project,the more likely your pet will be to destroy it!
That's also why I won't try a braided rag rug with plastic-too slick,pet chewing.The weaving does have me curious-I did a twine/yarn rug decades ago,long gone now.If I get off my lazy butt and try it,I'll post on the process.
I'd love to hear everyone's ideas on other projects,no matter how wild,no matter if it's actually been done or not,big or small,usefull or silly.It might spark something.How about at least trying a tightly woven braid of plastic for a bag handle?Slip it through a grommet set on your tote bag,and knot the end to keep it in place.Gift bag handles are done exactly like that.
Thanks everybody!

CraftyMccrafterson,you said not all bags are of "good" plastic,and that SOME of them release fumes.Any way for a layperson to know which is which?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: seattlemeg on November 22, 2007 02:14:20 PM
 :'( OK, I give...  I've tried this just as you said it, then varied the iron temp, then varied the bag layers...  I don't get holes, but it puckers and wrinkles like mad, no matter what I do!!  How do you get the smooth-looking stuff?  Do I just have a sucky iron?  Help!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on November 22, 2007 04:55:32 PM
I found an answer! Plastics 1 and 2 are recyclable (as Reuse Crafter previously posted).  However, when companies recycle these plastics they need to filter the the air from the recycling process. Plastics that "aren't" recyclable just require too much/not easily available recycling methods.Most plastic grocery bags are labeled as number 2 pp. My concern now is the dry cleaning bags. They are not labeled so it's unclear what kind of plastic they are.

I would say that, based on my research, ironing bags probably isn't horrible. It probably depends on frequency and types of plastic. I found this interesting article that breaks down which plastics are used for what.

http://www.checnet.org/healtheHouse/education/quicklist-detail.asp?Main_ID=353

This little blurb is from a research study on plastics.

"Softening (rather than melting) polymeric plastics depends upon what the plastic is. Do not try heating the
plastic over an open flame or electric stove. Two dangerous things can happen, depending upon the material.
1. It may catch fire. 2. It may give off toxic fumes. In particular polyvinyl chloride (the stuff water
pipes are made with) decomposes to produce HCl and other nasty fumes.
Some plastics (for example Bakelite, the black plastic on pots and pans) will not soften at all it will
just char, giving off noxious fumes.
HDPE is partially crystalline. This raises the softening point so high that in the presence of air (oxygen)
it burns before it melts.
Polystyrene, when heated to high enough temperature to soften it "unzips" and produces styrene monomer
which is toxic and flammable. Polystyrene burns with a very smoky flame and will set off your smoke
detector in an instant.
Polymethylmethacrylate (Plexiglas is the trade name) softens at about 100 C but it does not really "flow"
very much. It too tends to "unzip" to give off methyl methacrylate monomer."

After all this plastic research I am happy to say that I am even thinking of giving this a try. Over the next few weeks (you know, when I have some spare time  ;) ) I would like to contact some companies and ask about the types of plastics used in their bags. I am most interested in dress bags, dry cleaning bags etc. Some states have actual legislation about what plastics are and are not allowed to be used. I think it could be interesting to put that info together. If anyone wants to join me, feel free to post what you find!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: crazygiraffe713 on November 22, 2007 05:01:43 PM
Awesome! My mind is already thinking of things to make with this fabric... ;)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Bigmouth on November 22, 2007 05:28:50 PM
Also, the bags aren't being heated and fused "in the open."  They're being heated and fused between layers of tagboard.  It seems like the tagboard would be able to contain a significant amount of what otherwies would be released into the air.  (Does that make any sense?)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: CraftyMcCrafterson on November 22, 2007 05:44:48 PM
Also, the bags aren't being heated and fused "in the open."  They're being heated and fused between layers of tagboard.  It seems like the tagboard would be able to contain a significant amount of what otherwies would be released into the air.  (Does that make any sense?)

that's an interesting point. i wish i had time and resources to properly test this. it seems to me that the tagboard would be negligible but it would need a test for sure!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: hellonhair on December 09, 2007 08:05:29 PM
I loved this idea so I sat down and started working on it.   Some issues I ran into: One was the tiny holes and air pockets.   I assume thats from too much heat in one area and not enough in another?  Also I'm having issues getting my ends to fuse together.  Lastly, I  had a hard time finding card stock anywhere....I asked some holiday helper at A.C. Moore and they gave me poster board...i think thats  also hindering the fusing....


tips please!!??!!?? ??? ??? ??? ???


