What to do with a Plastic Bag?

Transform Boring Plastic Bags in to something fun or useful!

Even though we always bring reusable shopping bags to the store, somehow we always find ourselves with an overflowing stash of plastic bags under the kitchen sink. Recognize that? The good news is that you can use them to make fun and/or useful things .

What is the purpose behind this website and Who created this website?

Did you know that plastic bags take up about 14% of the space in landfills, and that Worldwatch Institute estimates that Americans throw away over 100 billion plastic bags a year, and that although we all think about December as a season of giving, more trash will be generated this month than any other time of year. That’s not a gift the earth wants to receive. Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That's over one million plastic bags used per minute. So we decided that if we shared other people solutions that then we could share it with others, and save the bags for getting in the landfills in the first place!

Source: http://www.inspirationgreen.com/plastic-bag-stats

We are the Mechanical Botcats, a First Lego League (FLL). We are a robotics team from Jackson Heights Middle School. Each year, FLL comes up with a new theme for student competitions. One component of this is a research project where we come up with an innovative solution to solve a real-life problem. This year’s theme is TrashTrek, and for this we were asked to create a way to help to use to the three R’s, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Our solution is to spread the word about different solutions about plastic bags on one site to spare you all the extra work of looking for the right solution. If you read what before this you would know how bad our solution is needed. Please use up your spare plastic bags and use for good to save our planet!!!

Below are about 50 FUN Ideas using Plastic Bags!!!

1 - Plastic Bag Beanies (the hat)

You will need 1 plain plastic bag (such as fruits and vegetables come in) large enough to fit on head, a 12" length of colored yarn string or ribbon, small pieces of felt, household glue, and scissors Now, cut out small decorations from assorted colors of felt. Fold up open end of plastic bag once or twice to form beanie cuff. (Number of folds 'will depend upon length of bag. Try beanie on head to get right size.) Glue inside top edge of cuff to bag. Gather closed end of bag with ribbon or yarn. Wrap around gathers several times and tie securely. Glue on felt decorations. When dry, beanie is ready to wear.

Source: http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/plasticbagsartscraftsideasprojectskids.html

2 - Rope


1 or more plastic shopping bags
1 small piece of cardboard
1 pair of scissors

Words from the maker

I basically combined two other instructables that I've read in the past. One wasmaking plastic "yarn" out of plastic shopping bags. I guess people here are calling it "plarn" now. The other was braiding cordage/rope from smaller strands of string/thread/cord/rope. Both techniques I've found highly useful with a lot of my projects.

With this one I combined both and made a very useful cord/rope out of mere shopping bags that were going into the recycling bin anyway. The end product is pretty handy. It's very strong, it's waterproof, and it's practically free.

I'd be willing to bet that if I took 7 of these ropes (that I made here) and wove them into a larger rope, I could easily use it to tow a car! No seriously.

Now a few people have made ropes from plastic bags here on instructables, but they twisted them. This project makes a much more aesthetically pleasing braided 7 part rope.

source: http://www.instructables.com/id/Useful-Rope-or-Cord-from-Plastic-Shopping-Bags/

3 - Bike Streams

Want a spiffy bike with great bike handle streamers blowing in the wind? Here is a way to decorate your bike for free and they turn out awesome! Find various colored plastic grocery bags. Use a scissor to cut strips from the bag that are approximately 20" x 1/2 ". Cut 10 of these strips for each streamer...when you are done you will have 20 streamers. If you want the same amount of strips for each color, then cut 6-8 strips from each plastic bag color. Next, take 10 strips (various colors) and then put them in a straw, (pic 2 above). Fold the straw in 1/2 and tape together at the end (pic 3 above). You might want to get colorful duct tape...in white, red, or blue and then tape the straw nicely to the handle.

Source http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/plasticbagsartscraftsideasprojectskids.html

4 - Jump Rope

I really do make a huge effort to not get plastic bags, yet somehow they seem to multiply in our house. So on a quest to figure out something to do with them, I came up with this idea, what about a jump rope. The girls love jump ropes, although they haven't quite figured out how to actually jump rope yet (although the Bee is working on it.) They do however love to use them to limbo under, tie to a tricycle or wagon, drag things around, as a police stop in the bike traffic circle in our backyard, and many many other uses. So I figured I would try to make one from the plastic bags and was pleasantly surprised when it actually worked really well. To make the jump rope I started by taking plastic bags, and cutting them open so they were one flat piece. I then cut off the handles and any extra pieces so I was left with one large rectangle of plastic.

Source: http://childhoodlist.blogspot.com/2012/03/105-diy-plastic-bag-jump-rope.html

5 - Cloth Bags

Reusable cloth bags reduce environmental waste and help to avoid collecting more of these pesky bags. Use the plastic bags to reinforce and create a waterproof seal inside cloth bags. You could either add to the cloth bags you already posses or get crafty and make your own. Repeat the process of cutting the plastic bags and laying flat. Iron 5-8 layers together with a warm iron. Remember to have wax paper separating the plastic bags from the iron and the ironing board. Once cooled, place your new thick, fused plastic bags inside a cloth bag. Secure each side together using craft glue, staples, or heavy duty sewing thread. Cut the fused bags to match the sides of your cloth to ensure full coverage. You could also cut to make smaller versions and use as reusable sandwich and storage bags.

