Recycle Your Grocery Plastic Bag

Do you have the habit of keeping your grocery plastic bags? I do, and have plenty of them in my carbinet. I know that I will find good use for them one day instead of throwing them away into the dustbin and loading the landfill.

I emptied them out on the weekends as there were too many to keep. Looking at them and noticing that some plastic bags are so beautifully designed, it seems like such a wastes, so I made this!!! Fused plastic sheet for various crafts, you can even sew on them. At this point of time the outlook of the plastic sheet doesn’t seems appealing to you but it will be a great art when you put them together with other material. I am going to use them to make a recycled tote bag!!!

fusedpile

Let me bring you to the tutorial on how to make these fused plastic sheets. I will keep the recycled tote bag for another post in few days time, so please come back and check for the updates.

Material

  • 2 sheets of blank white paper,
  • A pair of scissors,
  • a thick towel,
  • iron,
  • plenty of thin grocery plastic bags, and
  • a well ventilated room

Method
Cut the grocery plastic bags into flat rectangle sheet, i.e cut away the handles, the bottom and side seams. Stack 6-8 pieces of equal size together. The most top and bottom plastic sheet must be white and blank.

Sandwich 2 pieces of plain white paper in between the plastic pile. The paper must be bigger than the plastic so you won’t iron and melt your plastic and stick on it.

Set the iron to medium heat and stroke across the plastic pile slowly and evenly.

The heat from the iron will fuse the plastic sheets underneath. Remove the iron and press against the pile with a thick towel to let it cool down slowly. Please don’t touch the surface directly as it is quite hot for your bare hand to handle it. As it cools, the plastic pile will harden and shrink a little, you will hear some creeping sounds. If you skipped this step, your plastic pile will shrink and roll up while it cools, as a result, you won’t get a flat plastic sheet.

Take a closer look of how it looks after the fusing. See, they are bonded together!!!
You need to try out a few times to get the right temperature. The photo shown below was my failed trial. The reason being was that I set my iron temperature too high and the plastics were melted and formed holes. If you find that you plastics are not fusing, that means your iron is not hot enough, increase the temperature or stroke it longer.


If you have any questions, please do leave comments below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Good luck.

UPDATE ***
I have used this fused plastic sheet combined with other materials to make a tote bag.

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25 comments... read them below or add one

  1. What a great re-use idea. Looking forward to seeing the bag!

  2. How abt making them as the book cover?

  3. Food For Tots – Great idea, yes, we can make slip book cover with it!!! Note book cover, coaster, table mat etc… may look cool too!!!

  4. Great tutorial and beautiful bag! Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    I linked the tutorial at PassiFlora magazine http://passifloramag.com/2009/05/plastic-bag-crafts/ Hope you don’t mind!

    Anya

  5. Can you tell me how to stop my bags from shrinking…

  6. Anya – Thanks for sharing my post in your PassiFlora magazine. I don’t mind as long as you direct a link to my blog :)
    Anonymous – I presumed that you meant shrinking after washing, right! Sorry, I have no idea about how to prevent it, but I will normally wash and test the fabric before making it into a bag. If you really need to wash the bag, may be you can try dry-wash it but you have to check with the laundrette if the material can be dry-washed.

  7. How do you sew through that heavy denim button you made?? It is really cute,but must have been hard to get it attached! Any tricks-I am just finishing a jacket and this would be a great addition.
    Thanks

    • Hi Gayle,
      You mean the denim button in my Recycle Tote Bag post?
      Yes, I sew through the button. It is not difficult to sew, just sew through the gaps between the rows. Try it, it is easier than what you think. Good luck!

  8. Pingback:Tote Bag Made From Recycled Material : craftpassion.com

  9. It’s an awesome posting.
    It is also very useful for many people like me.
    Your writing is always fabulous.
    Wishing that u will deliver this type of post in future also.

    Webroyalty

  10. Shopping bags and carrier bags made of plastic have been popularly replaced by paper bags in many establishments.
    Now, the those bags have been further delimited to recycled ones.
    Unlike plastic bags however, that cause health and environmental repercussions because of the toxins from the plastic when disposed of and recycled improperly, those bags including recycle bags pose no threat to us and the environment.

  11. Hello! My name is Kathleen Walchli and I think the same thing. I wrote about the same kind of things on my blog at http://www.furniture201000.blogspot.com some time ago. Anyhow, I’m not exactly into this stuff but the title Recycle Your Grocery Plastic Bag | craftpassion.com just had a sudden great impact on me so I had to take a look.

  12. It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have shared. Just continue writing this kind of post. I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.

  13. Hey there, great article, a colleague through the fashion business linked me to your web page. I was born and raised in Los Angeles California and have been earning a living within the industry for that majority of my life. One of my current projects is really a discussion board for the fashion marketplace. Thanks for the useful facts.

  14. Thanks so much for this wonderful article; this is the stuff that keeps me going through the day. I’ve been looking around for your article after I heard about them from a friend and was thrilled when I was able to find it after searching for some time. Being a avid blogger, I’m happy to see others taking initiative and contributing to the community. I just wanted to comment to show my appreciation for your post as it’s very encouraging, and many writers do not get the credit they deserve. I am sure I’ll be back and will send some of my friends.

  15. Hi…. all you tutorials were nice… easy to understand and beautiful… i’ll try making these things… thank you…

  16. Nice website you have here. It’s very well made haha.

  17. When you said “Sandwich 2 pieces of plain white paper in between the plastic pile”, did you mean Sandwich the plastic pile between 2 pieces of plain white paper?

  18. I saw this on Etsy a while back. I have been planning on making these into a bag. Thanks for reminding me of this idea.

  19. You are so talented and creative!
    I once saw a raincoat made from fused sheets of shopping bags. VERY unique and functional. Looking forward to your tote bag results.

  20. I saw a tutorial for recycling plastic bags that was amazing! They laid the bag flat, cut off the top and bottom then cut the bag into strips. (kind of like your loops that you used to make pot holders out of when you were a kid :). Next they attached the loops… like you would attach two rubber bands together to make a single string) then when they had all the loops attached into a string it was rolled into a ball.
    Next step, they crocheted the plastic yarn into mats for the homeless.
    It turned out great! The lady doing the tutorial said the most important thing was to use bags of similar weight for each mat.
    Here is the connect to the You Tube tutorial:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiUC0iDQtkA

    It really is an amazing use for recycling bags.

    • You are right, Tammie. It is another good way to recycle the grocery plastic bag. They called it PLARN, derived form the word PLastic yARN. I wanted to make PLARN but I can’t seems to collect enough grocery plastic bags since our country is going into “plastic bag free” campaign. Grocery and departmental stores no longer giving out free plastic bag for our purchase. Even we donate some money to get the plastic bags, they are all bio-degradable type that will break itself into pieces after a while.

      19.1
      Reply
  21. Just discovered your wonderful website today. I have instantly fallen in LOVE! I have already found several projects that I am going to pursue (and I say pursue because I have six children and this is sometimes a task when doing projects!).

    I cannot wait to try my hand at making these into recycled shopping bags. What a wonderful idea! Thanks so much for posting!

  22. Pingback:Plastic, please! | ali.the.architect

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