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How to Recycle and Reuse Plastic Grocery Bags

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How to Recycle and Reuse Plastic Grocery Bags

Oh those plastic bags!

You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re either overflowing that not-so-handy bag organizer or pouring out of your drawers and cabinets. Well get ready to give them a new life with some of these ideas!

The average grocery store plastic bag can be transformed into many things. To get your creativity flowing, I’ve found ten great ways to repurpose those bags!

 10 Ideas for Recycling Plastic Bags

1.  Braid a jump rope or dog leash

Cut strips from the plastic bag and tie the ends together to form one long strip. Stop when you reach your desired length. Make two more long strips of the same length and start braiding the three long strips. Tie a knot when your done and you have a new jump rope for the kids or leash for the dog!

2.  Weave, knot, or hook a rug

Weave strips of plastic bag to make a floor mat. This would be great for a mud room! No weaving loom? A piece of cardboard and some tape work just as well.  Knot or latch hooking can also be fun and give your rug a fresh look. This too can be done with strips of plastic.

3. Fuse them for a durable material

From the plastic bags, cut out between four and six shapes of the same size and style. Layer them on top each other and put between two pieces of a paper bag. Make sure there isn’t any plastic sticking out from the paper bags. With low heat and little pressure, run an iron gently over the layered bags until the plastic bags become fused together.  There you have it! Fused plastic. This durable material can be used to create things from belts and wallets to curtains and raincoats.

4. Make plarn (plastic yarn) to crochet

Lay your plastic bag flat and cut off the bottom seam. Cut strips of the same width, from side to side, up the entire bag until you reach the handles. Open the strips up to form circles of plastic. Loop the circles together to make your plarn.  Use your new plarn in place of yarn to crochet just about anything. Totes, hats, jewelry and more can all be made with plarn!

5. Stuff a fabric tube to use as a draft stopper for windows or doors

Take a bunch of plastic bags and ball them up individually. Start stuffing them in a skinny tube of fabric. Close up the ends and you’ve just made a draft stopper!

6. Tie up strands around wire for a decorative wreath

Cut short strands of plastic from the bag. Take a wire hanger and design a wreath pattern (circle, heart, etc). Take several strands at a time, and tie them in a knot around the wire. Keep doing this around the entire length of the wire. The more strips you use, the fuller the wreath will be. Trim up if you prefer and hang!

7. Design flowers

Take a strip a plastic and cut slits into one side. A long strip with a lot of slits will make more petals on your flower. Start from one end and roll up the strip. Twist the uncut side and secure it with something of your choice (ie. wire stem, needle and thread, glue). Fluff out the cut side to make your bloom.  Use these flowers to create accessories like jewelry and headbands. They can also be sewn to fabrics as embellishments or hung up as decorations.

8. Refill a lumpy throw pillow

Love your throw pillows but their insides need a fluff? Replace that old filling with plastic bags and renew them!

9. Create wall art

Give your walls a makeover by using plastic bags to paint with! Scrunch up a plastic bag and dip it in your favorite color. Gently press the painted bag onto wall and remove for an original and textured look!

10. Fill a pillowcase for a pet bed

Just like the draft stopper, take balled up plastic bags and stuff a pillowcase. Either stitch up or use no-sew tape to close the opening. You’ve just created a comfortable bed for your pet!

These are are just some of the ways that plastic bags can be repurposed. Always remember to be safe and have fun! Now, let’s get started!

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