Crafts Using Plastic Bags

There’s been a lot of hubbub about plastic bags over the past few years. Many consider them bad for the environment and are calling for them to be replaced by paper bags; a few cities in California have already banned them.
Plastic bags can be used for lots of things, so there’s no reason to just throw them out. For example, you can make yarn, which can then in turn be used to crochet cute stuff – all out of plastic bags!
First, gather up as many plain plastic bags in as many different colors as you can. Wash and dry them to make sure they’re clean.
Now, starting with one bag, flatten it at the seams and smooth out any wrinkles. Then, fold it vertically into a roughly 1-inch strip; make sure the handles are at one end and the bottom at the other. Then, cut off the handles and bottom seam.
Cut the remaining folded strip into smaller bundles, at a width of your choice. (2 cm is recommended; you can then use a 2.5 – 3 cm crochet hook.) Unfold the bundles, then tie them together to make one double-stranded piece of yarn.
Wind the yarn up into a ball, voila! Now you can use it to crochet virtually anything!
Another good way to recycle your plastic bags is by making a raincoat out of them. For this, you can use whatever patterns you want, but make sure there aren’t any holes or tears in the bags you use. First, draw out a pattern on a large piece of paper. You can find a raincoat pattern online, or you can ask to borrow a friend’s raincoat.
Then you’ll need to fuse the plastic bags together; the easiest and most effective way to merge them is by ironing them together. First, cut each bag so you have as much volume as you can. Try to use large bags; it will be easier to cut smaller shapes out of larger pieces than add two pieces together. Be careful when you’re ironing so as not to melt the bags too much.
Now, use the pattern pieces to cut out pieces of the bag-fabric. Pay attention to any graphics or designs on the bags, and think about how they’ll look on each piece of the coat. Fold the sleeve pieces in half lengthwise, making sure to line up the edges of the seam. Using your iron, fuse the folded edge together, being careful not to fuse more than 1 inch. Tailor the torso – you might need someone to help with this, to make sure it fits the right way – and then make the hood. Then to attach the hood, open the jacket and place the inside down on your work surface making the collar as flat as possible. Then fuse the hood to the coat using your iron.
Next, create closures. You can use Velcro, or if you’re really ambitious, attach hooks or toggle buttons.
Finally, clean up the seams. Cut off any extra material you might have missed, and you’re all set!
Plastic bags don’t have to be a source of environmental stress, so long as people think outside the box and don’t just toss them away.