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Bigmouth on December 10, 2007 03:44:39 AM
I loved this idea so I sat down and started working on it.   Some issues I ran into: One was the tiny holes and air pockets.   I assume thats from too much heat in one area and not enough in another?  Also I'm having issues getting my ends to fuse together.  Lastly, I  had a hard time finding card stock anywhere....I asked some holiday helper at A.C. Moore and they gave me poster board...i think thats  also hindering the fusing....


tips please!!??!!?? ??? ??? ??? ???
I used 8.5"x11" cardstock, overlapped it a bit, then moved it around when it was cool to iron it again (the places where the cardstock overlapped didn't fuse well).  When I re-ironed, I tried to focus on areas that needed more heat.  I re-ironed a couple times until all the bubbles fused.  I didn't even try to get the ends to fuse.  Instead, I trimmed it back when I was done ironing.  Hope that helps a little.  I'm sure someone else has more advice than I do.  :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: PBF2love on December 10, 2007 07:28:02 AM
oh boy! what an amazing idea! someof the markets around me have neato pink and green plastic bags! I have a slew of plastic bags and cannot wait to try it! if it works out the way i'd like it to as innerfacing i will no longer have to shell out $3 a yard for that stuff! Thanks!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: christysaysrawr on December 27, 2007 10:41:06 AM
i also used poster board and ran into some problems-
the wax paper was best,
i did get some little air holes,
and i had to put my iron on a very high setting-
[my iron just has a dial with MAX and MIN. to use as guides]
but after a few tries i got it right
&now i have a wonderful make up bag!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: colisa on December 28, 2007 10:48:14 AM
This is a REALLY neat Idea!
I can imagine using this fabric as an interfacing to waterproof slippers.


I have been planning to use my bags as a rain coat, but I was thinking of layering and stitching some quilting designs to secure the layers, then to water proof the needle holes there is a seam sealer for tents and outdoor wear, (or even bees wax).

other recycling uses for those bags (non heated) that I have done or are rumbling in my head:
I started to reply to some of the posts looking for using the bags in non heated ways,  and it got long enough I posted it in the recycling area

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=105249.30

Colisa


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: OriginalYouth on January 04, 2008 01:07:01 PM
This is so flipping cool!

CONGRATS on being one of the top 5 crafts of the YEAR 2007 in your category!!!!!

https://www.craftster.org/bestof2007/

Rock and Roll, Craftsterista!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jamiewatchthestars on January 04, 2008 09:00:02 PM
YAY.


ahahah i swear winning this made my day!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: coco-mac on January 05, 2008 10:25:27 PM
that is fantastic i am always looking to do stuff with all the shoping bags i have collected
the make up bag you made looked grate too!!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: rainbowridergrma on January 06, 2008 07:42:43 AM
I am doing the Dance of Joy!  It actually worked! I had a few handicaps while I tried it-like having to do it outside on the picnic table in a strong wind.  For a first attempt, I am thrilled.  I will do a few things differently next time-like making sure none of my hairs are in it-LOL.  I also used wax paper on both sides and a brown paper bag under that.  I had some trouble getting the wax paper off after all had cooled.  I really appreciate the sharing of this technique-Thanks!

Glenda


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: camilaustral on January 24, 2008 08:06:53 AM
i love this, in my house we have lots of plastic bags from the supermarket
here in Chile is absolutely normal to use plastic bags at the supermarket, and my parent shop a lot at "Lider" supermarket because of their work, they have like a candy-snacks little shop in my old school (i speak spanish, i don't know how do you call that kind of shop)
so definitely i'm trying this
;)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Cabin Fever on January 30, 2008 08:59:37 AM
I can't wait for warmer weather so I can try this!!!  I don't think I can do this outside in a foot of snow and 25 degrees!!!!  I keep getting more and more ideas to try from watching this thread though.............