Source: http://www.budget101.com/household/15-smart-ways-reuse-plastic-bags-4386.html

6 - Ruffled Lamp Shade

This cool lampshade is created from hundreds of black and white plastic bag rosettes. The bags are cut into long strips, rolled loosely into rosette shapes, then glued to the shade. For exact instructions, check out the tutorial by the 3 R’s blog.

By: http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

7 - PLastic Bag Coasters


ch(s): chain(s)
dc(s): double crochet(s)
hdc: half double crochet(s)
hk: hook
sc(s): single crochet(s)
sl st: slip stitch
sp: space
st(s): stitches
[ ]: Instructions between brackets are repeated as directed.

  1. Cut handles and bottom seam off plastic shopping bags. Cut remaining portion of bag into a continuous 1-inch-wide plastic strip. Each shopping bag will yield about 16 yards-enough to make one coaster.
  2. Round 1: With plastic strip, ch 4, join with a sl st in first ch made to form a ring.
  3. Round 2: Ch 3 for first dc, dc in ring, ch 1, [work 2 dcs in ring, ch 1] 6 times, join with a sl st in top of beginning ch-3: 14 dcs.
  4. Round 3: Sl st to next ch-1 sp, ch 3 for first dc, work 2 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs in same sp, ch 1, [work 3 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs in next ch-sp, ch 1,] around.
  5. Round 4: Sl st to next ch-2 sp, ch 3 for first hdc, work 6 dcs, 1 hdc in same ch-sp, sc in next ch-1 sp, [work 1 hdc, 6 dcs, 1 hdc in next ch-2 sp, sc in next ch-1 sp] around. Fasten off.

Finished Size: Each coaster measures about 4 inches across.

Source: http://www.lovethecountry.com/project/crocheted-plastic-bag-coasters/#ixzz3tmlaLeso

8 - Woven Basket

Instead of having those old plastic bags fill up that under-sink space to the brim, use them to make a nice woven basket, which can be used to store anything from fruit to, well, plastic bags. Grab a cutting mat, blade, ruler, some masking tape, a heavy yarn needle and crochet hook, and follow this tutorial by radmegan.

WARNING: This project my take multiple days to weeks to make. But it will be worth it in the end.

Source: http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

9 - Plastic Bag Braclets

Colorful bracelets and bangles are must-have accessories for any season. Make your own using recycled plastic bags and basic supplies you already have around the house. Follow this easy tutorial by She to learn how.

Source: http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

10 - Plastic Pendant Light

The most fulfilling DIY projects to make are those that end up looking like amazing designer pieces. This pendant light is made from a bunch of black and white plastic bags, but looks like a million bucks. Check out the 3 R’s blog’s tutorial for instructions.

Source: http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

11 - PLastic Bag Beads

If you like making your own jewelry, why not take that one step further and actually make the beads as well? Fuse sheets of plastic together using an iron and parchment paper to give them firmness. Etsy’s New York Street Team gives you the full scoop.

Source; http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

12 - PLastic Bag Mandals

Using only an exacto blade and tape, artist Virginia Fleck transforms plastic bags into large scale meditation mandalas that serve as a commentary of shopping and spirituality. Make your own by following this tutorial of Recylart.

Source http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

13 - Plastic Bag Doily Clock

You'll Need:

  • plastic grocery bags which you'll make into yarn, called plarn, instructions here
  • a crochet hook, I used a J, but you can go just a bit larger too
  • a clock movement— you can buy a quartz movement and other craft supplies at Factory Direct Craft.
  • a doily pattern, this one coming soon

How To:

Make ball of plarn, I'd say you'll need roughly four or five large bags. Crochet according to the pattern. If you like the look of the cupped petals, which really happened by accident, switch to a smaller hook for the last round and crochet in the front loop of the previous row.

Insert the shaft of the clock mechanism into the hole, attach the arms and voila, an adorable clock is born!

Source: http://www.creativejewishmom.com/2011/09/crocheted-plastic-bag-doily-clock.html

14 - Plastic Flowers

The perfect gift for your favorite eco-warrior, recycled plastic flowers not only look cute, they never wilt. Grab the most colorful plastic bags you have in the drawer and follow this simple Instructables tutorial.

Source: http://ecosalon.com/diy-10-things-to-make-from-plastic-bags/

15 - PLastic Bag Wreath

I have a lot of reusable shopping bags, however I’m the one who is always forgetting to take them to the store with me to actually use. So with Earth Day quickly approaching, this year I am really going to try and take a pledge to remember the bags and say bye-bye to plastic for good. To kick off my campaign I found a way to recycle and reuse all the plastic bags I currently have in the house. Who would of thought those plastic bags could look so pretty?

I started by cutting the handles and the printed {logo} front off the plastic bags.

I then scrunched each bag into a vertical strip and folded half,

and then in half again, making a loop at the top. I used a tiny bit of hot glue to secure the end to ensure it would not unravel.

Using a screwdriver {stick with me – I made this up as I went along} I poked a hole into a 10 inch Dollar Tree wreath form. By circling the screwdriver a couple of times it made the hole a little bit larger ~ the larger the better.

Filling the hole with a good slab of hot glue I stuck in the rolled end of the bag, then went back with the screwdriver to poke in any pieces that were sticking out.

Using my pinking shears I cut the loop in half…

…then the fun part of fluffing.

I ran out of white plastic bags {I only had a few} so I used clear twist tie bags that I had on hand as filler, applying the same folding technique. The clear bags can be found in the food storage section of any grocery store and usually run around $2.00 for a box of 100.

