I arranged the strips of plastic into piles according to color and size. Since the plastic bags are so prone to static electricity, I placed several dryer sheets between the piles so that they would stay in place.
I decided that since I had so many white plastic bags, I would use those at the inner cord of my basket. I really wanted my entire project to be made of recycled materials. I took un-cut plastic bags and twisted them in my hands until they were about a half an inch in diameter. Then I took masking tape and put small pieces (about an inch of tape) around the twisted plastic to keep it from unraveling, and to help keep the size relatively consistent.
To add length to the cord, I would simply twist more bags together and tape them down. The inner cord got pretty long, pretty fast.
To keep the outer coil connected to the inner coil, I would wrap the white plastic in the brown about 5 times, and then use my needle to push it through the layer below. It took a while for this to feel natural again (it’s been a LONG time since I was a Girl Scout) but eventually I got in a rhythm. Wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap, thread over and through the layer below, wrap, wrap, wrap, wrap, thread over and through the layer below…
As my basket base progressed, I started to incorporate additional colors into the design.
I also had to keep adding length to the inner cord as my basket grew in size.
When my the base of my basket was as large and I wanted it to be, I wrapped the next coil in the same way as I had all the rest, only starting on TOP of the previous coil, instead of next to…
In about four hours, I had a medium sized basket!
When the basket was the size I wanted, I taped off the end and tightly wrapped my last few layers of plastic over it and the layer below.
I tucked the end of the brown plastic under one of the previous loops, hiding the loose end, AND allowing me to re-open the basket if I ever want to add more size to it!
I have to say that I am really pleased with this basket! Since it’s made entirely of plastic bags, it is a a terrific companion in the garden, great green gift for your little one (hello homemade Easter Basket!!), and it’s just a really fun craft to help you un-clutter your life! I used mine to harvest a few odds and ends in the garden…
I want to learn how to do this! A great basket for giving away fruit etc. Love this so much, but might need a private lesson. If you ever need me to travel with you, I’m ready. Finished work this week. Now I can retire again. love you, come visit us soon. love, mom
NINI des Ruelles says
jaime ce projet …magnifique bravo
Cassandra of Pooknflip says
This is so friggin awesome! I mean RAD! Lol. I love that you’re into upcycling stuff too. I’ve got a couple crocheted plarn bags I’m working on (I talked about them on my blog – here’s the start of it all: http://www.flightofthepook.com/2011/03/girlie-night-cooking-plarning-party.html) But I’ve been wanting to make baskets – something heavier duty – and I was worried that my method wouldn’t lend itself to something as thick and sturdy as a basket. And then here comes RadMegan in all her crafty awesomeness… 😉 Thanks for the tut! I will be trying this for sure!!
Sara Eaker says
Oh my-these look so awesome. I love the look and idea! When do you sleep, my crafting queen? XO
Love this idea–our laundry closet usually looks just like your before picture. And I’m totally looking forward to Craftcation–hopefully I’ll make it to one of your classes!
Very, very excellent project and once completed, is totally functional, and that’s great! Thank you for sharing this valuable idea!
love this I would love to do this!! Yours is so beautiful! Great
I am curious how many bags you used. Were you counting? I love this idea, but don’t think I have enough bags collected.
In progress right now in making one!!! Think i’m going to need more bags!! Great idea for recycle use!!
ELLERİNİZE SAĞLIK ÇOK GÜZEL OLMUŞ HARİKA . VERY NİCE ((:
Kim Curic says
I stumbled upon this when looking for a tutorial on making plastic bag baskets. Thanks. Its awesome
I started saving bags to make this….I think I have enough to make 3 or 4. They add up fast.
I had a huge pile of plastic bags taking up space at home and was looking for something crafty to do with them. Thank you for writing about how to do this! My pile of bags is now steadily being used up
I posted my attempts at making coasters on my blog, and referenced your tutorial because it was really easy to follow! http://makeitbakeitdigit.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/plastic-bag-weaving/
I was wondering if you could do a video on this?
Anne Fraser says
Hi, I came across your post on Pinterest. It’s great that you are all doing something with those plastic bags instead of just throwing them out. Not wishing to be rude, but what if you start taking your own cloth bags to shop – you would save getting all those bags. One cloth bag can save about 1,000 plastic bags in its lifetime
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Shoaib Ahmed says
I cant rave enuf about ur fantastic idea. Its sad that u r busy making more of these baskets n dont seem 2 hav the time 2 answer ur admirers! ? I loved the suggestion about a video tutorial. Also pls cud u specify the time it takes 2 make this basket from start 2 finish n how many bags it wud take? Pls cud u also suggest sumnuse 4 the big shoppers? 1 suggestion on how 2 cut down on the no. of shoppers…just fold them n take them in ir purse 2 the particular shop they came from n ask them if u cud reuse them 2 carry their stuff home…..
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Thank you for serving as midwife to an idea that’s been rattling around my imagination for ages. I just didn’t know what to use as filler. I’ll probably use bread bags for that.