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: trendymegs on March 01, 2008 03:32:43 PM
Here's what I made with this technique!

https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=231002.0 (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=231002.0)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: iciclegirl on April 30, 2008 12:44:41 PM
Target totally stole your idea. They're selling totes made out of fused target bags. If you buy a newsweek magazine, you can take the cover off of it, turn it into an envelope, stuff it full of target bags and then send it in. A little later, you get a tote in the mail for free. You know they stalk this site!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Sanity8080 on May 01, 2008 07:33:38 PM
I saw those target bags while I was there, and I was thinking, you know, if I was a little quicker on the uptake, I could have been selling them...lol


Oh, if posterboard seems too thick, you can get parchment paper, and iron the bags between layers of parchment paper...

I wonder if I can use this as an outer layer of diaper covers....or all-in-ones....hmmm


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: thecraftyminx on May 15, 2008 05:08:37 AM
Great idea and tute!

Has anyone tried ironing over a bag that they crocheted yet I wonder?


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: thecraftyminx on May 15, 2008 05:11:37 AM
This fabric would also be great as a shower curtain!   Hmm, if only I had a shower.   :'(


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: curious moose on June 28, 2008 01:41:43 AM
brilliant! thanks for the tutorial, i am now going to hunt through my plastic bag pile...


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: shaun.reilly on June 28, 2008 06:12:26 AM
That is FAB, I'm so, SO excited to give it a go!!!
And so much more fun than taking my bags to the recycling centre!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: gleebie on July 01, 2008 11:33:39 AM
Oh my goodness, this is so super fantastic! It sews even smoother than regular fabric.

I just started sewing, and I feel bad using up real fabric on my crappy experiments, and this is ideal practice. Also, I will definitely try to use it as interfacing. Would you suggest sewing it in or fusing it to cloth?

Thanks!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: shayneblate08 on July 01, 2008 11:53:51 PM
do you think I should use the foot  for vinyl/leather like fabrics (i.e. the non metal one)?
also, can I use zig zag with this (just got a sewing machine so I'm a bit of a noob with it anyhow.)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: jesskreck on July 12, 2008 05:17:57 AM
This was very helpful! Thanks! :)


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Pinkkfrost on August 01, 2008 09:41:02 PM
thank you SO MUCH for this tutorial!!!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: staygolden on August 04, 2008 02:15:35 PM
Thanks SO much. Can't wait to give this a try! :]


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: TSmith on August 05, 2008 03:32:52 PM
Great idea!!

Do you think I could do this with a steam iron or would that muck everything up? It's a pain to get all the water out of my iron.


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: tinny67 on August 16, 2008 12:46:17 PM
Love this idea!!!!!

I have a question though, can this plastic fabric be cleaned in the washer and dryer? 

I am making some bibs for a friend's son who is 8 and has special needs.  He drools alot, so they have him wear bibs.  I thought of sandwiching this plastic fabric between the layers so it keeps the moisture away from his body, but don't want to ruin the bibs, or their washer and dryer, if it causes the plastic fabric to break down when it is cleaned.

Has anyone put it in the washer/dryer and if so, how does it hold up?

Thanks!



Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: PrincessJasmine on September 05, 2008 10:23:22 PM
I am thinking I need a lunch bag made out of this. Thanks for the instructions!


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: Hyoko on October 26, 2008 09:43:43 AM
wow this sis simply awesome *_*


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: PeanutPaterooski on July 02, 2009 01:02:42 PM
i see khaki pants in my future from recycled bags....


Title: Re: TUTORIAL: MAKE SEWABLE FABRIC FROM PLASTIC BAGS
Post by: DesertDoodler on April 13, 2014 10:34:27 PM
I just came across this tutorial - wow, totally awesome - just wanted to chime in and say you don't necessarily need to toss that iron into the "what do I do with THIS" pile if some of the plastic melts onto it ... you can probably remove the melted plastic from the iron - worth a try, so give it a try.

Wait until the iron has cooled, then rub the mess with a rag that has been soaked in nail polish remover.  Scrape it off with a wooden spatula (don't use metal or you will scratch the iron)  Make sure to wipe the iron with water before using it again.