How to Make a Wreath With Trash Bags and a Hanger

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Choose colorful garbage bags to make a bright, eye-catching wreath.
Choose colorful garbage bags to make a bright, eye-catching wreath. (Image: subinpumsom/iStock/Getty Images)

Trash bag wreaths are a staple of the elementary-school craft scene -- but if you cut the plastic strips carefully, your fast and easy wreath can make attractive home decor too. The durable plastic-and-wire construction means they make great all-weather outdoor decorations, and they can be made using materials you probably have on hand already.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire hanger
  • 3 30-gallon trash bags, or 6 10-gallon trash bags
  • Scissors

Bend the body of the hanger into a circle. Shape the hook into a loop; this is how you'll hang the wreath.

Spread the trash bags out flat on the floor. Cut the bottom seam off of each trash bag and, if there are handles at the top, cut those off too. This transforms each bag into one long tube of plastic.

Cut each plastic tube into 6- to 8-inch-wide panels, slicing from what was the top of each bag down to the bottom. The wider the panels, the larger your wreath will be.

Layer the panels on top of each other and, starting from one end, slice through the pile to cut each panel into approximately 2-inch-wide strips. They don't have to be exactly 2 inches wide, but the more uniform your cuts, the tidier your wreath will look.

Put both ends of one strip together. Lay the doubled-over strip underneath the wire circle you made with the hanger, perpendicular to the wire. Pull both ends of the strip through the loop at the opposite end of the strip. Gently snug the resulting knot down against the wire of the hanger. This is called a girth hitch.

Continue girth-hitching the plastic strips to the wire circle. Press them to one side as you work, so that the wreath builds as full as possible. Continue adding strips until you can't see the bare wire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add any of the following embellishments if desired: a large ribbon bow at the top or bottom of the wreath, pine cones or occasional plastic strips of a different color. You can wire the pine cones in place using florist wire.
  • You can make this type of wreath out of any size plastic bag, including plastic grocery bags. Or, for a different take on the same idea, cut an old bed sheet or fabric tablecloth into strips and use the same technique to make a fabric wreath.
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