Maker Fashion: Fused Plastic

May 1, 2020  |   Creativity, Materials, Making

AUFused Plastic

Bags, boxes, and cartons, oh my! What to do with all that "trash." 

Alicia Jones fuses fun and creativity in this activity offering a way to make treasures from plastic grocery bags. 

Fusing plastic is a way to make your own material to create any fashion you can imagine. Grocery bags, leftover plastic tablecloths from you birthday party, bubble wrap, or any kind of soft plastic will work to make fused plastic. We'll show you how to get started by making a cape and a bracelet. 

 

Materials | Supplies

 

  • recycled plastic materials
    • plastic bags, tablecloths, or packaging
    • tape
  • tape
  • iron
  • ironing board or mat
  • parchment paper
  • scissors
  • heat safety gloves (optional)

Adult supervision required for fusing plastic.

Find a safe place for setting up the iron.

Concepts Explored

  • materials
  • heart
  • creativity
  • measurement

Discovery Starters

What are you planning to make? How much material do you need?

Can you add in other elements to the plastic? Why or Why not? 

Does it help to make a pattern?

 

Explore Further

What other materials can be fused? 

Why does the fused plastic stick together? 

Try placing things that could melt between the layers? What happens? 

AUFused Plastic MaterialsGet Ready to Create 

Gather your materials and supplies in a place where you have space and it's safe to use the iron. 

Plan and Design AUFused Plastic  starAUFusedPlastic start cutout

Draw out the shapes you want on your plastic pieces and cut them out. Arrange them how you like on top of a piece of parchment paper. This is important. 

 

Decorate and Create AUFused Plastic iron

Express your own creativity and decorate the cape or bracelet. You can use crayons, markers, stickers, yarn, more plastic, or sequins to bling up your design. When everything is just how you like it, place your creation between two pieces of plastic. Alicia used clear plastic for the bracelet, but colored plastic works too. Make sure a the parchment paper is underneath your creation. 

Time to Fuse AUFused Plastic ironing

With your design organized on a piece of parchment paper, you're ready to fuse the plastic. Set the iron to a medium low level (3 or 4) and let it warm up. Make any last minute changes to your design if you want before laying another piece of parchment paper on top of your design. Do not put the hot iron directly on the plastic or it will melt to the iron. 

Slowly start to iron and notice when the parchment starts to look wet. This is a sign that the plastic is being fused together. Keep the iron moving to evenly fuse the plastic and prevent burning. 

Ready to Wear AUFusedPlastic Bracelet

Lift the iron off and wait a couple of minutes before checking to see if the plastic is fused. Gently try and pull it apart. If it stays together, great. If not, continue applying heat from the iron slowly and slow down your movements. Once your plastic is fused, your fashion is ready to wear or you have material to used for another design project. 

Additional Resources

The Plastic Problem by Rachel Salt

One Plastic Bag by Miranda Paul

YouTube video: Trash Fashion

Amazeum YOU activities Simple Sewing | Cardboard Wearables

Amazeum YOU Fused Plastic Activity Guide