Introduction: Plastic Bag Rug!

Picture of Plastic Bag Rug!

This rug is pretty easy to make , really cool and costs next to nothing to make.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

Plastic shopping bags (like the ones you get at the grocery store)
Large garbage bags or sturdy ribbon
Rectangular piece of cardboard a little larger than the size rug you wish to make.
Yard or meter stick

Step 2: Step 2

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1. The cardboard will be used to make a loom. The rug will end being about three inches smaller than the piece of cardboard you use. Cut notches along the top and bottom of the cardboard. To create the notches draw a line 1 1/2 inches below the top and bottom edge. Make a mark every 1 1/2 inches along each of the lines you just drew. Cut a notch as wide as your thumb at every mark.

Step 3: Step 3

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Cut large garbage bags in long strips about six inches wide. Tie all the strips together into a long piece. I ended up using three garbage bags. You can also use large, sturdy ribbon.

Step 4: Step 4

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Wrap the garbage bag (or ribbon) around the front and back of the cardboard using the notches you cut into the cardboard to hold the bag in place. Then tie the ends together on the back diagonally. Your loom is now ready for weaving.

Step 5: Step 5

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Cut the handles and down the side of shopping bags to flatten them out. The bigger the rug you make the more shopping bags you will need so make sure you have a lot handy in each color that you want to use on your rug. Different stores may have different colored shopping bags. For example, the blue bags in my rug are from Wal-Mart.

Step 6: Step 6

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To get started, tie 3 bags together

Step 7: Step 7

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To start weaving, tie one end of the shopping bags to the top corner of the loom (don't tie it to the cardboard, tie it to the garbage bag or ribbon), then weave the rest of the shopping bag over and under the garbage bags (or ribbon) strips. Weave each row in an opposite pattern as the previous row. Attach more shopping bags as you go.

Step 8: Step 8

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To remove the rug from the loom, cut the garbage bag (or ribbon) across the top edge of the loom. It is best to cut them two at a time, then tie them together before cutting anymore

Step 9: Step 9 Finish!

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When you are finished, your rug should look something like this!


valhallasmine (author)2010-02-16

Howdy! Nice instructable -- thanks for sharing!  If you cut the garbage bag across the bag's body, making big loops, could you then just daisy-chain the loops together to make this "ribbon" and avoid knots?  This i'ble does it with shopping bags:

I LOVE this concept because you can do it easily w/kids!


trgz (author)valhallasmine2010-02-23

Loops? - inspired! I wasjust thinking how to knots would be detrimental to the finished article.
Great instructable though maybe a bit of a fire risk?

fethers177 (author)2009-10-26

 isn't there a way that you could braid it into one long, continious strip?? 

ticadea (author)2008-07-29

I agree that step 6 is confusing but it is a great idea I want to have my husband make me a permanent wood loom. I think also a wooden bar ( dont know what the term is in weaving) to pull down and make the weaving tighter.
Costa Rica is the plastic bag capital and they have no provisions for recycling. Would make a nice class to teach anyone a recycling project -.

dobbylvr (author)ticadea2009-06-01 can also weave plastic bags into more sturdy bags. If you cut them into strips and make the loom double sidid it makes a beautiful bag.

servant74 (author)ticadea2008-08-08

Typically that 'thing' is called a 'beater bar' or a 'reed'. I hacked together a 4 harness table loom about 24" wide for my wife some years ago in the garage. I had never seen a loom up close, and got a book from the library (out of print 10+ years ago) that told how to make one. After about 2 weeks of every spare moment being spent on it, ... work a few hours of overtime and purchase one! They almost NEVER ware out so an antique one works well too (we purchased one of those eventually too). Go to your local weavers guild and someone might sell you an old one of theirs (or loan it to you until you figure out what you really want!). We got some small 'Good Wood' looms years ago that would be great for this. Even making a little stretcher for the warp (long pieces) and is all you really need to get started. But that is just me.

