“Making Window Treatments from Recycled Plastic Bags”

“Making Window Treatments from Recycled Plastic Bags”

Making Window Treatments from Recycled Plastic Bags

Recycling plastic bags into beautiful window treatments is an eco-friendly and creative way to decorate your home. With a few simple steps, you can transform plastic bags into curtains, valances, swags, and other window coverings.

Selecting and Preparing the Bags

The type of plastic bag you use will affect the texture and drape of the finished product. I prefer to use recycled plastic grocery bags as they are readily available and have an interesting crinkled texture when fused together. However, you can also use recycled newspaper bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags or other clean plastic sacks.

To prepare the bags:

  • Thoroughly clean any bags that contained food items.
  • Cut off any logos, handles or hard plastic parts leaving just the plastic sheeting.
  • Iron the bags flat on a medium heat setting to soften the plastic and fuse the layers together. Be careful not to melt the bags completely.

Making the Fabric

There are a few techniques for fusing the plastic bags into sheets of fabric:

Ironing Method

  • Arrange flattened plastic bags in a single layer overlapping edges slightly.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper over the layer of bags.
  • Using a dry iron on a medium heat setting, press over the parchment paper being careful not to melt the bags completely.
  • Fuse all the layers together moving the iron continuously.
  • Once cool, peel the plastic off the parchment paper. You now have a solid sheet of plastic fabric!

Heat Press Method

  • A heat press machine simplifies the fusing process.
  • Just layer the flattened bags with parchment paper and press according to machine directions. This yields very flat, smooth sheets of plastic fabric.

Sewing Method

  • Overlap the edges of the flattened plastic by 1 inch and sew together using a long zig-zag stitch.
  • Take care not to damage the plastic with too much heat from ironing or sewing.

Cutting and Hanging the Window Treatments

The recycled plastic fabric can be used to make any window treatment style including:

  • Curtains – Measure window, add hems/rod pockets, cut and hang. Plastic holds drape and shape well.
  • Valances – Cut desired shape and gather onto rod or pleat with header. Fun fringed edge!
  • Swags – Cut wispy tails and loop over hanging rods. Looks great with curtains.
  • Shades – Layer plastic with batting and sew into rolling or Roman shade. Adds privacy!

Get creative with colors! Use all one color or mix bold patterns in the plastic fabric. Add grommets, trim, ribbon or fringe to finish the ends.

Benefits of Plastic Bag Window Treatments

Upcycling plastic bags into curtains and shades has many advantages:

  • Sustainable – Recycles hard-to-reuse plastic bags.
  • Economical – Very low cost craft using free recycled materials.
  • Customizable – Make them any shape, size, color or style.
  • Durable – Plastic withstands moisture and laundering. Long-lasting.
  • Easy – Simple project with superb results!

So don’t throw out those old plastic bags! With a little time and creativity, you can transform them into amazing window treatments. Reduce waste while decorating your home.