Monday, February 22, 2010

How To Fuse Grocery Bags

Before we get to the tutorial, we need to let you all know that we have not heard from reader and giveaway winner Don & Jill so we have been forced to pick another winner of the African Violet Pincushion and Decorative Pin Givaway. So our new winner is commenter #50, Deedles! And thank you to Mau for telling us the secret to showing the Number Generator!

Now on to the tutorial!

In our town, the only way you can recycle plastic grocery bags is by taking them back to the store - our curbside recycling service won't pick them up. As a result, we have massive amounts of these plastic bags stored up, and have been trying to think of creative ways to reuse them. Our favorite: fusing them! Fusing grocery bags is nothing new, but it was a project that we have been wanting to try for a long time. After trying it out and seeing how easy it is, we thought we'd share our method with you!

What you need:
  • 3 plastic bags (rumor has it #4 bags work the best, but play around with different bags and see what you like best.
  • iron
  • parchment paper
First, open a window. Plastic releases toxic chemicals, and heating them speeds this up. Next, cut the bottom seam off of your bags, as well as the handles. Then layer the bags on top on each other, making sure that any pattern or logo you want will be facing out.

Sandwich your bags in between two sheets of parchment paper. Do not use newspaper, as the ink will transfer onto your plastic.

Set your iron for it's "Rayon" setting. Once it is heated up, begin ironing on top of your parchment paper. Iron one section at a time for about 15 seconds (being careful to keep your iron moving at all times), then move on to another part. When you have ironed over the whole thing, flip your parchment/plastic "sandwich" over and repeat the ironing process.

Peel the parchment paper back and check your plastic. If it is not fused, replace the parchment and iron some more. We found that we had to slightly increase the heat on our iron just a smidge. Once your plastic is completely fused together, you are finished and ready to use your fused plastic on one of many fun projects! Stay tuned, and we will share some of our ideas later!

Have fun...but watch out! It's addictive!
Pin It!


  1. I'm very curious and will definitely be back to find out more about this fusing thing. Never heard of it, but I love re-purposing things in my household...and we've got plenty of plastic bags. Thanks!

  2. I love recycling crafts, so I had to check this out after seeing your link on Someday Crafts. Am curious now what you will do with this?

  3. So curious as to what you are going to do with these....

  4. I'm excited to see what you're going to do with these! I'm always taking a bunch of them back to recycle every week at the grocery store.

  5. We have some ideas, and will hopefully have them all ready to go by Monday! So glad you all are interested!!

  6. Came by from Someday Crafts. I've heard of this technique and tried it with a different store bag. Didn't turn out to well. I'm definitely going to be shopping at Target just for the bags! LOL!

  7. I want to do this but I'm waiting for dry warm weather so I can take my ironing board outside. I would love to make a quilt out of fused plastic for a play mat.

  8. This sounds so intriguing!! Outside on the deck is where I'll go ( tomorrow when it's supposed to be warmer!).
    I have a couple of ideas for how to use it...GS Brownie sit-upon for one.

  9. Awesome tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I have added this blog link in the comment section of my recent feature article on amazing fused plastic jewelry -

    And will Facebook it!

  10. oh ok i got a fused bib for a baby shower gift last year. well I need another one and also have a friends baby shower on friday and want to give them one. i have tired to do it on the setting you told me but it is not working. i set it higher a lot the first time and it shrunk big time. then i did another one higher then your setting and it started working but it took me like 30 mins for it to fuse together finally. some of it is not fully fused either. i don't know what i did wrong.could it be my iron or the bag. i am using walmart bags and brookshire bags. the brookshire did it faster by far com paired to the walmart. i did w bag then b bag then w bag then b bag then w bag. can you please help me out

  11. Forgive me, but what's the point of fusing these plastic bags? What can you do with them?