Instructables

Grocery bag jewelry

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Turn your old plastic grocery and shopping bags into custom made jewelry! User669 has taught us how to turn plastic bags into fabric and then into reusable shopping bags but this durable fabric can have many additional uses. I have used it to make jewelry as well as in a relief collage.

To see user669's in depth instructable on how to create this plastic fabric (and a cool tote) follow the link below!
tote bag

To learn how to turn your trash into treasure (jewelry) go ahead to step one!
 
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Step 1: Materials

For this project you will need the following:

Fabric:

- plastic bags in colors of your choice (grocery bags work, as do some of the thicker shopping bags)
- iron
- ironing board
- computer paper or wax paper
- scissors
- fan

Necklace:

- necklace/bracelet clasps
- thin wire
- round metal connectors
- 2 needle nose tweezers
- straight pin

Earrings:

- 2 ear wires
- 4 round metal connectors
- 2 needle nose tweezers
- straight pin

  • Necklace and earring supplies can be found at bead shops and most craft stores.

Step 2: Preparing your plastic bags

Picture of Preparing your plastic bags
This project is best done in a well ventilated area. You are going to want to set up your ironing board near an open window with a fan on! Plug in your iron and set it to the highest temperature setting before steam (it is blends on mine).

While your iron is heating up you want to prepare your plastic bags. You first need to cut off the handle and then the bottom of the bag so you can open it up to its fullest size.

Once you have cut off the extraneous pieces turn your bag inside out (if their is print on the outside it will make a sticky mess!)

Once you have it opened up you are going to fold it so that their are 8 layers of plastic. To do so you begin by folding it in half (that should make 4 since it was already doubled) and then fold it in half again!

  • I recommend 8 for the thing grocery bags, but you can get away with 3-4 for thicker plastic bags

Nice idea! I will surely try it!

Going to make one. looks so cool.
mourijn1 year ago
What a good idea!
You should invest or make a jump ring opener, it's a real time saver:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCOqz4QfaNU
mammadove2 years ago
I tried this and it turned out terrible, it didn't look like yours at all. The plastic looked really gross...Idk if I did something wrong, but I followed the directions =(
mammadove2 years ago
Really cute, I'm definitely doing this =)
jclouseau422 years ago
helpful hint: it's better if you open the metal connectors (aka jump rings) by twisting them rather than spreading them open. Open they end up looking like a single section of a spiral. Close them by reversing the twist so the ends are back together. This keeps them completely round.
can the fused plastic be painted? like with acrylic paint?
I'm in the process of doing that right now. It can be painted, but make sure you have a surface that can get paint all over it, and something to carefully pick the pieces up with so as to not get your fingerprints in the paint. I'd also recommend sealing it once you're done. I'm using matte Mod Podge.
This looks so fantastic! I've fused plastic bags together before, but I never really knew what to do with them. I never would have guessed from the pictures that these were made from shopping bags! Now I have a new project before school starts again. :)
janaro3 years ago
really good work
ozpolar3 years ago
Maybe I read your description wrong, but the best way to open a jump ring is to hold both sides near the gap and twist them sideways in opposite directions. Put what you want on them, then twist them back. If you just pry them apart, you will wont be able to get the jump closed in a nice circle.
Wicked idea. You are so creative. This is better then buying pretty jewlery from some stores.
tbcross4 years ago
very cool thanks :)
theHERO5 years ago
I LOVE this, your necklace is soo cute!(=
And sooooo many possibilities, shapes and colors. Multiple strands. Additional round beads as spacers... My head is spinning!
Nucleus4 years ago
Cheap, but elegant....
secretsoto5 years ago
thank u
crayzclown15 years ago
if i were a girl, i would wear them, but there for my mom.
haha nice mine would be too!
You're pretty & talented :)
Great idea! I have made some fabric using a similar method though I've found that parchment paper works even better and prevents the paper from sticking to the plastic bags... just make sure to use the side that has plastic on it so it will peel properly. I've even heard of using wax paper but I've never put it into practice. Also, some designs on bags are ink which melts and can cause it to stick... this can be remedied using a really thin layer of clear bag on top! Great job. I will definitely try this!
mikeface5 years ago
What a brilliant an innovative use of plastic bags! Your jewelry is beautiful :)
foobear5 years ago
cool technique. I like the neclace best. I wish there was a better picture of it with more light.
mg0930mg5 years ago
Nice. It's really pretty, for grocery bags.
uguy mg0930mg5 years ago
Really pretty for jewelry. Nice work, and ible, thanks for sharing. Love the red polish
mg0930mg uguy5 years ago
That's what I meant very pretty jewelry.
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