Source: http://www.bystephanielynn.com/2010/04/recycled-plastic-bag-wreath-earth-day-project.html

16 - Sandwich Wraps

As brilliant an invention as disposable zip-top baggies are, they are potentially very wasteful as well. How many of them do you think we’ve thrown away this year just from lunch sandwiches alone? Ugh, I don’t even want to think about it! Instead, I want to show you how to make a reusable sandwich wrap that not only replaces zip-top bags, but it even recycles some of those pesky plastic shopping bags. And if being “green” by recycling and reusing isn’t reason enough to make these, how about this — we’re going to make them crazy cute with personalized sayings!

The first step is to make some sheets of fused plastic. Fusing plastic is an easy idea — you basically layer some plastic shopping bags together, put the stack between pieces of parchment paper, and iron them together so that they meld into one thicker sheet. However, in practice, I’ve found that it’s quite a variable operation. The temperature of your iron and the thickness of your bags make a huge difference, and the key to this technique is to PRACTICE on scraps first. You’ve got to keep the iron moving, but too slow or too fast and it won’t work. Too hot or too cool and it won’t work. My iron seemed to work best on the Wool setting, but yours may be different. While you can use any type you want, I’ve found that thicker ones (like Target) work better than thinner ones (like Walmart). I can’t emphasize this enough… you’ve got to PRACTICE to get a feel for it before you can get good results. Once you’ve got your iron and your bags figured out, making bigger sheets of fused plastic will be much easier.

Okay, have you practiced enough to be confident with the process? Ready to do this for real now? If so, go ahead and cut the bottoms and handles off of some plastic shopping bags. Cut away any parts of the bag that are printed and make a stack of 3 or 4 layers that are at least 16″ x 16″.

Now sandwich the layers between two large pieces of parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can use regular white paper (make sure there’s no ink on it) or blank newsprint paper, but parchment paper really works a million times better. (Oh and don’t try to use wax paper. The wax melts and sticks and is hard to work with.) Put the entire stack on an ironing board and iron just until the plastic is fused together into one large sheet. Make sure you are working in a well-ventilated area, because melted plastic can give off some nasty fumes!

Here’s where things are gonna get fun. Take a look at that stack of bag scraps you cut away. In particular, the printed parts of the bags. Odds are you’ve got a Walmart bag in there with the famous “Save money. Live better.” saying on it. It just so happens that those are exactly the letters you need to spell “I love you”. Well, okay, you’ve got to turn the “n” upside down to make a “u”, but it still works! Go ahead and cut the letters out with scissors.

Arrange your letters in the middle of your fused plastic sheet. You can try to line them up perfectly, but I personally like them a little crooked. It’s cuter that way. Then take one more large sheet of plastic bag and lay it carefully on top.

Put the parchment paper back on top and run the iron over the entire piece again, just for a few seconds, to fuse the new top layer down. This will hold the letters in place, and you should be able to see them easily through the top layer. I had fun with my messages, and besides “i love you”, I also wrote “eat” and “yummy”. You can use letters from whatever bags you like to spell whatever message you want. So many possibilities!

Food Safety Warning: There is some debate over whether or not plastic grocery bags are food-safe for wrapping around sandwiches. If you are concerned about the possible dangers from the plastic bags, we recommend that you cut open a gallon-size, clear, plastic food storage bag (like a Ziploc) and fuse that over top of the final layer of grocery bag. This will ensure a food-safe surface for your sandwich. We have experimented with this process and it works very well, but just be sure to only iron for a few seconds.

Now it’s time to do some sewing. Plastic is boring, so we need to jazz these up with pretty fabrics! With your plastic totally fused and your crazy cute messages in place, use a paper trimmer to cut the sheet of plastic down to a 12″ x 12″ square. Then cut a piece of fabric to 14″ x 14″. (Go ahead and grab some sew-on Velcro and coordinating thread, too.) Place the fabric face down on the table and place the plastic face up in the center.

The pinning process that comes next is a little hard to explain, so I’m going to take my time and use lots of pictures. Hopefully you get the idea.

You should have one inch of fabric sticking out on each side of the plastic. Starting with one side, fold the fabric in on itself, so that the end comes just up to the edge of the plastic.

Now fold that fold over again, so that the cut edge of fabric is hidden away, and the fabric comes down over the plastic by a half an inch. Pin it in place a few times along the side.

The corner is a bit tricky. Grab the end of the part you just folded twice, and fold it in, forming a triangle.

Now make the same fold you did when starting the first side — bring the edge of the fabric up to the edge of the plastic.

Then make the second fold from before, this time bringing the fabric over the plastic, covering it by a half an inch. You should have a nice mitered corner!

Pin it in place, then continue like this around the other sides, until your piece is all pinned and ready to sew.

Use your sewing machine to sew the fabric down where pinned, as close to the inside edge as possible. Go all the way around the piece, securing the fabric and plastic together on all edges.

Now grab the hook/rough side of your sew-on Velcro and cut a 1″ piece and a 2″ piece. Then grab the loop/fuzzy side and cut a 1″ and a 2″ piece of that. You should have four individual pieces altogether. (I got lucky and found sew-on Velcro in lots of different colors at my local Hobby Lobby store. How awesome!)

