Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fusing Plastic Bags

I really like the concept of using recycled, or upcycled materials in my scrapping. The Man has on occasion 'complained' about the amount of money/product I buy (in actual fact, he's really quite supportive and understanding) and has stated "isn't scrapbooking supposed to be about using scraps?"

So a quick tutorial today on how I made this flower out of upcycled plastic bags.

It's a simple method of cutting multiple squares of plastic bag roughly the same size. Here I've used four layers of white plastic bags. It's sandwiched between two layers of baking paper (or other non-stick material) - one on the bottom and one on the top.

With your iron on a low-medium dry setting (no steam) give it all an even and thorough ironing. Keep checking your plastic layers regularly to ensure they're fusing together, but not melting! They'll come out a bit wrinkly at the end, but this just adds to the texture.

Now I've got a material that easily went through my trimmer, and can probably be punched with simple shapes too (maybe? I tried with a detailed punch and it didn't work. I didn't get any more adventurous than that!). Of course, it's easily cut with scissors, and you can now make it into anything you like.

Cut a long thin strip and fringe one edge of it. Then run a strip of glue along the un-cut edge.

 And roll, roll, roll!

This is the bottom of the flower. How easy was that?! Flip it over, squish out the petals a bit, even add a brad or button if you like.

This is what happens if your iron is too hot, or you iron it for too long. You'll get little melted holes all through it. Then again, maybe that's not a bad thing for some purposes?

So that's the secret behind my upcycled fused plastic bag flower.

The butterflies are also made of fused plastic bags, but I used clear ones this time. The end result is much like vellum really. Transparent but strong. And I can foresee lots more uses for this material.
And it also makes me think of all the different coloured plastic bags I've got in my cupboard ready to be packed off to the recycling plant. The possibilities are endless :-)

PS. You can see the whole layout here.


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