We all know how bad plastic grocery bags are for the environment. Research suggests that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year. The city of San Francisco will be first city in the U.S. to take a stand and ban plastic bags in large markets and pharmacies. But what can a crafter do to help the cause? Round up the bags you do have laying around in the house or collect them from neighbors and friends to start reusing plastic bags for your next craft project. Here’s a post rounding up some of the best projects we’ve seen around. Sew ‘em up, cut them into strips for knitting or crochet — the possibilities are endless!
HOW-TO – Make Plastic Bag Yarn Helle of Gooseflesh who makes amazing crochet sea creatures has a tutorial up on how to make your own yarn from plastic bags. – Link. Plastic Grocery Bags into Knit 1950′s Outfit Cathy Kasdan of Clevland, OH and I were emailing back and forth a bit yesterday afternoon regarding my post on the knitting machines. Then my jaw dropped when Cathy sent me this beautiful photo of her finished thesis project — a handknit 1950′s style ensemble made from plastic grocery bags. Cathy is currently finishing up a Master’s in textiles at Kent State University and her thesis is based on consumer culture. See more photos here. – Link. Knit Plastic Tote Bag MagKnits has a pattern by Katherine Vaughan showing you how to knit up this handy tote. Link. Knit Plastic Bag By cutting up strips of plastic, MelGiggles on Craftster knit up this handy tote bag that’s perfect for the beach or pool. Link. Tips for Crocheting with Plastic Bags Cindy of My Recycled Bags sells her cool crochet bags and products made from recycled plastic bags. The site is full of information and resources about crochet and other crafted recycled bags. Her tips open up your creativity to incorporate plastic bag as yarn projects for almost anything. Cindy says, “Speaking as a crochet crafter, I have found that many existing patterns can be made using recycled plastic bags as yarn. Just remember to use a large hook and check your gauge on the product. Purses, rugs, placemats, and totes are normally excellent products using plastic bags.” – Link. Fusing Plastic Bag Tutorial Amanda at Etsy Labs has a great tutorial showing you how to fuse plastic bags so you can refashion those plastic grocery bags into cooler looking totes! – Link. There’s also an accompanying video of the process here. – Link. Fused Plastic Bag Tote with Octopus This beautiful fused plastic bag tote complete with octopus design is made by Betz White who’s been doing some amazing experiments with plastic grocery bag fusing. It’s been fun to see the progress Betz has been making and TreeHugger has taken notice too with a write up about her bags as well. – Link. Extreme Plastic Bag Makeover Jmesdiylounge on Craftster got inspired by fusing plastic bags and created her own collage design complete with adding a recycled shoe lace for the trim and handles. Link. Plastic Bag Dress Made by mleak on Flickr the dress was fused together to form fabric and then sewn together.- Link. Plastic Bag Raincoat Pen Felt on Etsy collected plastic bags from trash cans for 1 week to make the material for her plastic bag raincoat. Link. Plastic Bag Jewelry by Anna Roebuck Treehugger has a great story about artist Anna Roebuck who makes jewelry from plastic shopping bags. The bags and other materials are layered, collaged together and bonded by fusing. – Link. Plastic Bag Headband Make yourself a cute headband by fusing plastic bags like panic_paislee on Craftster. Link. Plastic Bag for Cosmetics Jamiewatchthestars on Craftster sewed up this cute cosmetics pouch all made from plastic bags. Link.