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Fused Plastic Bags

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					I apologize – I can’t remember where I got this 1st page of directions. Everything after page 1 shows a link to the original
post… Have fun!
                                                  Fused Plastic Bags

You can use any type of plastic bags (cereal bags, candy bags (M&M's, etc) and frozen veggie bags (peas etc)

Step 1: Lay plastic bag on your work surface smooth it out & cut off the bottom seam and handles

Step 2: Layer 6 to 8 plastic bags on top of each other with any printed sides on the inside

Step 3: Sandwich the plastic bag layers between two pieces of parchment paper & iron them with a hot, wet,
iron, iron each side for 15 seconds

Step 4: Check to make sure the bags have fused, by pulling back the parchment paper from one corner. If
the layers are all melted together, gently peel the off it. If not continue ironing for few more seconds.

Now you have the material to make your plastic bag totes.

You can also make pillows for your outside lounge chairs, and anything else you can make with material...
beach bags etc....

be creative.....
____________________________________________________________________

Here is a tote they listed you could make with the plastic fused tote:

Step 1: Cut 2 pieces of fused plastic shopping bags to an inch larger than the desired size of your finished
tote. For example cut 15 x 15 for a 14 x 14 tote. Also cut 4 strips for handles they should be 8in. and 2 1/2
inches wide

Step 2: Place 2 of the handle strips together right side out and sew all the way around the edges using 1/4
inch seam allowance repeat with the other two handle strips

Step 3: Pin the ends of the handles to the top sides of the tote bag pieces. Position them two inches down
from the top and placing each end four inches from the closest end of the top edge. Sew the handles in place.

Step 4: Lay the tote bag pieces with their right sides out and fill it anything you like, from books to return
library, cookies to carry to the friends or sandwiches for a picnic
www.flickr.com/photos/soshesews/page4/




                                                                                               Step two



Thin bags are abundant & best to learn on      Cut handles off each bag, making nice           Smooth out each bag so that the layers
since they’re average thickness then move      rectangular pieces perfect for ironing!         are nice and flat.
to thicker plastics.
Layer to get different colors. Put a bold      You can recycle those little pieces you
color behind a colorful transparent bag. I     just cut off! Just shove them into another
layered a see thru pink on top of black &      bag and drop them off to be recycled!
got a splotchy purple!
Cut bottom off each bag - Hold scissors
open then use sharp edge of the blades to
"zip". This work only w/ sharp scissors




                                               Step Five - Fusing Plastic Bags                 Fusing Plastic Bags: Step Six
Step Four - Fusing Plastic Bags
Cover ironing board with a big sheet of        Lay 2 plastic bags (1 on top of other)          Lay another piece of parchment paper on
parchment paper.                               down on top of paper. This creates 4 total      top of your plastic layers
Don't worry! You can use this parchment        layers of plastic for the first bit of fusing
paper over and over again! And when you        (because each bag was 2 layers). I find
are done using it to fuse, you can use it to   it's best to start with no more than four
wrap gifts, as scratch paper, etc.             layers for the best first fuse.




                                               Fusing Plastic Bags: Motion in the Ocean        Fusing Plastic Bags: Step Eight
Fusing Plastic Bags: Step Seven
Set iron to lowest heat setting possible.      There's no "1" technique - whether you're       Lift up top layer of parchment paper to
Place iron on top of parchment paper &         moving in wide, broad strokes or just           check on plastic. If you are able to
move iron around. Do not let iron directly     wiggling around like ia snake slithering        separate the 2 layers like you would do
touch plastic and do not leave iron standing   makes very little difference. You will          to a fresh, sticky trash bag you just
still in 1 spot for too long.                  notice after a few tries you will see the       pulled off the roll, then they plastic
                                               plastic "react" through the transparency        hasn't fused properly.
                                               of the paper as a result of the heat.           If this is the case... see the next step!
                                                  Fusing Plastic Bags: we're GOOD!             Fusing Plastic Bags: Step Nine
 Fusing Plastic Bags: Turn up the Heat!
You started out low... now you see that           This is mission control to Houston... we     Add another bag to backside of fused
plastic aint fuzin' so it's time to turn it up!   have fusing... I repeat... we have fusing!   piece by laying it on top, placing paper
Use discretion but don't jump past "Nylon"                                                     over it, ironing again like before.
setting                                                                                        Then, when fused.... add another & fuse
The reason I say this is that Nylon is                                                         that one down.
plastic... thicker, woven plastic meant to                                                     Keep adding layers until you get the
melt at high temps                                                                             thickness you like! It's that easy.
                                                  Final step!
                                                  Alright! Turn that layer over and have a
                                                  look! The layers don't separate, it feels
                                                  solid and strong... it's good!
www.flickr.com/photos/soshesews/