With your sandwich wrap plastic-side-up on the table in a diamond shape, put the 2″ piece of loop/fuzzy Velcro at the top corner (12 o’clock) and pin it in place. Put the 2″ piece of hook/rough Velcro on the right corner (3 o’clock) and pin it in place. Then flip the bottom corner (6 o’clock) up and put the 1″ piece of hook/rough on the fabric side and pin it in place. Finally, flip the left corner (9 o’clock) up and put the 1″ piece of loop/fuzzy Velcro on the fabric side and pin it in place.

You got that? Let’s go over it again to be sure. If you don’t get this right, the wrap won’t work! The 2″ pieces are on the plastic side, and the 1″ pieces are on the fabric side. Opposite corners have opposite rough or fuzzy pieces so that they will connect. Go ahead and try it out with the pieces pinned in place and make sure they match up before continuing. I would hate for you to have to take them apart and re-sew!

Okay, are we good? Good. Now secure the Velcro in place with the sewing machine by sewing around the edges of it in a rectangle.

You can made a bunch of these in different colors, so that you've got enough for a week’s worth of lunches. These wrappers can be wiped clean and re-used, or you can toss them in the washing machine. Just do NOT put them in the dryer, or they might melt!

Source: http://www.chicaandjo.com/2010/02/01/fused-plastic-sandwich-wraps

17 - Plant Pots

For a pot the size of 5,12 in base diameter and 4,33 in height you need about 7-8 medium to large thin plastic bags and a big crochet hook, I had size 4. The bag is cut on two sides so that you get a big piece. From this plastic surface cut long 0,6-0,8 inch wide stripes. There are two possibilities: cut the bag from the outside to the middle like a spiral or the way I did it. Have everything cut in zigzag, the plastic strand can be pulled apart when crocheting and the little ends you can turn around the yarn hank.It doesn't matter if it breaks off, just link the traces. Put the nodes to the inside or you can crochet the ends with the string. Then you begin to crochet: 5 chain stitches, close the loop with a slip stitch and then a chain stitch and single crochets in a circle, as many as fit into the ring. I crochet in a never-ending circle, that means I have not closed the series with a slip stitch, but just crochet around in a circle. In between, you need to increase your stitches, that means make two single crochets in one stitch. Otherwise the bottom would bulge. Make this till you reach the desired size. To clarify the end of the soil and the top of the above area, I crochet a round only in the back loop on the crochet of previous round. From this set on no more increasing single crochets, but only crochet in a circle crochet and stabbed in the mesh of the row. Depending on how colorful the plastic bags are, you get clearly defined or simply colorful pattern. The thinner the bags the more easier with the crocheting. Lovely's, when the thickness of the bags is the same because it is then more evenly. Finally, I have made some slip stitches so that the end is slightly slanted. To hide the plastic thread pull it through a few other stitches.

Source: http://mamimadeit.blogspot.com/2010/04/tutorial-recycled-plastic-bag-flowerpot.html

18 - Pom Poms!

The only tool you need is scissors. I experimented with tying my Pom Pom with jute, but I actually prefer using a strip of the plastic bag. That way the whole thing recycles when you're done using it!

Fold the bag so that the sides are tucked in and it lays nice and flat. Then, fold it into thirds lengthwise. {pardon the change from green to white; i did a lot of experimenting}

Cut off the sealed bottom and the handles up top. Now, fold this strip in half...

...and then in half again. You can thread a twisted length of plastic bag as a "string" through the center of the folded top as pictured. You will use this to gather the pom pom later. Notice at the bottom one flap will have a fold while the other side has raw edges. Just snip along that bottom fold so that all the bottom edges are raw.

Now begin snipping from the bottom toward the folded top, leaving about 1/4 inch. Don't snip through the top fold! When you're done, it looks like a 'fringe.'

Now you are ready to gather your plastic fringe into a pom pom. Take that 'string' along the fold and tie it loosely. Slowly pull it tighter and tighter to 'gather' the fringe. Tie it into a knot. {If you have trouble with the plastic 'string' breaking, braid it to make it sturdy.}

You will have funky, spidery looking thing {left}. The plastic bag develops some static and the fringe will stick together until you work it with your fingers to get it all fluffed up {right}.

Source; http://igottacreate.blogspot.com/2012/02/pompoms-from-plastic-bags-tutorial.html

19 - Plastic Bag Rug

You will need the following tools and supplies:

  • Plastic Bags (150 or more)
  • Wax Paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins

The rug pictured in this isntructable is 33 inches long by 30 inches wide, and contains about 151 bags. Obviously, for a larger rug you need more bags, and for a smaller rug you need fewer bags.

Step 1: Sort Bags by Colors

Note : If you don't want your rug to follow a pattern, you can skip sorting.

To make creating the colored rings in the rug easier, I took my bags of bags and sorted the various bags into separate colors.

While the blue or yellow bags can be mostly sorted together, the white bags tend to have accent colors that can come out in the finished rug. So I have the "White with Pink accents" separate from the "White with Black accents and etc. See the image below for further explanation.

Step 2: Choosing a Pattern

If you've decided to make a rug with a pattern, having the bags sorted is a must. You have to look how many bags of each color you have. As the rug grows larger you will need more bags to go around.

Each rug you make will most likely be different from one another and that is ok. No two rugs are alike.

The number of bags required for each ring varies with its size, and how tightly you braid it together


Step 3: Split and Fold Bags

To make strips, you must cut and fold each bag.

The bags are cut along both side seams through the handles. This is the easiest way to get the bag to lay flat, and it also requires the least amount of cuts and time.

