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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