The Death and Resurrection of a Plastic Bag!



Every Ending is an opportunity for something new to emerge.
Death is not a permanent end,
but a transition into a new state.
We must “die” to the old
to give birth to the new.

The Tarot Handbook, Angeles Arrien


The Death of  a Plastic Bag

The first thing I do with any bag is to cut off the handles and the bottom. Then it  gets marked on my “high tech” counter.

My High Tech Bag Counter

When a bag is officially logged, I might not use all at the time, but a bag with no handles and bottom lets me know that it has already been counted for. My commitment  is  to use ALL of it! I have been working with plastic bags for the last two years and have only been counting how many bags I use for the past two months.   I will soon have this information on the home page. I am just trying to figure out what would be the vest way to go about it. Any Ideas?  In the past two months, the records show the death 0f 80 bags!







The Resurrection of the Body

The main body of the bag is woven into a cloth. With this part I make the handbags but there are infinite things you could do with it. I think it would be great to make lamps, covering furniture, cushions, rugs, place mats and many others useful things. Some times you can produce a piece that is beautiful in itself. I see it and immediately know that I can’t  just cut it.

When I made this one, I  placed it on the window while I decided what to make with it. I immediately loved how it look when the light passed through it. The sun makes it come alive. It is completely inspired by the blues of  the Indian Ocean here in Perth!


The  Resurrection of the Handles

I was ending up with many handles and bottoms and didn’t quite know what to do with all of them. I decided I wanted to make flowers out of them, so I went on the internet looking for some tutorials and found some simple ones.  Then I experimented with different sizes, bag types, sewing methods. One of the things I am using the flowers for is to embellish handbags. I love the effect! On this particular handbag the horizontal colors are also handles woven into the design.





















I am also  working on some ideas for accessories. I am so pleased with the results, I would love to hear your opinion! This one could work for bracelets, rings, broaches, hair bands!












The  Resurrection of the Bits and Pieces

With the larger leftovers I am experimenting fusing them to make portraits. I am inspired by the aboriginal art of Australia. I admire their use of symbols and colors. I feel there is some sort of pattern emerging in my compositions, but it is a bit early on in the process to understand it. I am just letting the process flow, for now. I have called it Earth Lines, and will make a more extensive post on this topic later.






After I finish weaving, making flowers, painting with the left over strips, I look at the floor of my studio and there are still millions of little pieces of plastic. I can simply get the vacuum  and throw them out but it doesn’t feel right. I want to use ALL THE BITS AND PIECES.

I then  remembered an old technique I picked up while living in New York. It all started one day when walking home I found a lovely bright yellow wooden stool in the street that was getting thrown out. I took it home,  used an old calendar with amazing pictures of Kandisky work and bought some Mud Pudge. I started my first decoupage project. I can remember how pleasant it was to work and how pleased I was with the result! I absolutely loved my stool and when I moved away I left it as a gift to a good friend.
































That was the first and last time I experimented with decoupage and now I am having a play with this technique again. I thought it would be a good idea to decorate some containers with this method and maybe they could become the flower pots for my plastic flowers. One of the things that I most enjoy in this process is getting my hands filled with glue, waiting for it to dry and peeling it off! When I worked as a preschool teacher I constantly caught my student getting their hands filled with glue. Here are some pictures of the tea lights holders I have started to make with these bits and Pieces of plastic.


















So you tell me, was the death of these Plastic bags under my scissors  a good way to resurrect? Have they come back to life as an object of greater beauty? I think each day I get closer to my ultimate aim: to Up-Cycle Plastic bags in to beautiful objects, all of them, even the bits and pieces!!!

This entry was posted in About, Inspirations, New designs 2011, Portraits, Textures and Colors, Up Cycling Projects, Weaving, What’s Up. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Death and Resurrection of a Plastic Bag!

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