Turn Your Used Plastic Bags Into Clothing!

I stumbled across a wonderfully intriguing image on Flickr.com and it turned out to be an eco friendly coat made from reused plastic shopping bags. The green fashionista responsible for the wonderful creation is UrbanWoodsWalker and her creations are truly inspiring.
This post will show you how to turn your used plastic bags into “plastic fabric” and make your own eco clothing. (Warning: The plastic fabric requires the use of an iron. Please be very careful whenever using a hot iron and ensure your work area is well ventilated)

1/ Collect a bunch of brightly colored plastic bags (The super thin ones work best such as the type newspapers are delivered in), most shoppers have eliminated plastic bags from their homes by using reusable totes but you can probably still find some plastic to use;

Step 1: Gather up Your Used Plastic Bags

Step 1: Gather up Your Used Plastic Bags

2/ You will need the following, an iron, an ironing board, a pair of scissors, some paper (wax paper or parchment paper works best).

3/ Start by setting up your ironing board in a well ventilated area, open all the windows and setup a fan to direct fumes away from you, and lay a sheet of paper down to cover the ironing board.

4/ Choose a plastic bag to start with and if it has handles cut them off, also cut a strip of plastic from the bottom of the bag to make it open ended.

5/ Fold the plastic bag in half and then fold it in half again, this will give you an 8 ply piece of plastic, i.e. it will have 8 layers. Place this on the paper on the ironing board and lay another sheet of paper on top to completely cover the piece of plastic.

6/ Start applying heat from the iron to the paper – plastic – paper sandwich! Keep the iron moving to provide an even heat, do this for 10 – 15 seconds and the plastic should then be “fused” together. Watch this video below for a tutorial of how to fuse your plastic bags;



Etsy Video Tutorial for Fusing Plastic Bags

7/ Once you have a decent collection of fused plastic sheets you can start to design some clothing, or a bag or anything else you can think of! Check out Urban Woods Walkers coat creation below;

A Large Piece of Fused Plastic Fabric

A Large Piece of Fused Plastic Fabric

Plans for a Reused Plastic Coat!

Plans for a Reused Plastic Coat!

The Finished Fused Plastic Fabric Coat

The Finished Fused Plastic Fabric Coat

The Wonderful Finished Plastic Coat

The Wonderful Finished Plastic Coat

Please use caution whenever around a hot iron and when ironing plastic, always make sure you have the plastic completely covered with paper before applying the iron.
We hope you were inspired to go reuse some of those old plastic bags and perhaps turn them into something beautiful and wearable…

Related posts:

  1. Compostable Biodegradable Plastic Bags
  2. Go Green Biodegradable Kitchen Bags – Making Our Trash Greener!
  3. Bio-Degradable Trash Bags – CVS Pharmacy Deserves a Mention
  4. Shopping Totes-Reuseable
  5. "Evolve" by Ziploc
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About Martin

Martin is the editor of the Our Everyday Earth Green Blog. He has a passion for all things eco-friendly, especially green technology.

14 Responses to “Turn Your Used Plastic Bags Into Clothing!”

  1. Ok, the coat turned out really cool! I never use plastic bags , so would not have any around to use, but I will be sharing this with others because it is a great way to re-use!
    My recent post Fresh Organics {Review & GiveAway}

    • Hi Tara, thanks for the kind words, we are hoping to write a more detailed post on how to make different kinds of plastic fabric including which bags work best etc… Thanks for sharing, we hope everyone likes our blog :)

    • Hi, thank you so much for featuring my plastic bag coat on your site here. I appreciate you sharing my flickr photos too. the Etsy video is very good, however, I do a few things tiny bit differently.

      I want to say though, that living in a huge urban area….even though I use cloth bags myself and try to get others to do so….plastic bags are everywhere, and I merely collect post consumer bags from neighbors, and big box store plastic bag collection bins. Sometimes they are right on the street. So, Tara, plastic bags can be utilized for craft and art making even though you don’t have them in your own home.

  2. WoW! We went to a meeting with our representative here at Richardson, TX and they are throwing away ALL of the pretty blue bags we recycle in (it jams up their machines) !!! What a great way to save that resource … After all, there are still lots of people living without clothing. This would also be a great alternative for the poor and homeless because it's water proof!!! Simply Brilliant :)

    • Hi Stephanie, we're glad you found our site and like this article, these plastic fabric clothes are certainly inventive ways to keep plastic bags away from the landfill. Give it a try, it's really easy!
      We look forward to seeing some of your own plastic fabric creations…
      P.S. We love you site, recommended reading for the Our Everyday Earth family;

      ” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>http://www.greenhomeresidential.com

  3. Oh, my goodness…this is so unique! What a great idea! I’m featuring this in my Earth Day round-up tomorrow!

  4. Hallo Martin,
    Thanks for a very good diea. Our daughter’s school has a annual plastic waste fashion show and last year she came 2nd with a dress, top, hat and hip bag made entirely from crotcheted plastic bags. There was a large spider on the hat and dangles all around the hem of the skirt made from plastic found during beach clean-ups. She also had a necklace from this. If you can send me an e-mail address I will mail some photos as it was really cool. Oh yes, the girl who came 1st had a fused dress!

  5. Hi, I loved this article and would like to utilise this idea for a project in school. However, I do not have the resources at the moment to attempt this and would like to find out more about the final product.

    How is the final product different from cloth? (Is there some special properties of plastic retained in the product)
    Can it be washed in washing machines?
    How much weight can it withstand?

  6. I believe that this is another case of the Republicans
    just saying “NO”. Its time to hit the streets America we have a
    nation to rebuild. I personally believe this is immoral behavior
    that only hurt the most vulnerable of American citizens and line the pockets of the the credit card issuers.

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  5. 25 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Recycling » Masters in Public Policy - August 18, 2011

    [...] two-liter bottle into clothing? That’s pretty cool. You can even use your own plastic bags to turn into your own clothing. It’s an interesting way to recycle on your own.Research is being done into recycling human [...]

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