Monday, August 20, 2012

Crafternoon #12: Upcycled Tote How-to

Hi there!

Today was very eventful for me: spinning, carding, flea marketing, & crafting :)

The project for this crafternoon was all about fusing the mountain of plastic bags from under my sink.  After watching a couple youtube vids about the process I got down to the business of ironing plastic grocery bags.

Supplies: iron, ironing board, scissors, parchment paper, & plastic bags.
Make sure you have ventilation- very important :)

The first step (which I just realized I don't have a picture of) is to cut off the handles and bottom seam of each plastic bag and turn any printing to the inside. According to the etsy tutorial, 8 layers makes the best material, so fold it twice and you're ready to press.
Step 2
Sandwich your folded bag between two pieces of parchment paper and iron on a medium setting (silk or wool). The plastic will shrink from the heat so make sure to move the iron quickly and evenly to maintain as much of the rectangular shape as possible.

Step 3
After fusing all of your bags, it's time to sew! Use a zig-zag stitch and sew your front panel and back panel together. Trim the sides evenly. (I also pressed over the seams to kinda close up the needle holes a bit.)

Here are my two panels.

Step 4
Cut pieces of fabric for the bottom and sides of the bag.  I used some velvet-like scrap fabric from my stash. (Hurray for stash busting!) Stitch them to the plastic panels with a zig-zag stitch. (I sewed the short pieces to the longer one to make a long strip... it was a bit easier for me to put together that way.)

Stitching stitching stitching
(Step 5) After you finish attaching the sides and bottom, cut two long pieces of fabric for the straps. Fold the strips in half (right sides together) and sew a running stitch down the long side. Turn it inside out so you have a tube. Press it flat and sew them onto your bag with that good ole zig-zag stitch.

I decided (as an after-though) to add a pocket to the front of my bag.  If you know you're going to want a pocket on your bag, it's best to sew it on before attaching the sides/bottom.  I definitely did it the hard way, lol.

Here is the final bag!
I tried 3 types of bags for this project: Wal-mart, Kroger, & Target.  I ended up using all Target bags because they were made from thicker plastic which kept its shape a lot better than the other two stores.  I think that the Wal-mart & Kroger bags could work better if I layered them more. Like maybe 10-12 layers instead of 8. 

If you try your hand at fusing your plastic bag stash, I'd love to see a picture.  I'm excited about how my bag came out and will definitely do this again. The only difference will be that I will have a specific design before I start sewing, lol.

All ready to go to the farmer's market or something like that ^.^

1 comment:

  1. OMG! I love your target bag! I was going to text you to meet up with you at the art stroll but the band....and all the other pretty artsy thingys that distracted me prevented that text from being sent :) ...We still need to do that crafternoon!


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