We’re tree huggers at heart! It pleases us mightily when someone purchases our coir doormats—all of which have been made from 100% natural coir and are, hence, tree huggers like us! Let’s face it people, we have one earth and it’s the only real home we will be passing on to our kids. Let’s make it a safe and pretty place for their sakes. Speaking of pretty, do you feel concerned at the sight of all those ugly used plastic bags lying about the place and filling landfills? Well, plastic bags take anything between 20 to 1000 years to decompose…so they aren’t going anywhere soon! You could do the right things and reduce your use of plastic products and you can recycle and re-use the ones you have for longer. What you could also do is convert those old plastic bags into works of art and utilitarian objects. And since we are passionately into doormats, we are giving you a DIY tutorial on how you can use plastic bags to create mats. The mats are an eco-friendly way to make use of plastic bags and their utilitarian functions make them handy around the house. If creativity is your thing, you can also mix and match to create your own Picasso…like this one!
This DIY tutorial has been put up on www.instructables.com by Walkerbarb. If you like what you see or have any questions or have made it and would like to share that with her, click here below, amble over to the comments section and leave your comments and queries there.
How to Make a Rug from Plastic Grocery Bags
By Walker Barb
Step 1: Getting the tools and supplies
You will need the following tools and supplies:
Plastic Bags (150+)
Step 2: Gathering Bags
The rug pictured in this isntructable is 33 inches long by 30 inches wide, and contains about 151 bags. Obviously, for a larger rug you need more bags, and for a smaller rug you need fewer bags.
Step 3: Sort Bags by Colors
While the blue or yellow bags can be mostly sorted together, the white bags tend to have accent colors that can come out in the finished rug. So I have the “White with Pink accents” separate from the “White with Black accents and etc. See the image below for further explanation.
Step 4: Choosing a Pattern
Each rug should be different, therefore, use your imagination and your knowledge of your supplies to design a pattern.
The number of bags required for each ring varies with its size, and how tightly you braid. For example, the inner brown ring has 9 bags, the middle brown ring has 29 bags, and the outer brown ring has 33 bags.
Step 5: Split and Fold Bags
Once the bags are cut, you lay the bag open with the original outside (Pretty side) of the bag down. You then fold the long cut edges inward until the whole strip is about 2 inches wide. The bags will try to unroll, but laying them on the back of chair seem to help keep them in the right shape.
If you have extra-large bags or bags that are a thicker material, you can divide those bags lengthwise (parallel to the original side seam cuts) to make extra strips.
Step 6: Begin Braiding
Be sure to leave a tail for each strip. This is where you will tie on the next bag. It is actually better if the tails are different lengths because it will force the continuing knots to be in different places. (more on this later)
As with many projects that become Intructables later on, I missed getting pictures of the very beginning, but the pictures below should explain it okay.
Step 7: Pinning the Braid
Step 8: Fuse the Backing
First, put the spiral pin-side down on an iron safe surface. Then lay your sheets of plastic bag(s) over the back of the spiral. Note I put the sheets ink side down so that the ink didn’t have a chance to transfer to any other surface. Then lay the wax paper on top of the plastic sheet. The plastic bags will melt to the iron! Be sure to only iron on the wax paperThen iron only on the wax paper for a short time. (The time will vary depending on the thickness of each bag. i.e. thinner bags will melt faster) My times varied from a few seconds to a minute or so.
After you pull away the iron and the wax paper, give the rug a minute or so to cool and harden. If you try to move it around while the plastic is still molten, you may ruin the fusing.
Leave all of the overlap, when you continue the spiral the backing will already be partially in place.
Step 9: Continue Braiding, Pinning and Fusing
It is much better if the tails of each bag come at different times. When you go to tie the next bag on, your knot will make a tiny bump along the braid. This bump is pretty much invisible, unless all three knots happen at the same time. If necessary, cut the bag strips so that the tails are different lengths. After the initial cutting, the knots should fall at different times.