DIY: It’s a bag within a bag within a bag…

For this little craft project my aim (originally) was to make a sort of man-purse out of old plastic store bags, but as it evolved I eventually was able to construct a recycled tote bag constructed from Wal-Mart and Borders bags. In total twenty bags were used, but only certain parts of each bag were utilized so that in actuality less bags would be required for a tote providing the individual used all the bag parts. In total the project took around 5 hours to complete once all the materials were gathered.

Difficulties arose in the application of which technique was best (most practical in a timely sense) and making everything turn out as perfectly as possible. For instance, the creation of the bag involved making one giant sheet of fused plastic layers that would be formed into the tote bag. Looking back I should have used larger strips of plastic (the final bag has some small holes), and used a lower temperature on the clothes iron which would have been more forgiving to the plastic when it was being fused together (causing less shrinkage due to heat and holes).

The numerous how-to sources (among them being Instructables, YouTube, and About.com) listed so many different methods it was a tough decision choosing which to use, but in the end my personal favoritism led me to choose Instructables for its simple yet detailed layout. Here the user could pace themselves easily, and not have to watch a video in order to learn. Each step had multiple in-depth pictures of what needed to be done with plenty of descriptions that paired together made for a perfect tutorial on making the bag, though the other sources offered interesting alternatives such as crocheting the bag or using mixed media such as fabric in the bag’s construction.

All of the sources had the necessary information for making the bag; yet many lacked the completeness of informative visuals coupled with detailed explanations that Instructables contained. You Tube was a close second, but I particularly loved Instructables because it was not in video format and was both highly informative, detailed, and well laid out far better than any of the other sources.  These authors were not “experts in the field of bag-making”, but those posting on Instructables and You Tube displayed the greatest amount of knowledge about this project and were obviously better informed than the rest (the work put into these demonstrations was extremely well done and easily surpassed the other, simpler tutorials).

This project really enabled me to travel outside of my shell! I consider myself creatively oriented, but here I was able to go a new route I had never before considered, and now possibly might have another hobby coming from our DIY project. I was able to extract needed information from various sources that enabled me to better formulate my strategy for the final project and make the best creation I could.

Web Sources:

1) YOU TUBE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GVSHKbW7Go , Author: , accessed 9/5/2011

2) Instructables http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-plastic-tote-bag-from-recycled-plast/step9/Fuse-the-sides-of-your-new-tote-bag/

Author:user669 , accessed 9/5/2011

3) HGTV.com http://www.hgtv.com/crafting/crocheted-plastic/index.html

Author:Carol Duvall , accessed 9/5/2011

4) About.com http://goflorida.about.com/od/souvenirtips/ss/How-to-Make-a-Disney-Recycled-Tote-Bag.htm

Author: Samantha McNesby , accessed 9/5/2011

5) FamilyFun.com http://familyfun.go.com/crafts/recycled-tote-674128/

Author: None , accessed 9/5/2011


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About mattcoffer

I am a college student working on a dual degree in Accounting and Finance. I enjoy (free time permitting) collecting science fiction replicas and assorted collectibles, as well as real-time strategy games and exercising.
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