Plastic Bag Rug!




Introduction: 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

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

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

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

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

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

To get started, tie 3 bags together

Step 7: Step 7

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

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!

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



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    29 Discussions

    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!


    1 reply

    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?

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

    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 -.

    2 replies

    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.

    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!

    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!

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

    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!

    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

    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!

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

    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!!

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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?