Once the bags are cut, you lay the bag open with the original outside (Pretty side) of the bag down. You then fold the long cut edges inward until the whole strip is about 2 inches wide. The bags will try to unroll, but laying them on the back of chair seems to help keep them in the right shape.

If you have extra-large bags or bags that are a thicker material, you can divide those bags lengthwise (parallel to the original side seam cuts) to make extra strips.

Step 4: Begin Braiding

If you do not know how to braid, the following Instructable seems to be rather educational, How To Braid.

First started by tying the first three strips together. Then place a rather heavy dictionary I have onto the knot, and then started braiding. To make my rug, I braided the initial center white spot. The center is only three strips (bags) so it didn't take very long.

Be sure to leave a tail for each strip. This is where you will tie on the next bag. It is actually better if the tails are different lengths because it will force the continuing knots to be in different places. (more on this later)

As with many projects that become Intructables later on, I missed getting pictures of the very beginning, but the pictures below should explain it okay.

Step 5: Pinning the Braid

To begin forming the braided bags into a rug, you have to lay the braid in a spiral pattern. As you lay the braid down, use straight pins to temporarily hold the spiral together.

Step 6: Fuse the Backing

It may be better for you to practice this step first. This is a very hard step. You can learn the fushing technic by clicking these nest words Plastic Bag Fabrics.

Once you've pinned the bags into the proper spiral, you're ready to fuse the backing on. The backing is simply another plastic bag split open. You will need a large enough sheet so that it is overlaped all around.

First, put the spiral pin-side down on an iron safe surface. Then lay your sheets of plastic bag(s) over the back of the spiral. Note put the sheets ink side down so that the ink didn't have a chance to transfer to any other surface. Then lay the wax paper on top of the plastic sheet. The plastic bags will melt to the iron! Be sure to only iron on the wax paper Then iron only on the wax paper for a short time. (The time will vary depending on the thickness of each bag. i.e. thinner bags will melt faster) The times may vary from a few seconds to a minute or so.

After you pull away the iron and the wax paper, give the rug a minute or so to cool and harden. If you try to move it around while the plastic is still molten, you may ruin the fusing and you will have re-start all over again.

Leave all of the overlap, when you continue the spiral the backing will already be partially in place.

Step 6: Continue Braiding, Pinning and Fusing

As you continue braiding, pinning, and fusing there are some things you should be aware of.

When you reach the end of a bag, tie the next bag on with a square knot (otherwise known as a reef knot a.k.a. a double knot), to learn how yto do this click this link below. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_knot. The bags will cinch up pretty tight, so most knots will work, but turnsh out better with the square knot.

It is much better if the tails of each bag come at different times. When you go to tie the next bag on, your knot will make a tiny bump along the braid. This bump is pretty much invisible, unless all three knots happen at the same time. If necessary, cut the bag strips so that the tails are different lengths. After the initial cutting, the knots should fall at different times.

Step 7: Finishing it all up

Once you reach then end of your rug, you simply tuck the last tails under the the rest of the rug and continue with the fusing process. Once you've fused the rest of the spiral, and the last tails, you can trim the excess backing off.

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Rug-from-Plastic-Grocery-Bags/?ALLSTEPS

20 - Ball

Just an FYI before you make this it is considered a chocking hazard to give this to a young child.

  • If you'd like to make a ball take six or seven grocery bags, scrunch them into balls wrapping them on top of each other. When you get to the final plastic bag open it and take the almost done ball and scrunch it In tight. Then take almost done ball and cover it all in duck tape, but make sure it is all compact or it will all fall apart.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Recycle-Old-Plastic-Bags

21 - Water balloons

Turn the bags into water balloons and have fun dropping them. Don't overfill or drop on people or animals though, especially if the water balloon is large.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Recycle-Old-Plastic-Bags

22 - Craft Mats

Kids love to create. However, with creativity comes a big mess! You could create reusable craft mats with old plastic bags. First, take a set of plastic bags, cut off the handles and then cut the bag open to lay flat. Repeat 4 times, stacking each layer on top of each other. Next, use a warm iron to fuze the bags together. Be sure to put wax paper under the bottom and over the top layer of bag to avoid melting the bags. It only takes a quick second to melt the bags so be careful. It does not take much heat to fuse the bags together. Let cool and the mats are ready to use. You could reuse these over and over.

Source: http://www.budget101.com/household/15-smart-ways-reuse-plastic-bags-4386.html

23 - Kites

  1. Find a plastic shopping bag. It doesn't have to be huge - one that's standard size works.

  2. Fold the plastic bag in half vertically. Be sure it is flat, and even.

  3. Cut out the kite shape. Here are the cuts you need for your kite:

    • Cut off the bottom of the bag. Position your scissors 2 or 3 inches (5 or 7.5 cm) up from the bottom, and cut so that all the air is removed.
    • Cut the bag in the middle, from the base straight up to the center of the bag.
    • Make a cut from the center of the bag back out to the fold, at about a 45-degree angle.

  4. Save the section that includes most of the fold and set aside the rest of the bag. Lay the pieces out flat. You should have 2 irregular pentagons.

  5. Cut two sticks. One stick should be as long as the length of the kite, from top to bottom. The other stick should be just a bit longer than the width of the kite, from right to left.

  6. Tape the longer stick to the vertical center of the kite. Tape the top end (at the tip of the kite) first. Before you tape the bottom part, stretch the plastic a little and then tape the stick onto the bottom.