For the tote I sewed 2 rectangles together down the sides and bottom. I created the box corners by sewing
perpendicularly across the bottom/side seam. For the handles, I copied the basic shape and fold of the handles from a
paper grocery bag. I cut 2" strips and folded them twice lengthwise then zigzagged down the center. They are
attached to the inside of the bag with an X stitched inside a square.
Esther's Blog, "Eco-Practical Crafting"
Esther, my son's girlfriend, has been blogging w/ a focus on needlework/crafting from an environmentalist
perspective. Her 1st "unit", or series of posts, was a phenomenal exploration of plastic grocery bags used in creative
& useful ways. She gave me a totebag she made & I use it to carry my needlework projects. It has held up well.




She used a paper bag grocery bag for the "batting” & appliqued the outside plastic bag layer w/ the Macy's star &
stripes. There’s an inner plastic layer & all is machine quilted w/ clear thread. The top has cotton binding appliquéd by
hand. Everyone who sees this bag loves it...she also experimented w/ spinning & weaving plastic bag strips...very
cool. See it all here.

Plastic Bags Fused into a Lamp                  www.urbanthreads.com/pages?id=344
Plastic bags have found a new following as reusable materials            Some tutorials say to use freezer paper to fuse bags. .. wrong.
with a little help from a hot iron. Fused plastic bags are making        It fuses into an icky plastic-y waxy mess.
an appearance in all kinds of crafting circles, and people are           The tools I recommend are parchment paper, scissors, iron & a
finding all sorts of cool uses for these new fused materials.            large collection of leftover plastic bags.
The nice thing about plastic bags is that rarely is there a
shortage of this material.




Grab a bag and snip off the handles off the top, and the seam at         Do this w/ 2 more bags, until you have 3, & lay them all on top
the bottom, so you can flatten the whole thing out into a nice           of each other, smoothed out & flattened. Then fold these 3 layers
rectangle.                                                               in ½ - Too few layers, & you might end up burning right through
                                                                         your plastic, so we need to bulk it up a bit before we fuse it.




Place folded layers between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Quick           Set iron to hottest setting & iron back & forth, not resting in 1
tip... make sure any sides w/ ink are facing inwards, as ink can         spot for too long. Lift up parchment paper edge now & then to
melt & get all over. If there’s a design or pattern you want to          see how well it’s fusing. Careful! It might be hot. When you’ve
preserve, cover it up w/ a layer of plain white plastic.                 ironed 1 side, flip the whole thing over & iron the other side, so
                                                                         everything fuses evenly. Peel newly fused plastic off parchment
                                                                         paper, & admire your new recycled crafting material.




We need 4 of these, so repeat fusing until you have enough. You          To make your lamp, you’ll want about a ½ dozen thin square
might need to try it a couple times until you have 4 you like.           dowels, (1/4” thick or so), a small wood saw (you can get these
Right... now you have it, what do you do with it? Well, you can          in most craft stores), some wood glue, and some binder clips.
make anything you like out of it. But me? I’m going to make a            You might also want to have an X-acto knife, a ruler, and a
lamp.                                                                    pencil about.




There are different light source options. I like the “stick up” light,   First, we’re going to build a simple frame for our lamp out of our
a light bulb & a base. We’re going to create a cool cover that can       thin wood pieces. Measure out two pieces of wood 10 inches
be used anywhere since it is cordless & electricity free. Use an         long, and use your wood saw to cut them to size.
energy efficient bulb & rechargeable batteries for max green
effect! Other options are lamp kits that come w/ a bulb & base
w/ a cord, or for a “mood” light, try a flameless LED candle!




