General ramblings

Fused plastic flowers

May 17, 2013

At the May Bath Artisan Market, the theme was Bath in Bloom, and all the stall-holders had been asked to decorate their stalls with a floral theme.

Now, obviously the easy thing to do for my Make It Better…Upcycle Exchange stall, would have been to go out and buy some flowers, or to dig something pretty up from the garden. BUT I still haven’t made my mind up about where buying ‘new’ flowers fits in to the whole Make Do and Mend Year, and I we have very little pretty in our garden at the moment….

So I decided to make some. And I thought it would be a clever idea to try and Upcycle some (in keeping with the stall), so this is what I made.

Fused flowers3They are flowers (well, vaguely flower shaped…) made from fused plastic bags.
I had read about fusing plastic bags before, but never got around to trying it, and then saw some bunting

Craft Tea Party09

that the lovely people at FoodCycle were making at the Oxfam Craft Tea Party, and got the lowdown from them on how to do it.
It really is very easy.  And once you have fused the plastic bags, you can cut them to whatever shape you want!

This is what you need:

  • plastic bags-thin supermarket type ones
  • an iron and ironing board
  • greaseproof paper
  • scissors

This is what you do:

  • Cut a line across the top of the bag to cut the handles off, and then cut a strip off the bottom to enable you to open it out without it being all scrunched up
  • Line up the side seams and neaten the bag up so there aren’t lots of creases in it
  • Do this with 3 bags and lay them on top of each other on your ironing board
I should add that this post ISN'T sponsored by Morrisons-other supermarkets are available....

I should add that this post ISN’T sponsored by Morrisons-other supermarkets are available….

  • Place a sheet of greaseproof at the bottom of your pile (in between the ironing board and your bags) and another one on top
  • Iron! I did it on a medium-ish setting, and just made sure I kept the iron moving. All the layers of plastic bag should then fuse together
This picture looks very similar to the one above, but they have actually fused!

This picture looks very similar to the one above, but they have actually fused!

  • Then cut out whatever shape like-triangles for bunting, flowers for, well, flowers…I have also seen people do squares for coasters. Go crazy….

Fused flowers23

I then cut rough circles out of this left over party bag to make the flower centres

Fused flowers24

And sewed the whole lot together

Fused flowers2

And I did one big giant one to hang behind the stall too:

Fused flowers1

And they can be recycled afterwards too-Happy Days 🙂

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  • Reply Antonia May 20, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I saw the same programme, ‘Totally Rubbish’ I think, on CBBC. How about making a reusable shopper from old supermarket bags?

    • Reply Jen May 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      I’ll give it a go! Love the fact that you were watching CBBC-at least I know you have the excuse of having Small people…!

      • Reply Antonia May 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

        It is the most fantastic programme! Most kids tv is like getting teeth pulled but this left me feeling quite inspired. It’s not on at the mo but no doubt available on you tube…

  • Reply Anna May 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

    A lovely way to decorate your stall, my 10 year old daughter and I had a go at this after she was inspired by a Cbbc programme about making stuff from rubbish. I am ashamed to say that we have plastic bags, as although I do take bags out with me, I often buy more than I can fit in them!

    • Reply Jen May 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      I do that too Anna! Glad it’s not just me who’s trolley is fuller than the bags she has with her…

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo May 18, 2013 at 8:25 am

    These look great, well done. I recently tried fused plastic bags recently as well, saw a video on the web about making them into placemats. I reckon you could do lots with fuseble plastic, I might just have to give that some more thought! :o)

    • Reply Jen May 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Let us know what you come up with Jo!

  • Reply Jo May 18, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I feel uneasy about buying flowers too – they are usually grown a very long way from point of sale, so have lots of ‘flower miles’. And use lots of pesticides and water, often in third world communities, if you are buying them in Europe. I know local tulips from here in Tasmania are flown to the netherlands in their off season. Crazy. That said, I often buy ‘local’ flowers from markets and school fairs. And your flowers are great! That looks like a craft I could actually even do..

    • Reply Jen May 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

      It really is easy peasy Jo-give it a go 🙂

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) May 18, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I often pick up carrier bags blowing around in the wind that people have discarded willy-nilly.This is a super idea you could make almost any shape to jazz up an occasion but still recycle afterwards. Must give it a go for my grand daughters 1st birthday party this summer :o)

    • Reply Jen May 18, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Great idea Vivienne!

  • Reply Nora May 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    OOooooo! How fab is that!? Always looking for new and unusual ideas for our kids club…..imagine the things they could cut out and make with fused bags! That’s one to add to a future Eco week!

    Well done you! (again!)

    xx

    • Reply Jen May 18, 2013 at 7:59 am

      Thankyou! Let me know how you get on-reckon the kids would love this!

  • Reply Mammasaurus May 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    What a great idea – I try and use my own bags but there are times where I am caught short and then feel guilty, this idea’s perfect. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Jen May 17, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      No problem! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Reply Hilary May 17, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    What a great way to use the bags up, only trouble is ……I’m one of those shoppers who always takes their own bags to the shop so I DON’T have to use the plastic ones! I’m afraid I’m old school about using my own bags, can’t understand why anyone can’t take a bag with them when they know they are going shopping! Sorry rant over!

    • Reply Jen May 17, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      I do really really really always try and take my own bags, but as well as forgetting on the odd occasion, we sometimes get given stuff in plastic bags from various other people, so we do have a very small stash. Sorry 🙁

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