Melted Plastic Bag Valentine Pins!

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Melted Plastic Bag Valentine Pins!

In my quest to find and endless supply of craft ideas to occupy our every spare moment in our house, I came across this website with an idea I had never seen before… art made from melted plastic bags!!
Alpha Mom Website

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The craft project was to make felt patches or pins by drawing on plastic bags, then ironing them onto felt. No way! I didn’t know you could iron plastic bags! We HAD to try this idea!
So, we dug up an old plastic bag, some polar fleece (the closest thing I could find to felt), and some Sharpie Markers…

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We started by cutting a plain white plastic bag into small pieces, and I gave each of the kids a couple pieces to play around with…

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They started drawing their own designs. Sam drew a teddy, and Dylan designed a car.

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The kids found it a little tricky drawing on the plastic because it was a little slippery, but larger pieces of plastic were easier to colour. Since it was so close to Valentine’s day, I thought we would also design a few hearts. So we coloured a few hearts on the plastic, then cut the polar fleece a little larger than the heart.

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This is important: to iron your plastic bag artwork, you have to use parchment paper between the plastic bag and your iron. It must be parchment paper, do not use waxed paper, because waxed paper will melt!
OK, I’ve warned you. So, we put a layer of parchment paper on top of the plastic bag heart and fleece fabric…

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And ironed it for about a minute at the highest heat setting.

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It worked! The plastic melted and bonded perfectly to the fabric! The bag melted evenly and adhered itself without bubbling or wrinkling. It looked great, but should mention that I am not sure it could withstand a washing.
Also, I would irresponsible if I didn’t mention at this point that you should do the ironing in an area with lots of ventilation, I can’t imagine that this would be too healthy to breathe in for prolonged periods of time.
After making and ironing a few hearts, I thought it might be easier for the kids if we ironed first, then coloured. So we drew a bunch of heart outlines on the plastic bag, roughly cut them out, then ironed them onto the fabric. I only ironed enough for the plastic to stick to the fabric.

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Then, we coloured the hearts in, and ironed them again. It was just easier when the plastic was secured in place.

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Then we cut the hearts out…

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I was really pleased with the way they turned out! After ironing, the plastic does stick to the parchment, but we learned to wait until it has cooled before peeling it off. If you peel it off when it is hot, the colour peels off as well, but if you wait until it has cooled, the colour will be much brighter.
We decided that we wanted to make these into pins, so I cut out a bunch of circles of felt,

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And used a glue gun to attach a safety pin to the back of each one.

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Then, I started to think that maybe they would look nicer, and be more durable with some stitching around the perimeter. So I stitched a blanked stitch around a few. Here is what they look like finished…

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We ended up making over twenty of them! So, I made another collage photo, and we attached the pins to the photos.

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In the past, the kids have made small things and given them out at my Grandfather’s retirement home, or we have gone to visit my Great Aunt, and made some special deliveries to friends in her building. Aunt Isabel, are you free for a visit this weekend? We have some free time on Saturday!

I would highly recommend this idea. It was easy to do, didn’t require any special materials, and the finished product is really cute. I think I am going to do this with my Brownie group too!

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