For other 2 sides of frame, I’ve spaced out 5” wide. Make yours     If following my measurements, these are the 4 pieces you need
large enough to accommodate your light source.                      to make 1 piece of your frame – two 10” pieces, & two 5” pieces




Glue the 4 pieces together to create 1 side. On 1 side, I left a    Repeat this process four times, to make the four sides of your
small gap so the lamp would have some “legs” to stand on,           frame.
instead of being flush w/ the surface it’s sitting on. This is
important if you’re using a light source that has a cord, as this
gap will allow the cord to snake out the back.




Finally, to make your finished panels, run a line of glue all       To get a good glue seal, place a few heavy things on top of your
around the back of the wood frame, and press it firmly on top of    frame and let it sit until it’s dry. Do this with all four pieces of
one of your newly fused pieces of plastic. Take care how you        your lamp frame
frame the pattern, these will make up the sides of your lamp and
you want them to look pretty.




When the glue is dry & your panels are secure, take an X-acto       Not that you haven’t figured it out by now, but repeat this for all
knife and run it along the edge of your frame, trimming away        four panels. At this point, I’m resigned to the fact that I’ve
everything but the panel inside the wood                            basically made a Target lamp, and I need to vary my shopping
                                                                    habits a bit. At least it’s coordinated...




You might find after trimming your edges that the middle of the     Place your frame on the ironing board plastic side up, and place
plastic is not as fused as the edges, and you have some layers      a piece of parchment paper over the edges of the frame. Press
that are starting to come apart. We can fix that...                 around all the edges to re- fuse the plastic and keep all the
                                                                    edges tidy and tightly stuck together.
So how do you embroider on plastic? We need to get the design             Trace your design with a pen or marker, and then tape the
to our lamp. You can’t see a pattern through the plastic, &               plastic with the design onto one of your plastic panels.
transfer paper doesn’t work... instead, we’re going to fight
plastic with plastic. Cut a small piece of white plastic bag and lay
it on top of your chosen design.




Now you’re ready to embroider! Since the plastic is essentially           My design all finished and pretty! Now all we need to do is
“hooped”, embroidering is relatively simple. It’s a little bit trickier   remove the tracing...
to see where your needle is going to come up in the design,
which may make involved stitches more complicated, but
essentially you can embroider it as normal. Make sure you don’t
tug or pull too much on your plastic, and rip it loose from the
frame.




The nice thing about a regular, un-fused plastic bag is that it’s         Here’s the design with all the extra plastic removed. Ta da! This
flimsy, & you can tear away the traced plastic from underneath            is a great technique for transferring designs on hard-to-deal-with
stitches. This way you remove all markings you’d otherwise                materials.
leave behind tracing design directly on material.




Now that all your panels are done, it’s time to assemble your             Line up the panel edges perpendicular to each other, along the
lamp. Run a line of glue on the inside border of one of your lamp         glue line, and use one of your little clamps to keep the two
panels                                                                    pieces held together.
Continue gluing the edges, and clamp each side as you glue it,       Remove the clamps, and if you like, take some sandpaper and
until finally you have an assembled cube. Clean up the excess        lightly sand any gunk left behind from your glue. You now have a
glue that squeezes out of the cracks, and let the whole thing sit    totally handmade, DIY lamp cover you make out of a bit of wood
until it’s dry.                                                      and all those extra plastic bags you had lying around!




