The Fifth Craft: Plastic Bag Napkin Rings!
I got a little ahead of myself and twittered and facebooked about five crafts but I hadn’t gotten to this one yet. So HERE is the fifth craft: These are happy little challah bread napkin rings made from recycled plastic trash bags! They don’t exactly look like Challah Bread but they are braided and a whole lot prettier than the plastic bag they came from.
As everyone knows plastic bags blow. However! They are actually quite wonderful as a crafting medium. You can make all sorts of things with them: rope, crocheted into a bag, fused together as fabric…the possibilities are amazing.
Here’s how I made napkin rings:
First you’ll need the tan colored ones. These are not as common as they used to be. In my town everyone has switched to white for some reason. But check around, they still exist in MASSIVE quantities, probably in your own garage, pantry or under-the-sink hidey hole.
Next smooth out your bag of any creases and cut it into three strips. Don’t worry about the handle portions being longer. You’ll trim the excess off later.
Next you’ll need to “fuse” the ends together so you can start your braid. To do this you will need a hot iron and some tinfoil. Fold your tinfoil over a couple times so that there will be two sheets between your iron and the plastic bag strips. Now, very carefully, hold the iron down on the tinfoil in 15-second increments until it fuses. (Be careful not to touch the plastic with your iron or you’ll have a messy clean-up job later.)
Now it’s time to braid!
Braid about six or seven inches and stop. Give yourself about a half inch of unbraided ends and then trim the excess off with scissors.
Wrap your braid into a circle big enough for a cloth napkin to slip through and then carefully insert your tinfoil and iron onto the loose ends using your tinfoil. You might need to fold the tinfoil into a triangle to fit it inside the napkin right. Repeat the ironing technique used above and fuse your ring together.
Voila! You have a fancy napkin ring and you saved the landfills from one more plastic trash bag! Isn’t that a great way to start off the new year? L’Shanah Tovah!
What a fun idea – and a clever way to fuse the the three strands together.
Janet - One of Bethany's Aunts
What a great way to recycle those multiplying plastic bags ~ tried the apple cupcake recipe (left off the dried apples -just drizzled on frosting instead) – very tasty indeed – nice for Fall baking. Keep spying Secret Agent Josephine! (where did Josephine come from?)
PS -love Bethany’s blog banners you’ve created over the years … the last one is one of my favorites ~ you’re very talented and creative :) !!
Thank you! The Josephine was just a whim. You can read the whole story on my about page. :)
Awesome idea! I have loads and load of those beige bags. (and some white too) AND I use cloth napkins every day. I have got to make these with my granddaughter who LOVES crafts.
I have tons of brown plastic bags… Fresh & Easy : D
I also noticed my Ralph’s has the brown bags, so we’ll be braiding bags tonight.
Super cute idea. But it’s a super bad idea to melt plastic. Particularly indoors or around children. Sorry to be a downer ( I love your site!) but you don’t want to be around the chemicals that are released when you melt plastic.
I’m inclined to believe you. But I didn’t smell anything at all. The fusing is so minimal. I’m sure there is some very small danger but I bet it’s a lot less than melting shrinky dinks in the oven. I’m not an expert though. I’ll ask around.
Doh! I totally forgot about Shrinky dinks. I loved those as a kid. But yeah, those probably weren’t so great for our lungs either. : )
Interesting idea. I guess you could weave all sorts of things with plastic bags? In my little area of London we are campaigning to eradicate the “plastic bag” in the local shops and go for reusable cotton. Now if we could only stop the Supermarkets from wrapping up every little thing in plastic.