re-craft: plastic bag

Today in the wonderful world of crafty recycling, I bring you the plastic bag.

plastic bag before re-crafting

Tina sent it along with the mugs “for you J – reuse, renew recycle….” I told her if I did anything cool with it, I’d put it on this blog. So one of the exciting things I did last night (it was quite the wild Saturday in our living room) was cut up the bag and re-craft it into the following: 2 envelopes, 1 tiny envelope, 2 folded gift tags utilizing details of the design, and 7 simple hole-punched tags. I also made the green and red tags from another bag a while back, and I’m including them here as an alternative design possibility.

plastic bag re-crafted into envelopes and gift tags

For brief instructions and a surprise re-craft project…

Recycled Envelopes

You can make envelopes out of pretty much anything flat and cuttable. Some other possibilities include used wrapping paper, grocery bags, junk mail, calendars, magazines, maps, posters, and newspaper. You can even iron out wrinkles for a less obviously homemade effect. (To avoid burning, use a low setting and put a cloth between the iron and the paper.)

It’s so simple that the following instructions probably aren’t even necessary, but in the interests of being helpful:

  1. Gently separate the sealed edges of any existing envelope and flatten it. Or, print out this 4.5 x 6 inch envelope template that I snagged from About.com (thereby saving you the trouble of slogging through their hideous ad-covered interface).
  2. Trace your template onto your paper of choice, and cut out your new envelope.
  3. Fold in the side flaps. Then fold up the bottom flap, and glue it onto the side flaps.
  4. When you’re ready to mail, fold down the top flap and use tape, glue, or stickers to seal the envelope.

So whatcha gonna put in your envelope?

Collage is one of the easiest and most obvious ways to re-craft. The following is made from several old postcards I never got around to sending, including a few from Adbusters.

adbusting an adbuster ad

More plastic bag inspiration

Obviously it’s best to use reusable bags as much as possible. I keep a string bag in my purse for unplanned shopping because it takes up hardly any room and holds a lot. But I still end up with plastic bags on occasion, mostly the thin squishy kind that can’t be used for envelopes or papercraft. I’ve been saving the prettier colored ones to eventually make a knitted bag like this. (Or here’s one for you crochet fiends. And another one.)

Here’s an awesome page of additional resources about minimizing your use of plastic bags and reusing the ones you’ve got.

4 thoughts on “re-craft: plastic bag

  1. Very cool, Joriel! I’ve been attempting to use my reusable bags more often, but they’re super bulky. I’m going to invest in some of those tiny fold up guys! :)

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