In an effort to be "Green," I started saving my plastic grocery bags so that I could return them in large groups to be recycled. I had gathered quite a few bags, but kept forgetting to take them to be recycled. So I first started using them to make plastic "fabric" as seen in this instructable, Plastic Bag Fabric

I then remembered that people used to make rugs by braiding strips of fabric, and then spiraling the braid outward, but I couldn't find an example of using plastic bags to make a rug. So I decided to make my own.

Just a word to the wise, you'll need 150+ bags to make a similar rug, so don't undertake this project if you've only got a few. Also, if you want multiple colors, you must have bags of different colors, Duh!

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You will need the following tools and supplies:

  • Plastic Bags (150+)
  • Wax Paper
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Straight Pins
<p>For those concerned about out gassing when ironing - IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO IRON THE PLATIC - Just pull the bags taunt like when the were new: pulling on handle &amp; corner so the fold is recreated &amp; straightened: fold the bag over and over long ways - cut off the top (handles) and the bottom (where the corners &amp; bottom create the bag) - next, cut across in 1&quot; strips making uncut circles. Then you can use the strips as double yarn or cut them and chain them together rolling up like a big ball of yarn. It doesn't matter if they look wrinkled because after you crochet or knit them they will become wrinkled anyway. (SKIP IRONING - IT IS UNHEALTHY TO YOUR LUNGS SINCE PLASTIC OUTGASSES &amp; IT IS A NEEDLESS TEDIOUS STEP).</p>
Pretty cool project. Does anyone have any idea on how to color the rug so that it will stay clean and not flake off?
You could try adding textile medium to the paint ... it leaves the paint flexible on fabric... might work, might not... good luck..
The only concern I would have about adding chemical to any project like this is that it might stain you floor.
Maybe Plasti-Dip in the spray can might work to make these long lasting &amp; easier to clean?
I have created several rugs from plastic bags and I think the easiest method for me was to cut the bags into loops and then chain those loops together. I found it easier to chain them as I crocheted. Since I wanted a hit or miss pattern there was no reason to sort by color. The results have been fun. You can find my rugs on etsy.com rugwoman., I made you laugh rugs
<p>I have knitted several rectangular rugs. I tied the ends together so that onside was shag and the other was flat. It is great especially during the winter with dripping boots. and coats. They also work well as an anti fatigue mat at the kitchen sink. </p>
<p>I have a rug made of plastic bags, but it was crocheted instead of braided. Doesn't need the backing. Can be washed in warm water. My sister made it probable over 20-25 years ago. It is still in tact! This is also a good idea here. </p>
<p>I read an article where people are making rectangular mats out of plastic bags as well, to be used by the homeless for sleep mats during the wet season. I am amazed by the creativity of people. taking something that will forever sit in a landfill and repurposing it in such a creative way. I am going to try this!! </p><p> :)</p>
<p>How did you tie the reef note? You can only tie them if you have a folded over strip</p>
My only caution at this point would be to suggest doing this either outside or in a VERY well-ventilated location, since plastic bags release toxic gasses when ironed. Looks great though!
small promblem with plastic rugs , once you have it down on doorway entrance , people will slip on it , doesn't matter if you have wet shoes from snow or rain
Walkerbarb, thanks for the inspiration. I followed these directions and made one of these back in December over Christmas break. It was such fun I decided to make another and maybe learn how to make it by lacing so it would be reversible. (http://colonialsense.com/How-To_Guides/Crafts/Braided_Rugs/Making_a_Braided_Rug.php have the easiest directions i found if you are interested) I just finished this rug today and I'm (hopefully) attaching a picture.<br>This instructable was very cool beans and inspired me to learn a new skill.<br>
you are so clever! thank you for sharing
My grandmother used to make kitchen rugs out of breadbags. She grew up during the depression, so she was the original reuse/reduce/recycle. First she cleaned and dried the bags then cut them in a spiral method so that it main one long continuous strand. Then she crocheted them in a circle using a really large crochet hook (K, I think for those crocheters out there). <br> <br>She had stacks of them from years of saving up breadbags. They were actually kind of pretty and VERY useful - especially in the kitchen.
GMG! My grandmother did too. Us grand kids used to cut the bags for her when we were &quot;Big enough to be good at scissors.&quot; <br>The only real difference is my grandmother preferred rectangle rugs so they fit better against the counter at the sink. <br>All of my neighbor ladies had these in their kitchens when I was a kid
What if you didn't cut through the handles? if you left the handles in tact, you could then use the handles to tie them together such as what is shown on this site: http://globalflyfisher.com/fishbetter/loops2.htm
what if you braided bags that go out from the center, then you wouldnt have to melt the back, i think that would be easier.
On Family Fun's website they have a rug you make using a hula hoop to weave loops cut from T-Shirts (http://familyfun.go.com/magazine/familyfun-magazine-archive/familyfun-march-2011/hula-hoop-rug-995304/) but I just saw some tiny hula hoops at the dollar store that could probably be used to weave the plastic bags without melting.
maybe :)
sounds neat
Thanks! I was JUST sitting here thinking I needed a rug for the kitchen, but I'm thin on money right now. But what do I have enough of instead? Plastic bags, because I reuse them for trash bags, lunch bags, etc. Looks like the kitchen's getting a new rug this weekend, yay!
&nbsp;I have been wondering how to do since I first saw it about 10 or so years ago...
Now you can give it a try.. have fun<br />
made this .. out of plarn.... and a knitting loom.....
Great project... but what about fusing the strips together with the iron method.. rather than tying a knot?<br />
That might work.. <br />
One would have to be very careful not to over melt....the least of one's problems being creating &quot;hard&quot;&nbsp; crusty feeling spots. <div id="refHTML">&nbsp;</div>
My grandma crocheted rugs from bread bags, and nylon hosiery , back in the 60's. No doubt she would be doing the same with plastic shopping bags today.
haha me and my mom crotchet plastic bag bags (bags made from plastic bags derr ) and its sooo nifty! =]]<br/>
Your grandma sounds like a woman I would have liked. She was green before it was "cool"......
I wonder if you could make a square rug
You might be able to but it will be tricky because the bags just naturally want to curl and twist. In strep #7 I pinned it until I was able to melt the back so you'd have to pin a square shape before you melt.. Good luck..
ok thanks
This is really neat i would have never thought of this. I hope hot embers don't jump from your fireplace onto the rug in the last pic though! XD
My grandmother used to make these out of breadwrappers ... 40 years ago. I guess good ideas live on! Great way to keep harmful waste from the landfill -
This reminds me of the Wonderbread Rug they have on display at the American Folk Art Museum. It's basically a large rug woven from strips of wonderbread bag an old lady collected over many years. They found it in her home after she passed. Anyhow... very cool.
This is so sweet. I've been saving up plastic bags for years due to a hoarding complex. Now I know what to do with them.
Glad you both liked it... it was fun to make...I had all the bags ready to take to the store recycle bins when I decided to make this rug....now there are endless possibilities going through my head ... coasters??
man, i have hundreds of these around my house and we always recycle them (either by putting them in the bag recycling box at the grocery store or by making things out of them.) i have got to try this!
This looks great. It's a shame though, I've been using a reusable grocery bag so I don't have any more plastic bags at home.

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