PKTraceur (author)2008-11-24

Nicely made! I suggest, however long this will take, (at least 1 week to START...) to cut one bag into a long strip, "ropify" it, do with another bag, until you have a long enough string then tie them together! Nice instructable!

ladymargaretrose (author)2008-10-06

This is really a cool idea! You could braid them in one long braid and then sew them together into an oval rug. I've made braided rugs before with all kinds of material. I've used wool fabric (but unless you want it to shrink, you have to have the thing dry cleaned-yuk!) I've also crocheted long chains with chunky yarn and using three strands together and then sewing it together-that worked well. Now you've got my rusty brain wheels to running!

walkerpedia (author)2008-08-13

awesome question though...In steps 5 and 6 do you tie entire bags together or do you first cut them into strips?

condse19 (author)2008-07-24

I seriously have been thinking about doing this exact same thing, after I took a textiles class last semester. I did an art piece that used knit plastic bags. And I learned to weave. But that is an awesome idea using the cardboard for the loom!! Good job! Thanks!

sarahsailswhales (author)2008-07-09

I love this idea, it reminds me of those potholders I used to make when I was younger I'm most definately going to try it in the near future

DrCoolSanta (author)2008-07-05

Great idea, I actually like how it looked, but meh it's a little hard to understand, I mean you don't explain good... Don't get offended with that, anyways good instructable!

buffettjunior (author)2008-07-04

so resourceful! i love it!

clarissa_ann (author)2008-06-30

Way too cool ... it reminds me of those pot-holders I used to make for my mom when I was in kindergarten. Good Job!

hcp100 (author)2008-06-25

I've started knitting my old bags into sheets and sheets of knitted plastic bags!! I was hoping to turn them into stronger reusable bags, as they aren't the strongest shopping bags on their own, and using them as bin-liners doesnt' quite feel green enough for my liking!!

DavidRobertson (author)2008-06-15

I might make one if i can find some cardboard around my house.

PKM (author)2008-06-13

I think your step 6 needs a little more detail- I can follow the rest of the Instructable even without a plastic bag loom in front of me, but I don't see how you should tie three bags together. Other than that, a very clearly written Instructable, and the finished product looks pretty good considering it's made of plastic bags! I'm always looking for something to do with spare plastic bags, might make a wee one of these.

katebydesign (author)2008-06-12

My grandmother crocheted oval rugs from Wonder Bread bags in the 60s. I thought they were pretty neat when I was a kid. I like the suggestion for using them to sit on at outdoor events.

syberangyl (author)2008-06-12

oooooo... padding for the doggy crates (assuming your doggies won't annihilate the plastic and then attempt to pass it. :P). That's my weekend project. I'm always looking for something cheap to put under my dog's arses whilst they sleep, and if they mess it up? No big deal! I can make another. I have a million plastic bags anyway. Yay!

snoopea4803 (author)2008-06-12

My grandmother made crocheted rugs from plastic bread bags etc. for use at the entryway doors over 40 years ago. We still have a few of them. They have been tossed into the washing machine and hung over the line to dry. Real proof that plastic lasts and lasts. I am not a crocheter and might try this technique with some of the grocery bags saved from the landfills. I do recycle them at the grocery stores' recycling bins so I won't have a very large rug, maybe a placemat?

msdrpepper (author)2008-06-12

Wow. That's cool! I remembered seeing another Instructables a month or so ago where a lady took those plastic newspaper bags and cut across them in strips and then looped the strips together to form a long chain and then she crocheted them into a bag. I'm thinking to my self now, after seeing this, I'm getting these little brain farts wondering if that same process with making a long chain wouldn't work on my cheapy ProvoCraft flat looms?? I'll have to fiddle with it and see if it works and maybe make an Instructable ...but first I'll look more here. So many talented people here, doubtless the idea has already been done. But this is a cool looking rug - would be great to use as a car seat in my leaky 20 year old Honda, to keep my butt from getting wet after the rain has rained in through my leaky "moon roof". Thanks!! great idea!

shilohjim (author)2008-06-11

This might be a handy thing to take to outdoor events where you have to sit on the ground.

OneHepMomma (author)shilohjim2008-06-12

what an excellent idea! you could make them as a service project for a local preschool or daycare...or take them to concerts and sell them! i'm psyched now! :)

The Mollusk (author)2008-06-12

Wow... you must have a ton of plastic bags, I tried this and made like a fifth of a rug using all the bags in the house...

bigfootduck (author)2008-06-11

nice! a good way to recycle bags + a waterproof rug! *****

funkmachine316 (author)2008-06-11

Not very neat, but hey, that gives it character.

iPodGuy (author)2008-06-11

Good idea. I'll probably do it.

Lego man (author)2008-06-11

Nice I need to try that!

mictain666 (author)2008-06-11

nice instructable =]

good job -thumbs up-

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