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I learned that plastic shopping bags don't break down in dumps, so since this is terrible for our earth, I have tried to use them for many things. One way to use them I found, while searching online, was people ironing them together to make a thick plastic fabric. I loved the idea and goofed off with it. I even taught my students at school how to make book covers and wallets.
While playing around with the plastic bags I wondered what other plastic I could iron together. I was about to throw out my daughter's plastic tablecloths from her birthday party and thought "Well it has faeries on it, I wonder if I could use them on these plastic bags." Well it worked.
I have now created makeup bags, and purses out of plastic grocery/shopping bags and the tablecloths I would have thrown out. It's been great and fun. My daughter loves them. If you look up fusing plastic bags, there are instructions to how to do this.
By Mandee from Spokane, WA
Editor's Note: Here is a Valentine's project that fuses plastic bags together. It may give you a good starting point. Be sure to post your own creations and experiences here.
Approximate Time: 6 hours
I cut two pieces of scrap fabric, approximately 7X3 inches to make a "loop" for the handles Sew right sides together lengthwise, leaving narrow end open. Turn. Fold in 1/2 and sew to ends of purse where seam is. This just serves as a loop to hold a ring to attach your handle to if you care to use the rings. You can also just sew the handle to the top of the bag before you put the lining in and omit the rings.
I hope the picture is clear, because it makes a pretty bag. I get compliments on it everywhere I go. It would be pretty in a lighter fabric for summer too.
By Elaine from IA
My local grocery store is offering reusable canvas grocery bags for sale. I liked the idea but not the $5.99 price tag. I went down to my local charity thrift store and found lots of canvas totes with various designs or advertisements on them.
My daughter, Eryn, made and sold these bags to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. She used ordinary plastic grocery bags and fashioned them into a great tote.
The dollar stores carry oversized large "rip proof woven polypropylene" bags with handles. I just saw in a novelty magazine where they had one with a zipper that they were selling for $12.99 plus shipping, and called it a wreath storage bag.
This is a page about making a drapery sample tote bag. This durable bag made from recycled drapery samples is great for shopping or as a gift.