How to Iron Plastic Bags

Learning how to iron plastic bags might seem like a silly skill to acquire. At first. Plastic shopping bags, however, can be fused together to create a heavier material for crafts and making clothing. You'll reduce landfill waste and create a unique look at the same time!

Learning How To Iron Plastic Bags Is Simple

Plastic shopping bags seem to materialize out of thin air. After running errands, you typically find yourself with a fistful or two of these useful but annoying items. By fusing layers of plastic bags together, you can create a heavier material that can be used much like fabric. Here's how to begin:

  • What you'll need. Before you get started, you'll need a clothes iron, several sheets of paper (clean baking parchment works best), a pair of scissors and some of those pesky shopping bags.
  • Where to work. Look for a well-lit and ventilated space with a flat work surface. A thick layer of newspaper or magazines will protect your work surface from excess heat.
  • Lay out your plastic. First, cut your plastic bags down the side seams and remove the handle sections to create long, narrow rectangular sheets of plastic. Next, lay down a sheet of paper big enough to cover your plastic sheets. Lay as many sheets of plastic down as you want-more sheets will create a thicker final product. The sheets of plastic should neatly lie on top of each other and should be as smooth as possible.
  • Bring the heat. Lay a second sheet of paper down over the plastic. Set your iron to a medium setting with no steam and allow it to pre-heat for several minutes. Next, run the iron over the entire sheet of paper, using medium pressure and speed. All irons perform differently, so you may need to experiment with the amount of heat, speed and duration required. Carefully flip the stack of paper and plastic over and repeat the iron process on the other side.
  • Magic time! If all went according to plan, the heat of the iron will have fused the thin sheets of paper into a thicker sheet that has the cloth-like texture of Tyvek. Allow the plastic to cool completely before removing the paper. If the sheets haven't fused, put your stack back together and apply heat again.
  • Now what? Your fused plastic sheet can be treated just like cloth: cut it, glue it or sew it. You can make wallets, handbags even dresses and jackets! If you plan to use a sewing machine, lower the thread tension for best results.
  • Plastic fusion. If you want to join sections without glue or thread, a soldering iron or wood-burning tool with a wide tip can be used to fuse plastic sheets together. Make sure to use a layer of paper between the plastic and heated tip of your tool.
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