  7. Tape the one end of the shorter stick to the left corner of the kite.

  8. Bow the horizontal stick. That is, bend it slightly toward the top corner of the kite so that it curves as it moves from left to right. Tape the right corner.

  9. Tape the two sticks together. Where the sticks cross, use a bit of tape to attach the bowed section to the vertical stick.

  10. Cut the extra plastic into strips and tie together. This will be the tail of your kite, and it should end up being a few feet long (or a meter, give or take a bit). You could use different colors to add more flair to your tail.

  11. Tape one end of the tail to the bottom of the kite.

  12. Cut two small holes in the plastic. Use a pointed item to make a hole at the intersection where the two sticks meet, as well as at the bottom.

  13. Cut a piece of string 1 foot (30cm) in length. Push one end of the string to the intersecting sticks at the other side of the plastic. Tie firmly. Do the same with the other end. Now you have the "bridle".

  14. Decide where to tie a loop into the bridle line. When you are outside, hold the bridle string between your thumb and finger, so that the kite tries to fly from your hand. Start in the middle of the bridle and gradually move your fingers up toward the intersection. At one point, the angle of attack will be right and the kite will fly best, so this is where you want to tie a loop into the bridle line. This loop needs to move up or down depending on the wind speed, so you have to adjust the location for each flying session.

  15. Cut more string (up to 20 feet, or 6 m, long) and tie it to the bridle.

  16. Fly the kite. To fly, simply throw the kite and pull the string as if you are fishing. Extend the string while doing this. You may need to give it some help to get into the air by running a little. If so, check that the ground ahead is free of obstacles as you are likely to be looking up as you do this and not concentrating on the ground.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Kite-Out-of-a-Plastic-Bag

24 - Pillow

  1. Find a plastic bag. Preferably a 1-litre Ziploc/self-sealing bag, but in a pinch, any bag will do.

  2. Close the Ziploc bag. Then open it in the middle just a bit, place the hole over your mouth, take a deep breath through your nose, and blow in it as hard as you can.

    • With a normal plastic bag, simply place it around your mouth, and blow as hard as possible, breathing in through your nose.

  3. Seal the bag as quickly as possible to prevent air escaping.

  4. Tie off the plastic bag. Don't simply close it with it's own seal or the weight of your head will open it. Find a piece of twine or a rubber band to tie it with.

  5. Cover it with a jacket or other piece of fabric

  6. Lie down, place pillow under head and enjoy!

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pillow-out-of-a-Plastic-Bag

25 - Jewerly

For this project you will need the following:


- plastic bags in colors of your choice (grocery bags work, as do some of the thicker shopping bags)
- iron
- ironing board
- computer paper or wax paper
- scissors
- fan


- necklace/bracelet clasps
- thin wire
- round metal connectors
- 2 needle nose tweezers
- straight pin


- 2 ear wires
- 4 round metal connectors
- 2 needle nose tweezers
- straight pin

  • Necklace and earring supplies can be found at bead shops and most craft stores.

This project is best done in a well ventilated area. You are going to want to set up your ironing board near an open window with a fan on! Plug in your iron and set it to the highest temperature setting before steam (it is blends on mine).

While your iron is heating up you want to prepare your plastic bags. You first need to cut off the handle and then the bottom of the bag so you can open it up to its fullest size.

Once you have cut off the extraneous pieces turn your bag inside out (if their is print on the outside it will make a sticky mess!)

Once you have it opened up you are going to fold it so that their are 8 layers of plastic. To do so you begin by folding it in half (that should make 4 since it was already doubled) and then fold it in half again!

  • I recommend 8 for the thing grocery bags, but you can get away with 3-4 for thicker plastic bags

If you want your material to have a specific pattern or texture use the following step:

On top of your 8 layers, place the piece of plastic that has the pattern that you like. On top of that pattern place one clear or white plastic layer. Then proceed to step 4

  • you may want to try and make several pieces of fabric before you use the plastic bags that you are really excited about!*

Once you have the layers laid out as you would like you are going to place your plastic between two pieces of computer paper. You want to make sure that none of the plastic is hanging out of the edges. it will make a big smelly mess on your iron...trust me

Now you are ready to iron!

I recommend sweeping the iron across 5 times, flipping it over (computer paper and all) and sweeping the iron across 5 times on the other side. * be careful this will be hot!

Before you check your new fabric allow the paper to cool for about 30 seconds, you will hear and see the fabric start to peel away from the paper. Now it is time to check and see if it is done!

If you have ironed it for too long you will see holes in your fabric. (although this may be a desired look for your jewelry)

if you have not ironed it enough you will see bubbles in your material and it will still make that crispy bag sound when you crunch it. This means that your fabric will be weak. If this is the case but the plastic back between the sheets of computer paper and iron it some more.

Once you have all of the colors you would like you are going to begin to design your earrings! This can obviously be made in any shape and style of your liking. I have chosen to use blue and black rounded triangles.

To make the earrings pictured above you begin by cutting the 3 parts for each. 2 large triangles and 2 small triangles of one color and 2 medium triangles of a second color

Once trimmed to appropriate size and liking you are to use the straight pin to put a small hole in the top of all 6 triangles.

For this step you will need:

4 metal connectors
2 needle nose pliers
2 ear wires
6 plastic triangles you created!

The first step is to slightly open the metal connector (connector A). The easiest way is to use one pair of pliers to hold one side of the connector while you use the other pair to pry it open.

