Turn old plastic bags into beautiful new fabrics that you can use to make a variety of fashionable and functional items. You can create this unique waterproof fabric by fusing bags together with an iron. Allow your imagination to run wild as you design a pattern for anything you’d like to make—from wallets and purses to raincoats or hats. You’ll develop your sewing skills as you use a needle and thread to stitch your design into shape. Model your upcycled creation or give it as a gift.
What are the qualities we value in this activity?
Science and Art Connections
You’ll experience scientific principles as heat melts your plastic bags together before your eyes. You can use your creative side to design how you want your fabric to look, and release your inner designer as you sew it into a handmade original piece.
You’ll get a chance to manipulate a new material using simple tools that will make your job much easier. You can work on developing your hand-sewing skills, learn how to use a needle threader, or even try using a sewing machine to get the job done faster. You’ll also turn your clothes iron into a tool, and practice carefully smoothing the plastic together.
Connection to the Real World
Plastic Bags are almost everywhere, and have a well-established negative impact on the environment. By spending the time to create a lasting item out of a piece of plastic that was originally intended to be a disposable container, you’ll begin to re-evaluate your use of other common materials that are typically considered trash.
New Uses for Everyday Objects
You’ll start thinking about plastic bags in a whole new way after completing this activity, and hopefully realize that many common objects can be used in ways than just their original purpose. Being able to create something this cool out of an everyday object can help you realize the power of resourcefulness.
We are passionate about sharing our work and developing a community of people interested in these activities, practices, and ideas. The guides below are free to download and use to help you get started with tinkering, whether it's at home, or in your school or educational institution.