How to Make Durable Bags From Plastic Grocery Store Bags

Written by aurora tasia
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How to Make Durable Bags From Plastic Grocery Store Bags
Plastic grocery bags don't have to end up in a landfill. (Martin Poole/Lifesize/Getty Images)

In this day and age, green is good, and recycling has made its way into our daily lives. Rather than just taking up space in a landfill, plastic grocery bags can be used for many projects, including making durable reusable bags or creating a plastic wallet. Once a plastic grocery bag has been fused with an iron it becomes a very durable source of "plasti-fabric" and can be used like cloth material.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 32 plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil (optional)

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  1. 1

    Cut off the handles and the bottom seam of each bag. Pull each bag inside out. Lay the plastic bags on top of one another in a stack.

  2. 2

    Set the iron on a setting between rayon and polyester. For each individual piece of plasti-fabric use four plastic bags, for a total of eight sheets of plastic.

  3. 3

    Lay the four plastic bags on top of one another. Sandwich the four plastic bags between two sheets of parchment paper. Begin ironing the parchment paper, keeping the iron moving constantly. Flip your work over and iron the opposite side.

    Repeat this step three additional times to create a total of four pieces of plasti-fabric.

  4. 4

    Cut two 10-inch x 8-inch sheets of plastic (call them A and B); two 10-inch x 4-inch sheets (call them C and D); one 8-inch x 4-inch sheet (call it E); and two 10-inch x 3-inch sheets (call them F and G).

  5. 5

    Sew each 10 x 8 (A and B) sheet to the 8 x 4 (E) sheet of plastic, sewing along the 8-inch sides. The 8 x 4 (E) sheet of plastic is the bottom of the bag.

  6. 6

    Sew the 10 x 3 (F and G) sheets to the 10 x 8 (A and B) sheets. These are the handles to the bag. Center them 2 1/2 inches from the sides of the bag.

  7. 7

    Sew the two remaining 10 x 4 (C and D) plastic sheets to the sheets listed in Step 5. Sew along the 10-inch side. Finally, sew the two remaining edges along the 4-inch side, connecting the side sheets(C and D) to the bottom sheet (E).

Tips and warnings

  • Use the plastic grocery bag handles to practice fusing the plastic with the iron.
  • Be careful when handling heat and plastic.
  • Some grocery bags release fumes when ironed. Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • The plastic bags must be inside out before ironing. This will ensure the inked logo will not ooze, creating a big mess.
  • Do not leave the iron in one spot when using the parchment paper.

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