Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recycled Reusable Shopping Bag

So yeah, I made my Dad a Christmas gift out of trash :o)

I made him a reusable shopping bag out of recycled plastic shopping bags.

 First, gather as many plastic shopping bags as you can!  I used all white ones for my project.  You will also need parchment paper, webbing for the handles, and a sewing machine.

Cut your bags apart so you have long plastic sheets like this.

Next, gather 8 layers of plastic and place them between two sheets of parchment paper. 

Then, iron them.  This step is tricky.  You need to iron quickly to avoid lots of holes.  A few holes are ok... they add to the character of the bag :o)  I set my iron to the cotton setting.  Check frequently to make sure your bags are fusing together.  Also, flip the bags and iron the back side.

You end up with melty plastic "fabric".


Then, I cut the "fabric" into 5"x5" squares.  You will need 24 squares.  I also cut a 5"x15" rectangle for the base of the bag.

I randomly sewed three squares together so I had eight strips.
Next, I sewed three strips together (twice) to make the front and back of the bag.

You should now have two 15"x15" sides, two 5"x15" sides, and one 5"x15" bottom.

Pin your webbing handles into place.

Sew down each side of the webbing to add stability.

Pin and sew the sides to the front of the bag.

Pin and sew the sides to the back of the bag.

Pin and sew the bottom of the bag.  Make sure to tuck the edges of the webbing under.

There you have it!  I'm not gonna lie... This project is pretty time consuming, a little frustrating, and makes a HUGE mess.  Just a warning :o)  BUT, in the end, you have a super cute reusable bag to show for it!  Mom suggested making one out of all brown bags... I think I might have to try that!

I'm linking this project to all of my usual linky parties!

19 comments:

Rachel said...

Brilliant! It does look time consuming but well done.

almostneverclever said...

I love the way this came out! I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for neat looking shopping bags now.

Natalie

Max Teders said...

I take this to Sam's Club and it is great. What a nice utility bag!

Biz Dickmeyer said...

I have come to the conclusion that you need to quit that day job of yours. I want to hire you to create and make all your fun things for me. Can I just vicariously live through you?

Kelli @ RTSM said...

What a fun project! I love the colors from the Target bags. They would be great for a Valentine's Day craft too!

Condo Blues said...

I tried fusing plastic bags into fabric from a local convenient store. It was cute because their bags have cow spots on them!

LaVonne @ Long Wait said...

Very cute. ;) Thanks for sharing with us at TILT this week. Blessings!

Morgan said...

Awesome! And cleverly ironic, using the old bags to make a new bag ...

Llama said...

Neat-o! Very creative!

Tiffanee said...

So cute and creative. I love this.

Amie said...

Wow! What a green way to use up old bags! I TRY to recycle them but I like this idea way better!
Amie @ http://www.kittycatsandairplanes.blogspot.com/

Wendy said...

That looks awesome! I can't wait to try this with all my baggies. Great way to recycle! Thank you for linking to Tip Day Thursday last week. I will be featuring your blog and this post this coming Thursday. Feel free to grab my "Featured On" button and of course, I would love to have you link up anytime.

Wendy
Around My Family Table

Colie's Kitchen said...

Hi this is Nicole from Colie’s Kitchen I just discovered your blog on and wanted to drop by and say hi. I am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance. www.colieskitchen.com

Jen said...

What a great idea! I would love to have you come and link up to Fantastic Friday at http:ironvioletdesigns.blogspot.com

Thanks!

Leigh the sewing diva said...

what a cool idea!

April said...

Awesome job! Love the reuse, and my dad would be so excited to know i made him something from trash! he is such a pack rat! I would love for you to link up to my Sew Crafty Party & Giveaway!

http://wildflowersandwhimsy.blogspot.com/2011/01/sew-crafty-saturday-adventure-date.html

Melissa said...

That is so great! Thanks for sharing over at Tuesday Tell All.

AmieAnn said...

This is awesome! Love that it is totally upcycled and saving plastic bags from the dump! Great job.. and thanks for sharing with the Pink Hippo Party!

http://adventurezinchildrearing.blogspot.com said...

Wow! this is perfect - I did the ironing plastic bag thing a while back - but we just made bookmarks and a book cover out of it! we will definately try this out- I'm a new follower on google friend- you might like some of our crafts too!
tks, kelli