Ironing plastic bags

Projects, Tutorials

This week I picked up a quilting panel to be made into a cloth book for the wee boy (The Pokey Little Puppy). He likes crinkly pages so instead of using batting to line the pages decided to use plastic bags, but I had to iron them first.

No, really, I had to iron them first. I found a tutorial years ago (my link is long gone) where someone ironed plastic grocery bags together to make a stronger plastic fabric and figured this would work perfectly for my needs. Thicker (better crinkle), more durable (it’s going in the washing machine at some point) plastic interlining that doesn’t require a trip to the fabric store.

Here’s how I did it:
I used two bags flattened and smoothed out together. I placed them between two pieces of scrap muslin (the inks used to print the backs can sometimes transfer so I recommend using scrap fabric) and turned my iron to the cotton/hottest setting and turned off the steam. You want the iron hot since you are actually trying to melt the plastic.
Slowly iron the bags through the fabric trying to use consistent speed and pressure. You will likely be able to hear the plastic melting and contracting as you iron. Give it a minute to cool before moving the fabric to check on it otherwise the plastic may stick a bit. If it isn’t melted thoroughly just cover it back up and try again. It’s pretty forgiving that way. The end result is a paper like plastic that now can be used for what you want. In my case a baby book.

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