A couple of months ago, I learned how to transform plastic bags into a new and useful material. I successfully did this by fusing the plastic bags with an iron and some other items. Fused plastic bags are a great material to have because they’re waterproof, easy to use, flexible and most importantly good for the environment!
– plastic bags (I really recommend that you choose plastic bags with bright colours because the final result looks better than plain, dark fused bags.)
– parchment paper
– towel or ironing board (I used a towel because I didn’t want to damage my ironing board and because it had a bigger work surface than my ironing board.)
- Cut the bottom seam of the plastic bag and the handles, then flatten it out.
- If you are using a towel, lay it out on your work surface (my work surface was my carpet). If you are using an ironing board take it out.
- If your plastic bag has words, shapes or similar designs printed on it, turn the bag inside out. This prevents the design’s inks from going on your iron, smudging or ruining the colour.
- Lay a sheet of parchment paper (as big as your plastic bag) on your work surface, then put your plastic bag on the paper. Put another sheet of parchment paper on top of the plastic bag, creating a sandwich.
- Turn your iron on and don’t forget to turn off the steam.
- Iron the plastic bag as you normally would iron a shirt but make sure to check on the bag to see if it’s not burning. If you find bubbles you can pop them with a pin and iron over them. Always keep your iron moving, unless you want your fused plastic to be burnt or you want a fire. 😉 Only run your iron on the parchment paper, or else the plastic bag will melt on your work surface or on your iron!
- Turn your plastic bag over but keep it sandwiched between the parchment sheets and then repeat step 6.
- Set your fused plastic and allow it to cool down for approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Once the fused plastic cooled, carefully peel of both of the parchment sheets. If the plastic isn’t fused completely, sandwich it in between the parchment paper and iron it again.
Now you have a sheet of fused plastic that can be used to make many new crafts or decorations. Here are a few ideas: bookmarks, bracelets, gift wrapping paper, wallets, bags, wall decorations and many more!
- If you iron the plastic a little longer, it will melt and form holes. This can create an interesting texture, but be careful not to burn it!
- If you want your fused plastic sheet to be thicker or more durable, you can fuse multiple bags together. All you have to do is stack more bags on top of the first one, sandwich all of the bags in between two parchment papers and iron!
- You can use clear plastic bags to laminate paper. If you use a clear plastic bag be careful because it tends to melt faster. After fusing, the plastic will still be clear, however it will be matte.
Have fun making your fused plastic sheets but be careful. If you are under the age of 12, ask a parent or guardian for their permission and their help when ironing!
By: Purple Pansy