How to Make Plastic Trousers Using Household Items

Updated February 21, 2017

Making plastic trousers out of household items is an economic alternative to purchasing a fancy dress costume. With the advent of Project Runway's chic use of garbage bags to highlight that you can make clothes from plastic bags, it provides the creative platform to try to use what is readily available at home to design a costume. Plastic trousers made from grocery carrier bags have showcased recycling issues. Using traditional dressmaking techniques it is easy to adjust the skills to successfully make trousers from plastic.

Create a pattern for the trousers design by finding a pair of trousers in your closet that are comfortable to wear and do not consist of a stretch material. Measure the length of the trousers from the waistband to the leg hem and across the widest part of the trousers when placed flat.

Spread out a clean household garbage bag on a flat surface and measure the length and the width. Compare the trousers' measurements with the bag measurements to check that you can make the trousers from one bag. Open up one side and bottom of the bag with scissors to create a larger template if needed, and use a second bag opened up in the same way to give you the extra layer required.

Smooth out the plastic bag or double layers so that there are no creases. Position the pair of trousers on top of the plastic and pull them out smooth and flat so that there is at least 1 inch of spare plastic around the perimeter of the trousers.

Cut around the trousers 1 inch out from the perimeter to allow for extra room for sitting and bending while wearing them. Join the outside leg seams together with lengths of duct tape straddling each side of the seam. Join the inside leg seams and crotch using the same technique.

Turn the plastic trousers inside out so that the seam fastenings do not show. Cut a 4-inch slit where the zipper normally goes and tape each side separately so a half width of duct tape shows along each edge of the slit on the outside and inside of the cut plastic. The duct tape reinforces the zipper seams so that they fasten without tearing.

Place a walnut-sized piece of modelling clay under one of the zipper seams. Push a sharp pencil through the duct tape and into the clay to create a hole. Create four holes along the duct tape at equal intervals on both zipper seams. Lace up the zipper seams with string or ribbon like lacing up a shoe.


Put a pleat in each side of the waistband and fasten with duct tape if the waist is too big.


Always supervise children when they use plastic bags for craft and design work.

Things You'll Need

  • Trousers
  • Measuring tape
  • Garbage bags
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • Modelling clay
  • Household string or ribbon
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About the Author

Residing in the coastal county of Devon, England, Jane Humphries has been writing since 2004. Writing for "British Mensa" nationally and regionally, Humphries has also held key roles within the High IQ Society. She received a Bachelor of Science, honors, in psychology with combined studies covering biology, statistics, economics, politics and sociology.