Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recycling carrier bags

When we are all trying to do our bit with regard to recycling it can be quite challenging to think outside the box and repurposing items. We do this quite alot when making the miniatures, small round plastic tops from toiletries can be turned into little foot stools, or the strong card from the cat food boxes make ideal panels for sofas, we have a box of not sure what to use it for but it will be used lol.

One way to recycle plastic carrier bags is to turn them into a fabric. They must be the strong ones and not the flimsy supermarket ones and ones that have writing on them can produce an exciting surreal piece. Mixing colours and thicknesses or perhaps adding other components like wax crayon shavings add to the texture. Protected heat and you have your textural form. The plastic performs in it's own way so you never know what will be the end result.

The idea for this project formed when the 'fabric' reminded me of a coral type of formation. To raise the various sea structures I used a variety of items, large button for the sea web, melon seeds (washed!) for the fish, a dried kidney bean and even a piece from a pop out pill packet.

Then doodle with the threads.

This bag is made from ordinary kitchen cling film. This time trapping fancy yarn between the sheets and applying heat. It is surprisingly durable.

Making fabric from newspaper is another fun thing to do, but maybe I'll keep that for another time lol.


  1. Your artwork is lovely and a great use of an old bag.... I love the bag made with clingfilm too..... how did you apply the heat for that? I would love to give it a go.....
    Looking forward to the newspaper one now....