FUSED SHOPPING BAG DAY PACKS

The children in this photo are wearing my best fused shopping bag project to date! Yes, these day packs are made from shopping bags melted together just like I did in the luggage tags project. I removed the handles and bottoms seams from six large white shopping bags (I added a cheap trash liner since I was short on large bags), placed six of them in a stack between two pieces of parchment paper and ironed them, front and back, on medium heat until the bags shrank down and melted together. (The black sections on the boy’s pack are made from trash liners, since black shopping bags are not common in my area. This is why the black portions of the pack are shiny.) From this new “fabric” I cut the pieces I would need to make the packs plus what I would need to decorate them. I put all the decorations on the outside pocket sections before assembling the packs together. I also reinforced the bottom corners of the packs by adding an additional pie-shaped piece of fused shopping bag and then inserting a hard piece of plastic under it. This plastic was salvaged from the blister packaging of something I had purchased. (You know; the stuff that you have to remove with heavy-duty scissors!) I needed this section of the packs to be very sturdy, since it would bear the weight of whatever was carried in it. I used real fabric remnants to make the sleeves at the top of the packs that the drawstrings would pass through. The drawstrings are athletic shoelaces. After I laced them through the top, I used an ice pick to pierce through the bottom corners of the pack, pushed the ends through the holes and tied them together on the front side with an overhand knot. I sent these to camp with my children, who used them and said that they worked very well. Though they did take some time to put together, they were a really fun project and predominately free. Since I already had the fabric remnants, the only real cost was in the shoelaces and the electricity to run the iron and the sewing machine!

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