Introduction: Tassel Vines

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This is a great project for trashpickers: you can make these fun tassel vines from found plastic bags and use them in all kinds of creative ways. But remember, the point is to keep existing plastic out of landfills, not to create demand for new plastic: use reuseable bags for shopping!

Step 1: Find a Bag

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Step 2: Flatten the Bag

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Step 3: Fold the Bag and Cut Off the Ends

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Fold the bag the long way twice, then cut off the ends and save 'em for later.

Step 4: Cut the Middle Piece

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This is the part you'll be braiding with, so cut that big middle piece into three evenly-sized pieces.

Step 5: Unfold the Loops

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When you unfold each of those three pieces, you get three loops.

Step 6: Create Three Strands

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Rip each loop once to turn it into a strand of plastic.

Step 7: Tie and Braid

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Tie the three strands together and start braiding. The vines are most interesting when they're two or three bags long (or longer), so plan ahead and cut a few bags before you start. The more bag ends you set aside for the tassel, the bigger and poofier it'll be — fun!

Step 8: Unfold the Bag Ends

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Go back and unfold the bag ends you cut off in step 3.

Step 9: Rip the Handles

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Rip the part that used to be the top of the bag (the handles) in the middle, once on each side, to create two pieces.

Step 10: Rip the Handles Again

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Now rip each handle again to make a nice tassel bit.

Step 11: Make the Tassel

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Using what used to be the bottom of the bag, tie the tassel bits together. Careful, don't tie too tight or you'll rip the plastic. You just want to hold the pieces in place to make it easier to work with in the final step.

Step 12: Attach the Tassel

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Whatever length of vine you've made, now it's time to attach the tassel. You can tie various pieces of the tassel together and work it into the end of the braid to make sure it stays in place, or create your own technique. The point is for the tassel to be securely fastened to the vine.

And that's it!


tomatoskins (author)2015-03-04

Great use of old plastic bags!

littleshiva (author)tomatoskins2015-03-04

It is! And the tassel vines are really fun to play with — the possibilities are endless! I first saw braided plastic on an artist named Georges-Pascal Ricordeau, at Burning Man back in 2006 if I remember correctly. He'd made this crazy braided/woven vest thing in all different colors, and when I got home I immediately started braiding my bags instead of crocheting with them like I'd done before (see Panic at the Pompidou).

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