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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Weatherproof bunting tutorial

A new craftastic up-cycling column, written by Hannah Bullivant. How to make your own recycled weatherproof bunting...

Written by Hannah Bullivant

For someone who is supposed to be all eco and stuff, I have an embarrassing amount of plastic bags spewing out from underneath my sink. So I decided that my first upcycling project would involve plastic bags.

This project is super easy.
All you need is: Old plastic bags, An Iron, Grease proof paper, A big ish needle, String/thread, Scissors, A Triangle template, Assorted bits to melt inside

1) Open your windows. Seriously. Go and do it now. I am pretty sure that I was more intoxicated during this process than I have been for a looooong time. So be careful. Unless you want to get high (in which case don’t say I never give you anything…)
2) Cut open your bags so they are roughly the same shape. Cut off any ratty, knotted or bunched bits. Lay the bags on top of each other. Between 3 and 6 layers worked best for me. Fewer layers will give a thinner end product with holes. Layering more bags will create a stiffer sheet at the end.
3) Sandwich the bags between 2 sheets of grease proof paper. This bit is really important and will protect your iron.


Iron over the paper, keeping it moving at all times. Watch the edges as the plastic shrinks and sucks inwards. Its weirdly satisfying and engrossing. Or maybe that was the effect of the fumes.

My iron was on the hottest setting but it is ancient, so maybe start cooler then turn up the heat if you need too. You will need to run the iron over the layers a few times to make sure they are bonded together properly. If the iron touches the plastic directly it will sizzle, release a plume of intoxicating fumes, and may ruin your iron. Consider yourself warned.

Allow it to cool a little then lift the grease proof paper and check that the bags have formed 1 sheet of plastic (magic!) and that it is totally smooth. Then remove the grease proof paper…

…Voila you have bonded plastic sheets! Admire your recycled craftiaicious handiwork and give yourself a pat on the back. Or a glass of wine. Although I’m not sure how healthy it is to mix wine and plastic bag fumes.

I learned by accident that you can also melt things into the plastic. Bits of other bags! Sequins! Thread! Love hearts!

You could melt allsorts of other cool stuff between the layers too- like dried flowers, bits of paper or fabric…

6) Make a triangle template then trace triangles onto your plastic sheets and cut them out.

7) Make two holes in the top of each triangle with a sharp object. A hole punch would have been very useful, but apparently I’ve lost mine. The holes need to be big enough to allow the triangle to move in the breeze.

8 ) Thread your string/ thread/ whatever you fancy through the holes.

9) Hang the bunting in your garden on a sunny day (or even a rainy one as they are weatherproof!) and sip cocktails whilst watching your colourful recycled bunting undulate in the afternoon breeze.


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Watch this space for more recycling ideas soon!

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12 Responses to “Weatherproof bunting tutorial”

  1. Abi says:

    I LOVE this!! That’s a great idea and would work really well for christmas, with all those christmassy carrier bags – excellent!! Hope you’re doing more of these – apart from anything else, it’s a really nice idea for people with little cash too.

  2. [...] tutorial for Amelia’s Magazine for bunting is great and it is waterproof because it is made from fused carrier [...]

  3. This is such a great tutorial – I have bookmarked it for myself and have also popped it up on Cuteable as it is such a good idea :)

    Lynsey

    http://cuteable.com/

  4. HannahB says:

    Hi Abi, glad you liked it! The idea is that the projects will cost very little (or no) money. Currently scheming up the next one and will be uploaded on here soon!

  5. Catherine says:

    Oh this looks just fab! I tell you, I’m going to do it this very afternoon with my small daughters – it will look fantastic if we make berjillions of them for a bit garden party we’re having in the summer.
    What a great tutorial – nice one! I’ve even got the garden string, and a box of pozillions of small bits of craft god-knows-what of the children’s that we can put inside the layers. AND a hole-punch! Brilliant.
    x x x
    Catherine

  6. Amelia says:

    Hi Catherine
    please do let us know how you get on with this tutorial – we’d love to know how it goes!
    Amelia x

  7. HannahB says:

    Hi Lynsey, wow thank you, I checked out cuteable and really like the site! And yes catherine, please let us know hopw you get on!

  8. Catherine says:

    Ok, all done! Talk about a great half term activity week – this has been so cool – I’m about to make some more. I’ve blogged about it at http://www.originalstitch.blogspot.com (sorry about the blatant plug – i got in a right faff trying to upload picks to flickr, so just thought I’d point you to my post!). I’ve pointed people to you.
    Hopefully we’ll spread the word and cover the world with plastic bag bunting!
    x x x
    Catherine

  9. Amelia says:

    Brillaint, Catherine thanks for letting us know! your bunting looks fantastic! Hope your party goes well (lovely blog too!)

    (From Hannah, not Amelia)

  10. shannon says:

    hey this is fantastic! it’s pretty too – which is not always the result from reusing plastic bags. great idea.

    xxxx

  11. Val says:

    you can also branch out into tablecloths etc, think BIG!!! x I made some bunting with plain white bags and put confetti between the layers, it looked beautiful, x

  12. Jenny says:

    Hi,
    Just made bunting for nephew’s greenhouse following your instructions. It looks great and so easy.
    Thanks
    Jen

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