Introduction: Plastic Bag Upcycle

About: I usually make objects to play with and transform taboos, using stuff around the house. But sometimes I make things that fit well on Instructables.
Make a better stronger plastic bag from all the bags you have around the house.

I thought this was a silly idea when it occurred to me but it was too easy to make these handles, nest the bags, and try it.  Now I have a bunch of them around because I found them quite sturdy and re-re-reusable.

Step 1: You Will Need

4" x 8" fabric - robust enough to stand up to being a handle
8" Velcro - both hook and loop parts
sewing machine
a bunch of clean enough reusable same size plastic bags

Instead of sewing, you could use iron-on adhesive if you have one that's strong enough.  Or you could use sticky back Velcro.  I don't have much experience with these methods for this kind of project.

Step 2: Cut Materials

Each handle is made of a 4-inch square piece of fabric and a 4-inch long strip of 3/4-inch wide Velcro, including both the hook and loop parts.

The fabric should be robust enough to handle being handled a lot.  It could probably even be made of several layers of thin plastic from extras of these plastic bags.

Step 3: Sew Velcro to Fabric

Sew the Velcro to the fabric as shown.  Place the loop portion on one side of the fabric and the hook portion on the underside of the fabric.

Zigzag the edges to keep them from unraveling.

Step 4: Test Handle

Make sure that your Velcro meets when you roll it up.

Even after making so many of these, I can still do this step wrong :)

Step 5: Install Handles

Nest a bunch of bags and install your handles.  I've used 4 to 10 bags.  When you nest them, choose bags that are the same size so the forces are evenly applied to all bags.

Step 6: Test Out Your Bag

Several bags nested together is more robust than a single one.

Use as a trash can and cut out the inner bag to throw the trash away.  Your next trash bag is ready and waiting.

Use at home, in the car, camping.

These handles also make functional cable ties.

I look forward to hearing how you might use these or modify these.  Have fun!