Place your light cover on top of your bulb of choice, and click it   Now you’ve got an eco-friendly lamp that’s totally handmade,
on! The fused plastic makes an awesome semi transparent              and if you used a cordless light source, can go anywhere! Turn it
material, letting light through but hiding the ugly light bulb       on and remind everyone that going green can be a pretty bright
inside. Plus you can get all sorts of neat patterns from the fused   idea. Plus, my favorite part of this whole project is that someone
plastic                                                              inevitably asks, “Hey, where did all the plastic bags go?” “Oh, I
                                                                     fused them into a lamp.” Nobody can say you’re not resourceful.




recycled rice bags
http://www.flickr.com/groups/etsylabsgroup/pool/
4-6 plastic grocery bags                            Acrylic paint in a variety of colors
1-2 colors of silkscreen ink (optional)             Paint brushes
Iron                                                Ironing board
3-4 pieces of plain white paper                     Sewing machine
Black thread                                        Scissors
Buttons for embellishment (optional)                Miniwax water based polyurethane
Scraps of recycled papers- newspaper, magazine, maps, junk mail, etc

***Work in a well ventilated area.***
1. Start w/ 4 plastic bags. Turn bags inside out-(dye in graphic can melt and make a mess!).
2. Cut handle and bottom off of bag which gives 2 two layers of plastic. Repeat so you have 6-8 bags stacked.
Stack layers on top of each other and smooth out wrinkles.
3. Place paper under stack of plastic and on top of stack of plastic.
4. Turn on iron to medium heat. Use ironing board or hard surface to iron on and iron top of paper moving slowly in
circles - keep the iron moving. Iron all the way to edges about 30 seconds. Flip over and do same on other side.
5. To see if plastic is fused, peel up a corner if plastic is not melted together keep ironing. Once fused it will be
obvious and will feel like a thicker piece of plastic fabric that is very pliable.
6. You can be very exact in the fusing process for a smoother surface but I actually like small imperfections, such as
small holes and bubbles in the surface caused from over heating and frayed edges.
7. After you get comfortable with the fusing process you can experiment with all kinds of creative ways to cut out
shapes and images from colorful bags and fusing them into your surface to create unique patterns.
8. At this point you can sew with your fused plastic as is but I like to treat my surface like a painting and start adding
layers of both paint and silkscreen printing ink. I have found that the silkscreen ink adheres very well to the surface of
the plastic and typically will not peel off the slick surface.
9. Have fun with the surface and don’t be afraid to be messy, often a thick swipe of paint or dripped paint creates
wonderful texture. To create more texture try splattering paint, stamping into the surface with your favorite stamp,
journaling all over the surface with a permanent pen. As each layer dries add another layer and another until you are
satisfied with the color and the texture of the surface.
10. Once I feel the surface is to my liking, I line the back of my fused plastic with a brown paper bag painted with
messy color. (you really could use anything for the lining- more fused plastic, scrap fabric, etc.)
11. The next step is to sew the fused plastic into a clutch purse. I keep my pattern simple and try to find inspiration in
the shape and look of the fused plastic- sometimes the edges are rough, sometimes it is not quite square and I like to
embrace these imperfections in the way that I sew my clutch.
12. After sewing up sides you have created something that resembles an envelope and with a top flap this is a basic
clutch.
13. Use your scrap plastic to create little flowers for the flap of the clutch.
Alisa Burke
www.alisaburke.blogspot.com
www.alisaburke.com
http://quiltingartstv.com/projects/400/402/402-2.htm

Tips for Painting on Fused Plastic
I have received more questions regarding my CPS article on recycled handbags- about painting on fused plastic.
 Depending on the paint & the way you treat the surface, paint can flake but there are ways to keep it from flaking.
1. Use silkscreen ink in place of paint. I have had the most success with no FLAKING and will typically paint my 1st
layer then paint on top of it with either acrylic paint or even paint with silkscreen ink. Speedball makes a great
affordable ink in a lovely variety of colors.
2. Don't limit yourself to just painting on the surface of your fused plastic- try painting on canvas or fabric then cut
out shapes or strips of painted material & sew it directly onto the surface of the fused plastic.
3. Try the opposite- cut up your fused plastic and use strips and shapes to sew onto canvas or fabric.
4. Try using permanent markers in place of paint to journal or draw all over your fused plastic with.
5. Paint the surface of the fused plastic and fuse another clear piece of plastic over the top.




                                                                    These are canvas www.etsy.com/shop/alisaburke

				
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Description: Want a cool way to recycle all those plastic bags?