There is a scene in the Oscar-winning film ‘American Beauty’ where the protagonist’s daughter’s boyfriend shows her a video of a plain, white plastic bag blowing in the wind. He interprets its movements as meaning there is a higher force behind everything in life. His capability to see beauty in everyday objects, to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, has inspired millions of moviegoers, and it could never have happened without the humble plastic bag. Here are a few creative projects you can do with plastic bags, and a little bit more about where they come from.
Plastic Bag Rugs – Weave ‘Em
Plastic bags can be cut into strips, laid end to end, and woven into attractive waterproof rugs, particularly useful in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and outdoor uses. Using different colored bags you can create many attractive patterns with minimal equipment. See the plastic bag rug tutorial here. Did you know most plastic bags are made from the same material, polyethylene? They are made in specialized machines such as sheldahl bag machine parts of which can be used with machines from other manufacturers.
Outdoor Pillow Cases
Once spring hits, all you want to do is sit outside and enjoy the sun and fresh air. Freshen up your patio this year with some new chair cushions and throw pillows. You can use plastic bags to create outdoor pillowcases, simply sew a few plastic bags, and slip your pillow inside. Try using multiple layers of bags for better waterproofing – try this tutorial to get you started. Did you know: plastic bags all start as a long plastic tube wound on a roll? With Sheldahl bag machines, parts of the roll are used to make different styles of plastic bags by cutting them to different lengths and widths, and adding different features like cut-out handles and sealing strips.
This DIY pendant lamp is spectacular and simple, looking like a high-end designer piece for mere pennies. The example uses black and white plastic bags to create a tufted swag lamp, but you can use different colors to match your home’s interior, or make multiples to go for a layered effect. Take a look at this tutorial.
Try a few projects using plastic bags to exercise your creative muscle and make use of the products of Sheldahl bag machines. Parts of the tutorials may take a couple of tries, but fortunately there are plenty of plastic bags around, the products of Sheldahl bag machines. Parts of the projects are also open to customization, so change them up to match your style!
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