Instructables

Grocery Bag Jewelry

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Thrift?  Frugality?  Eco-accessories?  Something you can do while being lazy on the couch?  You got it!

This Instructable shows how to make a macrame bracelet entirely out of grocery bags (and a few beads if you prefer).  This same technique can also be applied to making a ring.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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You will need:
  • Scissors
  • Plastic Grocery Bags
  • Lighter
  • Bottle
  • Beads (optional)

Step 2: Cut Bag

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Cut off the bottom of the bag.

Using your index finger as measurement, start cutting a long, spiraled band from the bag.  It won't really curl, but think of it like peeling an apple in one solid strip.

Step 3: Make a Wrap

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Wrap the grocery bag ribbon several times around a bottle.  Double check that the resulting circle will fit over your hand.

Step 4: Start Knotting

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Leave a "tail" of one end of the wrap exposed, and with the other end, start tying a series of half hitches.

Step 5: Knot End and Snip

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Knot the "tail" and the end you've been working with.

Snip the excess.

You can stop here if you like!  Or continue on...

Step 6: Make the Twine

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This Instructable does an excellent job of explaining how to make rope/twine out of fibers.  The same principle applies here.

Cut a grocery bag into thin strips.

In groups of 4, start twisting it into twine.

Once you have enough (~12"/30cm), you can snip the beginning end and melt it a bit with a lighter.  This will make beading easier.

If you need extra length:
  • Bundle 4 more strips and overlap with a bit of excess where you've already twisted.
  • Twist the new bundle a few times before adding another bundle to the other half in the same way.  This will keep things orderly with minimal confusion and enough fingers to keep going.
  • Once you've worked through a few twists, you can snip away the excess and continue twisting.
The twine is actually quite attractive!

Step 7: Beading

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Thread the twine through the half hitch loops and add a bead between the weaving.

Knot the ends and snip excess.

Done!
kjones352 years ago
Just made one, super cute!
Ninzerbean3 years ago
Wow! And a pair of these, just t bit larger, would make great handles on a purse made from bags.
I made handles by braiding them and it is fine. I have made another one that I haven't published yet but will in a day or two. They make great handles. Have you priced handles at the craft stores? Plastic bags are great for stuff. So glad she posted this.
AngryRedhead (author)  Ninzerbean3 years ago
Indeed! But the material is a bit stretchy... Still the cost of experimenting ain't much.
sunshiine3 years ago
I have been experimenting using plastic bags. This is a great idea. My mom probably would try necklaces with them.
AngryRedhead (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
One of my mother's friends used to crochet plastic bread bags into rugs, and I think that's what got me started in experimenting.

If you do this, please take a picture to share!  I'd love to see what you come up!
Oh yes, I have thought about that. I did use plastic bread bags on a tote for handles. It worked great and actually looked good too. I have it on my page here. The handles were fairly strong because I braided quite a few together.
AngryRedhead (author)  sunshiine3 years ago
I can't find the tote!
I have it here If I am not supposed to do this let me know and I will send a pm and delete this message. http://www.instructables.com/id/MRS-RATTATOUILLES-DE-JEUNER-UN-SAC/
Very tidy... love it!
AngryRedhead (author)  rocketsurgery3 years ago
Thanks!  I think using the same material for the bracelet and twine helps keep it cohesive.
ChrysN3 years ago
Pretty! I'm going to see if I have and plastic bags around. Is that also a ring you make on your finger?
AngryRedhead (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Thanks!  And yes!  It flairs out to the sides a bit, but fortunately it's squishy and bends.  I used my thumb as a guide for making it, and it ended up fitting my ring finger nicely.