Don’t throw away your plastic bags

Hi friends! I have been asked so many times about the things I make with plastic bags, and finally I managed to photograph the process and show it to you. But be aware, this post is photo heavy!!! 🙂

First thing you’ll need are plastic bags (well, of course), which you will cut like this:

You don’t need the handles and the bottom.

Next, lay your bags flat ( I used three here, but if you want a thicker final product, use more) :

Now we can iron them. Take two pieces of baking (parchment) paper and put your bags in between so that you don’t destroy the iron with melted plastic! 🙂

Keep your iron moving non-stop!

The temperature of your iron must be low. I use the “silk/wool” mark, but I still have to check the whole time to see if it’s ok. If the temp is too high, you’ll end up with shrinkage and “too much” texture, like this:

Although, it might be exactly what you want. I do like it for certain projects. But if your iron is not too warm, then you’ll get smoother texture like this:

Check on your bags while you iron, but be careful, it’s very hot! An also, every few moments you should turn your bags (with the paper) upside down so that you iron both sides.

And when everything is nicely melted and fused, you are done! Then it’s up to you what you’ll do with it. You could leave your plastic as is, especially if you had some nice and colorful bags.

Or you could paint them, which is what I like to do.

Paint gives them different “feel”, like it’s a different material, and it gives so many possibilities for use in all kinds of projects.

Isn’t this texture great?

You could draw on it:

But remember, always apply a protective coat of some kind, to prevent damaging the paint. It is plastic you are painting after all, and it doesn’t soak up the paint. 🙂

And there you have it! So nice and textural, durable, and cheap! You can have fun and help saving the planet at the same time. 🙂 I used it for making bookmarks:


One-inch boxes:

You could make journal pages, or just embellish your journal with it:

You could even use it in your sewing:

The possibilities are endless!

I hope this was helpful and inspiring. Have fun! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Don’t throw away your plastic bags

  1. Thank you for a very interesting post! I am not sure I would have the patience to go through all those procedures to make the items you do, – which is silly as I will go thhrough a lot more to produce a woven fabric! – but I find the things you have come up with really lovely. Admirable 🙂

  2. At last Sonja!! Glad you feel better enough to post this- it’s been driving me mad for ages!!! Must have a go now…

    Your blog is wonderful- hope mine progresses as well as yours over time- it looks so professional!

    You literally JUST missed my posting of the next swap (on my blog first) . They are all finishing this month so we are out of swaps for October- can’t have that so will have to start it early in October..but if you catch up on my blog you’ll get a sneak preview and a head start!!!

    Enjoy your trip…( and you know you’ll have to make something while you’re there so why not the new swap- with American materials??) Kal.xx

  3. Wonderful tutorial Sonja.I must admit I prefer the neat way that you use the bags ,when I do this I do not take the time to smooth them out and therefore have a much rougher texture.

  4. I’ve been thinking about doing this for awhile now. I have a bunch of bags of various colors, etc. that I want to use. I’ve seen some really cute ideas using the melted bags. Maybe I’ll have to get them out and play soon.

  5. What a terrific idea and your projects turned out great. I’ve always wanted to experiment more with plastic bags, but haven’t gotten around to learning this technique yet. Thanks for sharing your tips.

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