I started a new blog about my plastic bag crochet endeavors.
From now on, all new posts will be here:
It's always fun to make themed plastic bag bags - for holidays, special events, or sports teams.
For example, steelers fans are a really enthusiastic bunch - and my grandma, who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is one of them. I crocheted her this plastic bag Steelers bag for her birthday. She takes it with her every time she goes to the Giant Eagle grocery shore and she always gets tons of compliments!
I recently spent some time traveling around Iceland. And while I was there, I ended up teaching a plastic bag crochet workshop in Reykjavik. Some of the girls at the meeting were part of an organization called Green Drinks. I'm not too familiar with it, but it sounds pretty cool.
A man from North Carolina bought a crocheted shopping bag from me about a year ago. I recently got an email from him telling me how much he likes his bag:
"I'd like to tell you I still use this bag at least once a week and almost always get comments on it.
It is often, 'I love this bag'. You did a great job. You're work is very impressive."
Here's a photo he sent me of two girls at the Harris Teeter grocery store filling up the bag.
I participated in the 2007 Maker Faire in Austin, TX.
The editors of MAKE and CRAFT magazines selected some of their favorite projects and I was awarded a blue ribbon.
Here is a video of my workshop at the Maker Faire. I just found it on YouTube!
My project was about crocheting plastic bags to make plastic bag koosies with handles. You know...those things that you put your beer (or any canned beverage) in to keep it nice and cold.
Here are some photos of my booth:
The event was great fun and lots of people came out to give it a try.
When I was staying in a guest house in Bangkok, I taught one of the women working there how to crochet. She was thrilled!
And the next day, the guest house owners helped me round up all the kids from the neighborhood and I taught a plastic bag crochet class. Most of the kids picked it up pretty easily and I bought enough crochet hooks that they were all able to go home with one. I saw some of the kids later in the alley and they all smiled and showed me their crochet hooks that they had safely hidden in their pockets. Cute.
The problem is that good, cheap crochet hooks are difficult to come by. The only affordable ones I could find at the fabric shop in Bangkok were crappy plastic ones and a few of them broke in the first few minutes. I'd like to do a project like this on a larger scale and set up an online shop where these kids can actually profit from the stuff they make. But it'll be hard to explain to them that this is a great way to help the environment AND make money when good crochet hooks in Bangkok sell for about $8-10 each!
I wish cheap, good quality crochet hooks were easier to come by. Anyone have any ideas?
When I was in Perth, I went to King's Park with my friend Amy and taught her how to crochet with plastic bags.
She also got really into fusing plastic bags and I went to her house to see a big stack of sheets she was making. Really impressive - and beautiful! They look like lace.
After I left, Amy and some of my other friends decided to throw a recycled plastic cocktail party. Everyone showed up to the party wearing a clothing item they made from recycled plastic.
Check out their lovely outfits. All from plastic!
I'm sad I missed the party. But I'm happy I was able to spread the love of making things with plastic bags.
It's really satisfying to collect trash and reuse it. That way you feel like you're really truly recycling. When I was in Mexico, I collected colorful plastic bags from the streets, washed them in the shower, dried them, then crocheted them.
Here's a pretty picture of some of the bags I found:
In April, I visited my grandma in Pittsburgh. We spent a day hanging out in her basement and fusing plastic bags together with an iron.
Fusing several layers of plastic bags is a cheap and easy way to create a durable, waterproof fabric. Once you've made some fabric, you can sew the sheets together to make pretty much anything you want.
- plastic bags of any size or color
- wax paper, parchment paper, freezer paper, or laminated card stock (to protect the iron).
Here's a great video tutorial about making a fused plastic bag messenger bag:
Earth Day was a lot of fun. I sold a bunch of koozies, taught a few people how to crochet with plastic bags, and made some new friends. Here are my pictures:
This weekend (Saturday 9am-6pm) Austin Green Art will be installing the Baggy Booth for the Earth Day event at Republic Square Park. It will be the same set up as the Clean Sweep - lots of plastic bag projects and fun collaborative art. I will be manning the booth and showing some of my creations. Come check it out: www.austinearthday.com