Checking out at a grocery store can riddle you with guilt feelings because the choice between paper and plastic seems futile. Choosing paper means that you are helping to waste a tree and not every community has a recycling center for plastics. Making crafts out of plastic grocery bags is an interesting way to teach green living and recycling to children and to spend time together.
Jump Rope Toy
You will need approximately nine or 10 plastic grocery or bread bags to make a toy jump rope for a child. Cut away the seam edge of each bag to form one long strip of plastic. Cut strips that are about 1 to 2 inches wide from the bag and trim them all so they will be the same length. Grasp three strips together and tie a knot in it about 4 or 5 inches down from the edge. Ask a friend to hold the end with the knot or insert it into a drawer and close it most of the way to secure it. Braid the grocery bag strips until there are 3 or 4 inches left on the end. Tie another knot and fan out the edges. Gather three more strips and tape them onto the edges of the fanned portion. Continue braiding and knotting them near the end until you have the desired length for your jump rope. Tie a final knot in the end so you will have a place for your hands on the jump rope.
Make yarn out of your plastic shopping bags by trimming the handles and seams off with scissors. This will leave a long sheet of plastic. Cut it into a 1-inch wide continuous strip to use as yarn. Select large knitting needles that are a size 8 or above or a crochet hook that is at the least a size G to use with your plastic yarn. You can use the yarn for small or large projects where you need a water repellent surface, such as a tote bag, rain hat or even as coasters for your end tables. Each plastic bag will yield about 16 yards of plastic yarn depending on the size of your strip.
Recycle the grocery store plastic bags into a floor pillow for you or your child. Stuff an old pillowcase with as many plastic bags as you need to achieve the firmness you desire. Sew or glue the end closed on the pillowcase, or use hook and loop strips, such as Velcro, so you can replace the stuffing when necessary.
- Photo Credit chinese woman with boots on pillows image by Allen Penton from Fotolia.com
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