Introduction: Woven Plastic Purse

Picture of Woven Plastic Purse

This is a fun recycle art project that incorporates weaving on a cardboard loom using plastic shopping bags that have been cut into long strips. It costs almost nothing and is a wonderful rainy day project for kids.

Do you know what Plarn is? It's plastic yarn, that's right. A material that is made from plastic shopping bags.

I have used plarn to crochet before and was wondering if it could be woven into a purse. I tried it and it came out nicely.

Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies

Plastic shopping bags
scissors
large piece of cardboard, mine was approximately 3 ft x 3 ft
scotch tape

white fabric for lining

Velcro for closure
sewing machine

thread

Step 2: Making the Plarn

Picture of Making the Plarn

Lay a plastic shopping bag out on a flat surface. Cut off the bottom and the top of bag. Place your hands inside the bag and spread it open flat.

Beginning at one of the cut edges, cut diagonally toward one of the folded edges. The strips should be about 5" wide so they will be strong enough to withstand pulling gently while weaving.

Continue cutting the strip in a spiral fashion all the way to the other end of the bag. You should have a strip about 8 or 9 feet long.

Repeat with 40-50 bags and you will have enough to make a purse.

Step 3: Weaving

Picture of Weaving

I taped 2 pieces of cardboard together to make the loom extra sturdy.

Cut notches about 3/4" apart in the top and bottom edges of your cardboard and you are ready to work.

Creating the warp:

Beginning at one corner, secure one end of plarn to the cardboard and gently stretch down to the opposite end. place the plarn into the first notch toward the back and then bring it around through the next notch toward the front again. Stretch the plarn back to the opposite end and through the notch that is next to the notch where you started. Tape the remaining length of plarn to the back of the cardboard.

Since I didn't want any visible knots in the plarn, I didn't tie them together like I did when I was crocheting it.

Continue adding the plarn into the notches and gently stretching until you get all the notches filled.

Weaving:

Begin weaving a plastic strip in and out through the vertical strips all the way to the other side. Stretch and then tape ends to the cardboard. Repeat above this horizontal row and gently pull down with fingers. Continue adding rows until the weaving is the size you need.

Step 4: Sew Purse

Picture of Sew Purse

Tape all 4 sides of the weaving and then cut away from the cardboard just outside of the tape.

Using a sewing machine, stitch around all 4 sides of the weaving 1/2" from the taped edges.

Cut off the taped edges.

Cut out a lining the same size as the weaving.

Fold in half and sew the sides with sewing machine, 1/2" seam allowance.

Fold lining in half and stitch up the sides, 1/2" seam allowance.

Braid or crochet plarn for handles, I made 2 about 24" long each.

Sew Velcro to lining for closure.

Turn purse right side out and place lining inside purse matching side seams.

Pin handles in between purse and lining.

Stitch around top edge of purse, securing lining and handles.

Comments

Hvents4 (author)2015-06-15

Awesome idea! This is so cool and I love the idea of recycling. I was just wondering how you got all of the strips to be so even with a pair of scissors? I thought that I would need something like one of these http://www.monomachines.com/shop/paper-handling-eq... to make the strips all the same size.

Great Job! I love the way it turned out. So creative.

katvanlew (author)Hvents42015-08-17

The plastic strips are not all exactly the same width, I did not measure them as I was cutting them. This adds to the natural look when the item is finished. Thank you for the kind words.

user669 (author)2015-06-04

Great idea, thought about doing that years back but I was way too lazy and just fused strips together to make my bag :) Very nice bag, much better looking then what I made in my instructable.

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)2015-06-02

Great idea. When you look at the final product, you can't even tell it was made from plastic bags. I used to have enough bags to make about 4 of these, but I just threw them in the recycling bin a few weeks ago.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I have been sewing and crafting for several years, my children are grown so now I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy ... More »
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