Next add the 3 triangles in order of smallest to largest and then add an additional metal connector (Connector B). Once you have the 4 items on connector A take one pair of pliers and gently squeeze it shut.

Next you are going to open Connector B (again using both pair of pliers) and add the ear wire.

Close Connector B

Congratulations you have made your first earring! Repeat these steps to make the other one.

As with the earring project you can customize your necklace as well with an array of different colors, sizes, shapes and styles!

For the necklace shown on page one begin by cutting out circle of a variety of sizes. I cut one large circle, about ten different medium sized circles and dozens of small circles for this design. Next cut a wire a couple of inches longer than the length you would like.

Once you have your circles and wire cut, make two holes in the center of each circle (like a button) and begin to put them on the wire putting it through one hole and out the other (like sewing).

  • I found it easiest to start with the biggest one in the center and adding them one at a time to each side so that it would be symmetrical *

Once you have added your desired amount of circles fold the wire over one of the metal connectors (A) (fairly close to the last bead about 3/4 cm away). While holding both ends of the wire twist the metal connector until the wire winds up tight to it. Wrap some of the excess wire around itself a few more times and cut off any excess.

Again using both sets of pliers (one to hold and one to pry) Open another connector (B) and hook connector A onto connector B. Next hook the necklace clasp to connector B. Using the pliers gently close connector B

Add Connector A and B to the other side of the necklace.

Congratulations you have now created a necklace out of recycled grocery bags! Now go get creative with your own designs!!!

Source: http://www.instructables.com/id/grocery-bag-jewelry/

26 - Packing Helpers

Here are a few things below that you could use and do that will save you space in your Suitcases and help keep them clean!

– separating dirty clothes from clean clothes with the plastic bag
– keeping shoes away from your clothes in a plastic bag
– packing any souvenirs or fragile iteams/ protecting them

Source: http://experthometips.com/2015/03/18/holiday-hacks-for-your-suitcase/

27 - Trash Bags

Line your bathroom bin with spare plastic bags and save yourself from spilling tissues, floss, empty toothpaste tubes and more all over the floor! When it’s full, just tie up the top and chuck it in your bin. Easy!

Source: http://experthometips.com/2015/07/03/wow-39-unexpected-ways-to-reuse-plastic-bags/

28 - Snow man

Supplies for Grocery Bag Snowman:

  • plastic grocery bags – 10-15 or even more for a bigger snoman
  • black & orange marker
  • tape or rubber bands

Open one bag and stuff all the rest of the bags inside, save one for a scarf! Then tie a knot holding them in. Now section them off with your fingers into 3 sizes and secure each section with tape or a rubberband, fold the tied end towards the back. Take your markers and draw a cute little face. We then used our one brown grocery bag as a scarf, tying it around it’s neck. (UPDATE: children should be supervised while crafting with plastic bags for safety reasons.)

Source: http://www.makeandtakes.com/recycled-grocery-bag-snowman

29 - For an Unexpected Event

Like Car Sickness

Keep some plastic bags in your car just in case a passenger gets car sick. Don’t forget to make sure they don’t have any holes in them first! You might even choose to double-bag them to further prevent any leakages, that would be gross.

Source: http://experthometips.com/2015/07/03/wow-39-unexpected-ways-to-reuse-plastic-bags/

30 - Plarn/ Plastic Bag Yarn

1. Flatten out clean grocery bags onto a flat surface. Fold bag in half; lining up handles.

2. Cut off the handles and the bottom of the bag, making sure to hold bag flat and tight for even cuts.

3. Take the remainder of bag and fold it over again in the same direction.

4. Keep folding over until the width is about 2 inches.

5. Cut the folded piece into one inch strips, discarded the last section which will mostly likely be too small. This creates loops which will be connected together.

6. Take two loops and bring one loop through the other, pulling the ends tight.

7. Repeat with remaining loops. Repeat as needed.

Once you have all your loops connected, you could roll the plarn into a ball, or use a paper towel roll to wrap the plarn to reduce the chance of knotting.

Follow any favorite crochet or knitting pattern and enjoy your new eco-friendly product!

NOTE: When choosing bags for your plarn, consider color and texture. Keeping your plarn consistent to achieve a good overall effect. When considering color, think about combining different color plastic bags to create a pattern of color, random color changes, or even create a look that doesn't reflect plastic at all. For example, brown plastic bags can look like raffia and not at all like the original material when crocheted.

Also, while the pattern calls for a certain size crochet hook and a specific number of rows to stitch, there may be variation in your project due to the tightness of your stitches or the density of your plarn. Don’t feel like you have to follow the pattern to the letter. I would also recommend looser stitching. You will become easily frustrated with tight stitching. The number of rows in your project can differ from the pattern and it may be easier to use a larger crochet hook than recommended.

Source: http://www.budget101.com/crafts-scrapbooking/how-make-plarn-plastic-yarn-tutorial-4388.html

31 - Shower Cap

Grocery bags can be transformed into shower caps by putting a bag around your hair and securing it with a rubber band.

Source : http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

32 - Knee Gaurds

Keep your pant legs from getting dirty when kneeling in the garden or working on the car by wrapping grocery bags around your knees. You could also secure it with a rubber bands if you need to.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

33 - Cast Covers

Protect your cast when bathing by covering it with a grocery bag or two.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

34 - Ice Packs

Grocery bags make excellent homemade ice packs when filled with ice and tied shut.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

35 - Emergency Signal

f your car has broken down and you are fresh out of flares, flashlights or a t-shirt to hang on your antenna, put an empty grocery bag on your antenna to help draw attention that you’re in need.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

36 - Toy Paricutes

Grocery bags can be attached to toys and dolls to be used as homemade parachutes.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

37 - Dirty Clothes Bags

Bring a grocery bag when traveling so you can keep your dirty clothes separated from your clean ones.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

38 - Shopping bags

Just bring them in to use again and again because they could be a great substatute for new ones.

