plastic bag blooms

Everyone hates plastic bags... They are horrid things. I would like to say I NEVER use them but despite having lots of reusable bags, I far too often end up in the supermarket buying "just one thing" and instead come out with an armful of groceries and too many of those nasty grey bags. Now most major supermarkets do actually have bins to recycle plastic bags, in fact you can even dump your other soft plastic in them (think biscuit wrapping, pasta packets etc) and some clever people will turn them into outdoor kids furniture!

Ok, so what am I saying, don't make this project?...Gah, I don't know. Maybe keep a few? because this project is easy, and fun, and looks pretty damn amazing.

what you need

  • Plastic bags (one per flower)
  • Paint*
  • Sticky tape/washi tape+
  • Scissors

* You need to use paint with a decent amount of pigment as watery/washable paint will not bond well with the plastic. I am a bit of a "use the paint, any paint, all the paint" kind of gal and used a mix of acrylic paint, white house paint (just what I had at home) and spray paint.  If you are worried about kids using paints that are not washable, wear some plastic gloves while applying the paint in step 12 and make sure you paint outside. Spray paint should obviously only ever be used by an adult.

to make

1. Lay a plastic bag down flat.

2. Fold in three equal sections.

3. Cut off the handles.

4. Fold into three sections again until you have a square.

5. Cut a rough circle from your folded square. It is nice if it isn't perfectly round.

  • NOTE: You can actually cut any shape you like here, I did a mix of round flowers which look kind of like peonies and more traditional "flower" shaped ones. The flower shape is a bit harder to cut though as the layers of plastic bag have a tendency to want to separate.

6. Trim the first few layers of plastic to make a smallish circle on the top layer and then gradually wider out to the edge. I just kind of hacked into mine on an angle, this really doesn't need to be perfect.

7. Use a small hole punch to make a hole in the center of your layers.

8. Take one of the handle sections that you trimmed or cut a square from another plastic bag about 10cm square.

9. Place all the remaining plastic scraps into the center of the larger piece. Wrap them up and twist them closed. You may wish to put a piece of washi tape around the plastic twist to stop it unravelling.

10. Feed the twist through the hole you have made in the plastic circles. You might need to poke it through with a pencil if your hole is tight.

11. Secure the two pieces on the back with a piece of tape.

Now for the fun bit...

12. Lay down some plastic mat or newspaper.

13. Squeeze out some paint* colours that compliment each other. Make sure you throw in some white as this helps the colours blend nicely. *See notes above re paint.

14. Now get some paint on your fingers and smoosh it into your plastic petals!

15. To finish use a paintbrush to paint the center of your flowers, or, wash your fingers and dab on a contrasting colour.

The other option is to spread the paint around on your mat or newspaper and just dip and squish the flowers into the paint!

The other other option is to spray paint, and the other other other option is to spray paint them and then smoosh them into the paint just on the edges.

So many options!

Now what do do with them?

Well, you could washi tape them to sticks and give a bunch to a loved one....

Twist them onto some pipe cleaners and shove them in a fancy can?...


Why not make a ridiculous blouse like I did?

Massive thanks to Tee click Photography for the images that follow:

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography

IMAGE: Tee Click Photography