Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fused plastic wallet action

You've probably got dozens of plastic bags balled up somewhere in a cabinet, drawer or closet, right? Me too. But I'm actually using them now to make cute little credit card holders and change purses. It's so easy, and at the request of Jen, I'm posting a little tutorial. So here it goes!

First, gather 4 or 5 plastic grocery bags. You want the kind that are thin and crunchy. Stay away from those cool, thick Target bags. I learned my lesson this evening. They MELT and get goopy and, well, I won't go into the disappointment it caused me.

Next, cut the handles off the bags. Also, cut the bottoms off.

Completely flatten out the bags once you've cut the handles and bottoms off. Here you see a Target bag. That will change.

I place my bags on top of a kitchen towel that I don't mind getting ink on. If you're fusing bags that have a print, place the printed side face-down.

Next place regular printer paper on top of your bags. Like I mentioned before, I generally use 4 or 5 bags, which means there are 8 to 10 layers.

Set iron to about medium heat. Iron gently over the printer paper being careful not to cause any wrinkles in your plastic bags. I usually iron for about 2 to 3 minutes, making broad strokes.

Once you've thoroughly ironed your bags, they will be fused together. Carefully peal away the printer paper. And cut your plastic into what ever form you want. I don't have a template, or I'd post that here, too.

WARNING: Bag change about to occur

Tada! Fused plastic from new bags cut into desired size for credit card wallet.

Next, I will sew the plastic together using DMC floss and add a button detail.

I used a Velcro piece for the wallet's closure. It also hides the thread from the button detail.

And here is the finished product. Kinda cute. Very durable. And one-of-a-kind.