Source: http://www.webdesignschoolsguide.com/library/50-ways-to-reuse-your-grocery-bags.html

39 - Place Mats

You will need

  • Plarn
  • crochet hook size k or larger
  • stitch marker (of just a small piece of contrasting yarn or a metal bag tie that you place into beginning of row and remove at end of the row)


This project is crocheted in a spiral formation. When you are crocheting the rows, you will need to keep track of when you have finished each row, so it is advisable to use a stitch marker.

  • Round 1: ch2, 6sc in 2nd chain from hook (ch=chain sc=single crochet)
  • Round 2: Crochet 2sc in each sc = 12 sc
  • Round 3: Crochet sc in next sc, crochet 2sc in next sc, repeat around= 18sc
  • Round 4: *sc in next 2 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from *= 24 sc
  • Round 5: *sc in next 3 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 30 sc
  • Round 6: *sc in next 4 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 36 sc
  • Round 7: *sc in next 5 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 42 sc
  • Round 8: *sc in next 6 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 48 sc
  • Round 9: *sc in next 7 sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 54 sc
  • Round 10: *sc in next 8sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 60 sc
  • Round 11: *sc in next 9sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 66 sc
  • Round 12: *sc in next 10sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 72 sc
  • Round 13: *sc in next 11sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 78sc
  • Round 14: *sc in next 12sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 84sc
  • Round 15: *sc in next 13sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 90sc
  • Round 16: *sc in next 14sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 96sc
  • Round 17: *sc in next 15sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 102sc
  • Round 18: *sc in next 16sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 108sc
  • Round 19: *sc in next 17sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 114sc
  • Round 20: *sc in next 18sc, 2sc in next sc, repeat from * = 120sc
  • Continue in this fashion if you desire to make something larger.
Have a great time with this project, make a set of place mats to enjoy anytime or to give as unique gifts. Just remember, they are not for use with anything hot, or it will melt!

Source: http://www.creativejewishmom.com/2009/11/crochet-fun-placemats-using-plastic-bags.html

40 - None stick surface

Plastic bags are perfect for use as a nonstick surface when rolling out dough, and other stick foods.

Source: http://green.thefuntimesguide.com/2011/01/reuse_plastic_grocery_bags.php

41 - Substatute for Rubberbands

twist it tightly and knot it to keep your things all rolled u!

Source: http://green.thefuntimesguide.com/2011/01/reuse_plastic_grocery_bags.php

42 - Paint tray Liner

Put your paint on the plastic bag so that your clean up time is shorter.

Source; http://green.thefuntimesguide.com/2011/01/reuse_plastic_grocery_bags.php

43 - Electronic protector

put your device in a plastic bag when you want to read on it near the pool or in the bath-room.

Source: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2015/08/60-ways-to-reuse-plastic-bags.html

44 - Frosting Food

Use it as a pipe clean by cutting off a corner of the bag. I would suggest doubling up the bag though so that it doesn't break.

Source: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2015/08/60-ways-to-reuse-plastic-bags.html

45 - Dog/ cat care

46 - Trash can liners

Just a plastic bag them around you bin and Tada! You don't have to clean your trash bin very week any more!

Source: http://lifeyourway.net/15-ways-to-reuse-plastic-grocery-bags/

47 - Shoe Stuffers

Wad up plastic bags and use them to keep your shoes in shape.

Source: http://thesecretyumiverse.wonderhowto.com/how-to/12-nifty-ways-reuse-plastic-grocery-bags-0138800/

48 - Gift bows

How To:

  1. Cut as many strips from the plastic bag as you can, strips should be about 1/2" wide and the width of the bag, but experiment with strip width to see which look you like best.
  2. Firmly bind your bunch of strips in the middle, I used a wire kitchen tie.(photo above left)
  3. Trim you bunch so edges are even
  4. Fluff and separate strips from one another, and pull strips up towards center to form a pouf shape. Do as many times as needed
  5. That's it! You now have a bow to put on your gifts!

Source; http://www.creativejewishmom.com/2009/12/recycle-plastic-bags-and-make-unique-gift-bows.html

49 - Replacement for Packing Peanuts

Package the item and wrap it up in the plastic bags, and then fill the box with them.

Source: http://thesecretyumiverse.wonderhowto.com/how-to/12-nifty-ways-reuse-plastic-grocery-bags-0138800/

50 - Wraping your paint brushs

If you’re in the middle of a paint project, wrap your wet paintbrushes up in a plastic bag to keep them from drying out. Just open the plastic bag, stick the paintbrush into it and then twist the bag tightly around the handle It’ll stay moist for 2-3 days or longer depending on the humidity level outside.

Source: http://sweetpenniesfromheaven.com/21-ways-to-reuse-plastic-grocery-bags-plastic-recycling/

AND last... but not least OUR BIG PROGECT that uses over 1000 plastic bags!!!

Bean Bag Chair

Take our plastic bag balls from # 20, and make about 1000 of them, and then stuff them in an old bean bag chair that has lost it's little balls in it, and there you go that simple