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Topic: Re-usable shopping bag  (Read 2027 times)
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« on: June 11, 2008 06:03:40 PM »

Oooo...I'm so excited. This is my first post of one of my completed projects! Yay. Well since I've been in school, and I haven't had time for crafting much, I decided to post my favorite project from this year. I made this re-usable shopping bag for biology class extra credit. I had seen some of these on craftster before and I just had to make one. It was so much fun. The best part about it is that is was practically free, it's useful, and it helps the environment (and I got extra credit for it. Woot.). I made it by melting plastic bags together, then sewing on some handles and edging and a little decoration...so on to the pictures...

So, this is the first side. The "13" stands for the number of bags I used to make it.

This is the second side. Birds are one of the animals negatively affected by litter. Sometimes plastic bags will get caught in their throats, causing them to choke to death (this probably happens mainly in larger birds, but I liked the smaller birds picture better. oh well).

I had so much fun making this. I use this as my knitting bag (hence the pudgy look in the pics), but I'm thinking on making one to leave in my car.

Hope you like it!

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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008 06:11:02 PM »

Extra credit. I like your teacher.
I didn't realize that birds have choked on plastic bags. I have seen them floating in the air at time. Looks kinda neat but can't be good for the environment.
I keep thinking about making one for myself but I have LOTS of reusable bags right now.

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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2008 06:25:34 PM »

It's fantastic. I have been wanting to try this and have started sorting the bags I have in recycling by color and patterns. This totally inspires me to get going!!!!

Great Job! and thanks for sharing.

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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2008 07:08:18 PM »

Thanks for all your comments guys, I really appriciate it.

It's fantastic. I have been wanting to try this and have started sorting the bags I have in recycling by color and patterns. This totally inspires me to get going!!!!

Great Job! and thanks for sharing.

Your welcome! I'm glad I inspired you.

« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2008 10:25:20 AM »

that's really awesome! i'd love to make my own. do you use an iron to melt them together?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2008 09:42:08 AM »

Yes, I used an iron. I didn't use any steam in the iron, and I think (from what I can remember) I used about a medium heat setting. But make sure you cover your ironing board in parchment paper and put parchment paper in-between your iron and your bag. And also make sure you don't melt the insides of your bag together. (wax paper might work just as well, although I've never tried it.) If you look on the left side of the bag in the first picture, there's a pink square melted on. That's where I accidentally touched my iron to the bag without anything between it. It left a huge melted mess there that I had to patch over. I think it looks kinda cool though.  Cheesy
I hope this helps! You should post pictures of yours if you do one. I'd love to see it.
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2008 05:41:08 PM »

very helpful, thank you. maybe this weekend i'll try it out!
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008 06:15:21 PM »

wow. i love the colour. it's so cute. do u melt several layers of plastic bags together to make it strong? do u just make pieces of them and sew them to a bag shape? and doesn't it smell like chemicals when u melt the plastics?
one more question, did u use acrylic paint to paint the birds?
« Last Edit: June 19, 2008 06:19:00 PM by GGgoo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008 09:48:02 AM »

Sorry if I've taken a long time to reply. I've been tremendously busy this week...but, yes, you do melt several layers together to make it strong. What I did was I picked all the bags that I wanted to show on the outside and arranged them how I wanted them. Then I took boring white grocery bags, cut off the handles and bunchy bottom part, and put them in between my outside layers. You might want to experiment with a test swatch for how many bags you want to put in between. Once I had all the bags arranged I melted them together. Then I cut them down to the bag shape and size I wanted, and sewed them together. I also melted some trim into long strips and sewed those around the top, and made handles out of them. When I melted my bag together I didn't have any trouble with chemical smells. Smell might depend on the kind of plastic that was used to make the bag. You could open a window to vent out the smell if you get any. One thing that I noticed is that certain plastics require a little longer melting than other plastics, so ironing time could vary depending on what your trying to melt. Also, some plastics may not stick very well to other plastics. It all depends on how the plastic was manufactured in the first place. About the birds, I got the image from a photograph when I googled for pictures. Then I increased the photo size to how big I wanted it, cut out the birds, and traced them on to the orange bag. Then I used scissors and an exacto knife and cut them out of the plastic. (only one bag thickness). Then I melted the design onto the bag. It took a lot of melting to get them to stay, but I liked the end result.

Sorry this is a lot of typing, but I hope it helps.
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008 07:47:16 PM »

i really like how you incorporated facts about the bag and plastic's effect on birds into the bag like that. i use t-shirts... but anything that reduces the amount of plastic bags impacting our environment is a good thing, in my book.

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