Picture of Fusing Plastic Bags- the eclipse way
There are a lot of tutorials for fusing plastic bags, but I get asked frequently for directions so I figured there must be room for one more. I have noticed every tutorial I read has differences and my method is not exactly the same as any others. I have done a lot of trial and error and this is what I consider the best, most efficient method with the best results. For this tutorial I will show how to make an appliqued zippered cosmetic bag from fused plastic.

Step 1: Materials list

Picture of Materials list
This is all you need to start fusing:

1. an iron
2. a hard heat-resistant surface like a wooden cutting board
3. baking parchment paper.
4. Some plastic bags! There's no shortage of those in the world, unfortunately.
For this project you need white 3 grocery type bags, some small scraps of colored plastic bags, and one thin clear bag such as a dry cleaning bag or newspaper delivery bag.
5. scissors

For the sewing part of the project you need:
A 7 or 9 inch zipper,
a sewing machine

Difficulty level: easy, but time consuming
Basic sewing skills required (straight lines, nothing fancy)

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eka1 made it!4 months ago
Thank you so much for your amazing in-depth tutorial I made one tonight and it came out perfect!!
PiperE7 months ago

Does it matter whether it's a steam iron or not?

Hi there, great tutorial! I'm just wondering... What size needle do you use for sewing fused plastic bags?
JensonBut2 years ago
Thank you for this. It made my first attempt at this project a breeze and slightly impressed the wife! hehe
so, what do i do about the logo and design already on the bag? i dont want it showing through and looking tacky....
pippi462 years ago
Hi very nice job, compliments.
I would like to customized with my brand and put it on my website with your name, link. I am Italian and I live in Denver, Colorado.
Would you contact me at lori.venturi@gmail.com
Chrick2 years ago
Eco-friendly, good looking and uploaded to instructable, what else do you want? ;)
Thank you for recommending bags with recycle codes 2 and 4. That will be very helpful!
thanks a lot! I want to try too! but I m just wanted to ask you if they are hard-wearing (for example to carry groceries) and if they last long time.
but sure they look too cool!
lyecats3 years ago
Darling idea! Can't wait to try it!
janeycat573 years ago
I love this... I cant wait to make my first shoulder purse with this process.. Do you think the thicker white or black trash bags will work for this ? I would love to have a black shinny purse with my own design in red and white on it... What about grommets , Do you think they would tear the plastic and not stay in ?
You do such a wonder job with this fusing process .. It's different ... you do a wonderful job and all the different things you create are great... keep up the tutorials and your tips are so helpful , thank you for sharing ... Janey
panks3 years ago
Absolutely, positively brilliant!!! thanks so much :)
BarginsTech3 years ago
Never thought to describe cutting hearts as you did. An ice cream cone. Love it :] Great 'idble! going to make some myself. Im tired of bringing the bags back to the recycle box at the supermarket lol :]
These bags look great. Very finished looking, with creative designs.

I love your suggestion of using french fry bags and such, but I have to say I'm a little disappointed to see so many of these fused bag instructables suggesting the use of plastic shopping bags. Reusing plastic that is harder to avoid, such as chip bags, seems like a great way to not send more trash to the landfill or recycling center. Shopping bags and produce bags can be used again though, or just not taken in the first place. I'm not knocking your i'ble here at all, I just hope it doesn't encourage people to go out and take more plastic bags than they normally would, just so they get fun patterns or whatever for their recycled, earth-happy bags.
jonestoy4 years ago
Very Cool!
Puzzledd4 years ago
Excellent 'ible, thanks! Very clear instructions and inspiring results - definitely a favourite :)
moona5 years ago
hi can i use butter paper instead of parchment baking paper
moona5 years ago
hi can i use butter paper
sunshiine5 years ago
This looks like a very fun project!  Thanks for sharing!
Does anyone know if this works with Ziplock Baggies? I have zillions of these and wash and reuse them to death... but would be great to put them to rest in something pretty!
longcesttoi5 years ago
I wish to thanks people publishing instructables about this plastic bags reusing methods as my organisation is setting workshops about it in Nairobi slums... In the name of NGO ni Wewe and the benefitor of those workshops, thank you.

