Published on May 18th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe
Fab Fabrics: Fusing Plastic Bags to Make Fabric [with video]
Rather than tossing those empties, try fusing plastic bags to make fabric! It’s durable, inexpensive, and upcycled. Your basic fab fabric trifecta.
Around the globe, we use over one million plastic bags per minute. Yep, per minute. And most of those head straight to the landfill. Obviously, bringing your own bag can help make a difference, but what about all of those bags that somehow seem to accumulate despite our best intentions? Have you tried fusing plastic bags to make fabric yet?
This technique can be a little bit tricky at first. My first try with fusing plastic bags turned out fabric with a lot of bubbles. The video below was super helpful in my fused plastic fabric attempts.
Fusing Plastic Bags to Make Fabric
In this video from crafter Pickled Pandas, she shows how to make fused plastic fabric out of several different kinda of discarded plastic:
Looks pretty easy, right? Think of all the bags you’d save from the bin! So how to you use this fabric, once you’ve fused all of your bags together? Brooke of So She Sews talks a bit about sewing with fused plastic fabric:
Just behave as if this cool, fused plastic sheet were a regular piece of fabric! It sews right through on a regular machine (won’t get stuck or not feed … properly… it will smoothly go through just like any piece of fabric would!).
When you are cutting shapes out of it, I recommend you draw your shapes on the backside of the fused plastic using a permanent marker (so that it won’t smear and get all over you), and then cut them out. Do this instead of pinning pattern pieces to it because wherever you put your pins is going to leave a tiny hole in the plastic.
You can also hand-sew with it just like regular fabric using a universal needle. It’s great for all sorts of projects from small things like coin purses to larger items. You could even get really meta and make yourself a reusable grocery bag from fused plastic ones, like the one pictured above!