Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fusing Plastic Bags - Waterproof Material

I came across this idea while browsing through Tipnut.com, and I wanted to give it a try; especially since my plastic grocery bag stock was overtaking the enormous box I keep them in.

The idea is to fuse your bags together to make a thicker, durable layer, which can then be turned into a waterproof lining for all sorts of things. 

Here's how to do it:

Fusing Plastic Bags Tutorial

Materials Needed:
- Plastic Bags (thin, flimsy ones work the best - I prefer Macey's)
- Iron
- Parchment paper, freeezer paper, or regular paper
Note: Be sure to do this outside if possible, or on a nice day when you can open your windows or door, to avoid potentially brain-damaging fumes.

Step 1:
- Flatten out the bags
- Trim the bottom seams
- Trim the handles

Step 2:
- Open the bags completely, and smooth out
- Layer bags on top of each other

Fusing works best when you have between 6-8 layers, so you will need to pile 3-4 bags on top of each other, or you can pile 2 bags, and then fold them in half.

The ink on the bag will come off and make a big mess if exposed on the outside, so either turn the bags inside out, or make sure that 2 inked surfaces face eachother on the inside.

Step 3:
- Sandwich plastic bags between paper
- Turn on your iron (I put mine on #4 out of 6, you'll have to experiment).
- Iron on top of the paper; keeping it moving constantly

You will need to iron each 'section' for about 10-15 seconds, then flip the paper and do it on the other side.
Corners and edges may need some extra time - but do not overdo it, or the bags will shrink, warp, and/or littles holes will burn through.
- Peel a corner of the paper back to see if the plastic is fused together; it should appear as one piece.

Step 4:
- Cut around the raw edges to make a smooth one

Uses:
You can use these to make all sorts of things.  Some ideas from Tipnut:
- re-usable grocery totes
- wallets
- floor cushions
- waterproof linings for beach bags and makeup clutches
I am planning on making some waterproof bed-liners and baby bibs.

Want to see how it turned out?  Click here for an example

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