Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fused Bag Art

A few months ago I had seen a technique of fusing layers of plastic grocery bags together but I didn't have any idea of how I would use it. Recently I experimented with a lot of Tim Holtz's products and a little idea started to grow.

I started with eight plastic grocery bags, cut open and laid flat into layers. I will be posting a tutorial on how to fuse the plastic bags but this post is about adding art on the plastic before fusing.

Because the plastic bags are non-porous it was the perfect surface to use alcohol inks. I applied the inks directly onto one layer of plastic. Next, I used permanent black ink and rubber stamped several designs. Here is how the art started off.

Since the plastic is translucent, I used French ephemera from the Graphics Fairy printed onto vellum and layered it behind the inked layer.
Once I had the art completed I fused the plastic layers together to create a large piece of Fused Grocery Bags. "Fusing" involves ironing eight layers of plastic between sheets of parchment paper. I highly suggest practicing with scrap plastic until you know the correct temperature to use. Too hot and it melts the plastic. Not hot enough and the layers do not fuse. Most tutorials suggest the Rayon setting on your iron.

My original idea was to add a layer of plastic over the artwork so that the finished piece would have softer colors. Looking back, I love how vibrant the original artwork was that I wish I hadn't covered it with the final layer of plastic. 

Once I had the large piece of Fused Grocery Bags, I cut it into a folded rectangle, sewed up the sides, added a gusset, sewed seam binding along the top edge and added a handle. Here is the finished piece both front and back.


It has a distressed look which is created from the fusing of the plastic. Perhaps if you use the perfect heat setting then it might not wrinkle as much. Now I'm thinking that maybe the muted colors work better with the distressed plastic. This was my first attempt with this technique. It is a great way to recycle your plastic bags and create some unique art.

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20 comments:

  1. I'm visiting from over at FrugaliciousMe. I really like your bag transformation! I'd love for you to share it at my first weekly blog party. It is all about things that have been repurposed, reinvented, revamped, recycle, reused, reorganized, and redone. http://notsosimplehousewife.blogspot.com/2011/07/recreate-into-something-new-blog-party.html

    Hope to see you over at my place soon!
    Kaitlin--The Not So Simple Housewife
    http://notsosimplehousewife.blogspot.com

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  2. It looks great! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Amazing and oh so green (and pink!) I love that you recycled! Thanks for sharing at Pinkalicious Thursday and I wanted to let you know, that this Sunday, July 17th, I am hosting a new Linky party called Barter Bazaar!
    Link up anything you have made that you want to barter for something else! FREE SHOPPING (except for a little postage I guess). Spread the word so we have lots of fun stuff to barter for !
    www.frugaliciousme.com
    XOXO,
    Tasha

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  4. Thank you for sharing this technique! I have never heard of it before. I like the way you combined so many elements to make such an interesting graphic image.

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  5. I think it turned out pretty cool!

    Jo @ SmileMonsters

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  6. That's amazing! Such a wonderful job! I love the layered look of the bag and the French art is perfect with the colors. Great job!

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  7. Wow, how fun & creative. PLUS it's recycled {or upcycled} which I love! Great job.

    Warmly, Michelle

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  8. Cool! I wasn't aware you could do that to plastic bags!
    Coming from the Homemaker on a Dime linky!

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  9. What an absolutely adorable DIY! Well done.

    I hope that you will stop by and enter my giveaway.

    Happy Monday!

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  10. I can't wait to try this!!! stop over and say "hi" sometime!! :)

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  11. What a great tutorial!! Love how it came out! I am visiting from Sumo's Sweet Stuff and I am a new follower!!! I hope you have a great week and that I see you around soon!!
    Michelle
    www.delicateconstruction.blogspot.com

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  12. What a great idea. I love how you took the basic plastic fusing tute and totally owned it and made it your own.

    I found you through Made By You Mondays and am your newest follower. Come check me out and follow back, too, if you're interested @ Carissa's Creativity Space

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  13. I have *never* seen this craft before and I absolutely LOVE the transformation. I am totally inspired. I will definitely be trying this!!!!

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  14. I'm so grateful that you linked up in this week's Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) This awesome post totally rocked the party!

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  15. This is the most beautiful and creative take on the fused bag technique that I've seen. So many of the tutorials use bags that already have pretty designs -- but honestly, who has those? Seems like it defeats the purpose of this green craft if you're having to seek out fancy bags. I love that your way of doing this allows the artist to pick their own images. Brilliant and beautiful! I'm featuring your post in this week's "A Little Birdie Told Me..." and can't wait to try this project myself!!

    Jenn

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  16. That is the coolest thing I have ever seen done to a plastic bag!!! Thank you for sharing your awesomeness with us:-)

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  17. Wow, hadn't heard of fused plastic, on my way to google it. Wonderful looking bag. Visiting from Rook No. 17 a week later.

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  18. I'm visiting from "A Little Birdie Told Me..."
    I've never heard of fusing plastic bags! What a great idea! As hard as I try to use my cloth bags (and I'm pretty good at it) we still have LOTS of plastic bags! Thank you for sharing!

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