you should still bring your own bag to the store

don't laugh at my lumpy fused plastic bag project

Today as I was looking over my shelves of unfinished projects to figure out what to do, I found these plastic bags stuffed into a King Tut shopping bag (as in, from our trip to see Tut at the Franklin institute a few years ago.  Still trying to figure out what to make out of that bag too).  A few years ago I was going nuts over plastic bags and trying to find various ways to make them into other things, while at the same time other people were doing the same.  I tried fusing plastic bags so many times and just couldn’t get the hang of it, but I did learn that I had more success with the thicker, more plasticized bags, and saved a few, apparently.  So I decided to see if I could achieve some plastic fusing success today.  I could not open the window, since it is below freezing today, so you can all blame the plasticizers for the part of my senile dementia that can’t be explained by the bonk on the head when I was a teenager…but that’s another story…

supplies
I used paper grocery bags to sandwich the plastic between whilst ironing.

 

 

 

cut off the handles
and the seam at the bottom

 

 

last, cut it open up the side for one layer of plastic

I had a really big piece of plastic from a bag a coat came in.  I split that and laid it flat and started arranging the smaller bags on it.

kitties love to help with these kinds of projects
test on a small piece of handle

 

Partway through the ironing on process. Some paper stuck to the plastic.
I put a hole in the big piece with the iron, and patched it with the piece of handle

 

The paper grocery bag worked out well, still, the plastic was hard to be consistent with.  It would get too hot and the paper would stick, especially where the red dye/paint was on the outside of the bag.  If I were to do it again I would maybe put the red toward the inside.

I set my iron a little hotter than medium.  If you used thinner paper you would definitely need to use a lower setting. You have to fiddle with it to get the right setting and the right amount of ironing action.

 

Now I need to figure out a completed project made of this plastic sheet.  It might just become a plastic sheet to carry in the car for those times you want something plastic to sit on or cover the seat with.  I don’t want to make too big a deal about the plastic bag tarp.  It’s plastic bags.


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5 thoughts on “you should still bring your own bag to the store

  1. Stephen January 13, 2011 / 10:00 pm

    Sounds like you are learning technique. As for practical use, I think you should focus your efforts on turning many small plastic bags into larger plastic bags, and then turn those larger ones into even larger ones, rinse and repeat until you make a plastic bag large enough to cover your house. I can’t imagine a better weather-proofing or insulation than having your house inside a plastic bag.

    • toadstoolmamma January 13, 2011 / 11:19 pm

      I actually started making a plastic bag out of some other plastic bags after this. But since I really try to remember my reusable bags I don’t have a lot of plastic ones around anymore, so the plastic bag bag is a no go.

  2. Stephen January 14, 2011 / 2:36 am

    In Madison, we lived next to a grocery store where the only “bags” were a pile of boxes (the boxes they received food in) they had piled up at the end of the register aisles. People would bring them back after carting the stuff home. It was odd to me, but resulted in the least waste I could think of.

    I have large plastic garbage bags filled with smaller plastic grocery bags. I use them for packing, but if you could make the largest plastic bag ever known, I would ship them to you. Indeed, better yet, you should start with one of those 100-packs of large trash bags. The resulting bag would suffice for all of your shopping needs.

  3. organicarmor January 14, 2011 / 2:11 pm

    Hey TSmamma – one of our Odyssey of the Mind kids was doing exactly this yesterday. She’s going to make a lab coat for the evil scientist character out of the large ironed together pieces. It seemed like the most important variable was the length of time holding the iron on the plastic.

    • toadstoolmamma January 14, 2011 / 2:34 pm

      It’s a whole bunch of variables. If I left the iron on for just a teeny bit too long, I just had to wait for it to cool before I lifted the paper and it would be fine, but definitely leaving the iron on too long was a no-no! One reason I used grocery bag paper was to sort of temper the heat for me, since I’m a little impatient and like to use high heat.

      Later on I ironed some of those stiffer barnes & noble bags together and that kind fused very well for me. But, we should try not to use the plastic bags at all, so…I really don’t want more of them. But now I have more room on my shelf, eh?

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