Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March Tart Kit: Earth Day Art

This month we have created a Tart kit that will celebrate Earth Day in April. We are going to make fabric from our shopping bags and other plastic. In the kit are several shopping bags, some white and some with color or pattern, as well as plastic mesh, and used thread. Your assignment is to use these items and add other plastic and "throw-aways" to the mix.

Start by opening up the plastic bags so that they are in a single layer. Arrange six layers one on top of each other. Those layers in the middle will not be visible so save the best bags for the outside or one layer down. You might use a layer of white bag to diffuse the bright layer. However, there isn't really one way to do layer the bags.

Cover the plastic with the pressing sheet included in your kit and iron the pile with a dry, hot iron. As the heat penetrates the plastic, it will fuse together. Iron both sides of the pile, always protecting your iron. The hot plastic will not stick to your ironing board cover. Too much heat will cause holes and too little will not fuse the plastic. Experiment.

The plastic will shrink and wrinkle. That's okay.

Add other plastic such as vegetable mesh bags, candy wrappers, celephane, etc or sequins, tissue paper, or other junk. Since the non-plastic items will not fuse, slip them between layers of bags.

Take the fused plastic to your sewing machine and free motion stitch the layers in a large overall pattern. This will hold everything together and add texture to the surface.


Foil can be added with the iron. It will adhere to the plastic without any adhesive. Again, be sure to protect your iron. You can also paint or stamp the plastic. Allow the paint to dry overnight.

When you have created your plastic fabric, use it in your project. It can be stitched together in patches, made into bags or purses, or as the background to a statement piece. Layer other fused plastic as appliques. If there is an Earth Day Art show in your community, consider entering your piece!

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