After reading your instructable, I added this project to a Go Green Art Camp for five to ten year olds.  They thought it was amazing.  I agree.  Worked great. Thanks.

missmed5 years ago
Atbirthday parties kids use thee little thin plastic bags to pick up the candy h
like this, would that work ok for the top layer for decoration on the outside of the purse?
meowzebub5 years ago
does this also work with stiffer &/or thicker bags? I eat a lot of "pre-washed" produce (cut up broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix, e.g.) & always feel a little ashamed at the non-recyclable bags (6-7 a month of the 2 lb size). Also, frozen foods come in thicker bags (like peas & spinach, I mean). Kind of scared of the fumes so I'd rather not experiment if you already know they won't fuse properly. thanks for the great pix!
eclipsed (author)  meowzebub5 years ago
Yes it works with thicker bags, you just use fewer layers. I have used the bags from Ore Ida frozen potatoes and they work very well. You only need 2 layers for that and it fuses up really nicely.
thanks eclipsed! for the info without the value judgements.
I have lots of graphics of fruits & veg that I hope will make a groooovy market tote.
i really want to make one of these on this boring summer day.
but, i dont have parchment paper. i tried to use wax paper but it didnt make the two layers stick.....

any suggestions
eclipsed (author)  actorintraining65 years ago
I suggest to go and get some parchament paper. It makes the project much easier.
JolieK6 years ago
This is the most thorough tutorial I have seen on fusing plastic bags. Thank you for all the experimenting you've done. Invaluable.
rpaxton6 years ago
I wish I had seen your tut first! I just made a makeup pouch out of (what I thought was) fused plastic...followed another set of directions that said to stack at least 6 layers all at once. I didn't realize until over halfway through hand-stitching some cut strips together that the middle of my layers fused very little if at all and started coming apart in my hands. I'll be sure next time to do only a couple of layers at a time! Thanks for the tips!
eclipsed (author)  rpaxton6 years ago
That is what happens to me too, if I try to do all the layers at once. A lot of directions say that but it's never worked for me. The heat just doesn't penetrate that deep. Doing 2 layers at a time takes a bit longer but you get a better result, IMO.
ruthy nov6 years ago
Hi! I'm new here. Why zipper? try stick-velcro. Much easier. Thanks for your tutorial.
eclipsed (author)  ruthy nov6 years ago
I like zippers better for several reasons. They look nicer, close more securely, don't make that ripping noise, and don't get all kinds of fuzz stuck to them like velcro.
olichno6 years ago
Definitely beautiful and inspiring! Made my first one last week :-)
hey nice tutorial, we hav a plastic bag art comp at skl n I was strugglin 4 ideas. quick question: cud u fuse the seams? I know there is a danger of the bag stickin together but if u put somthin inside (like a piece of metal covered in baking paper) then do u reckon of wud work? cheerz for the great ible xxx
kaylagrl136 years ago
I made one. Mine didn't turn out very well. I had trouble with the zipper, so the top looks funny. It also stinks really bad so i sprayed perfume inside it and zipped it up. Otherwise this is a fun easy and useful project!! =]
goatgirly6 years ago
arentnancy6 years ago
As I read about lengthening the stitch to prevent perforating a "tear line" in your project, I wondered if after stitching a seam, could you fuse a piece of plastic over it to seal the seam ?
eclipsed (author)  arentnancy6 years ago
Yes you could do that and it would make the seam waterproof as well. Depending on the complexity of the item though, and the placement of seams, it might be difficult to iron on every seam.
becker6 years ago
Your bags are beautiful. Very inspiring, I can't wait to try this out. For the clear plastic overlay, could you use the plastic veggie bags from the produce section? Thanks for the instructable.
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