Friday, December 4, 2009

Recycled Plastic Bag Christmas Wreath

Earlier this week I made a Christmas wreath for the apartment's front door. It actually looks great as just a general winter wreath, so I plan on keeping it up beyond the holiday season.

There was a pile of plastic grocery store bags in my kitchen that I kept forgetting to recycle at the store. I was gathering them all together when I got the idea to make something out of them. I've seen Christmas wreaths made out of rags before, so I thought why not try that with the plastic bags?

I started with a green wire wreath frame from Michael's, purchased rather inexpensively by using a coupon and my teacher discount. However, I thought that with that frame alone, the finished wreath would look too skinny.  You could also make your own frame out of wire, if you have enough, but I was looking to cut out that step by purchasing the ready to go wire frame.  If you do make your own frame, I suggesting twisting the wire double for more durability, like I did with the extra ring I added below.

I solved that issue by adding an inner ring to the frame with some aluminum wire that I had already on hand, twisting it double for strength. I used thinner wire to hold it to the frame.

After that I just started tying plastic strips cut from the bags onto the wire frame, using a double knot so that they wouldn't come undone. No glue is needed.  I didn't cut the strips in any uniform manner because I wanted the plastic to look somewhat leafy when I was done. I also cut off any letters or logos because I didn't want those to show. The bags I used were all either white plastic bags (from Target) or transparent grocery bags (from Wegmans).  It is also easy enough to go back and trim any overly large pieces of plastic bag at the end if there are any bits that are sticking out too much.

When I bought the wreath frame, I also bought some plastic silver leaves and small branches to include in the wreath, found in the holiday fake flower section at Michael's. I used the thinner wire to secure the branches onto the wire frame, and then I tied the plastic strips over the stem to hide it. The supplies for this project were cheap, with the branches costing anywhere from $0.29 to $0.49. I bought the stems on a separate day from the wire frame so that I could use more than one coupon.  All told, I spent maybe $10 at the most on supplies.

I didn't keep an exact count of how many bags I used, but it had to be at least 30 plastic bags or more. Tying all of the plastic strips on took a while, but it was an easy project to work on while watching some DVDs. The finished wreath is about 20" wide and very lightweight, so it's easy to hang with a 3M plastic hook and sticky tape. I definitely plan on saving this wreath to use next year.


Mary MacArthur said...

I've been reading through your blog and enjoying very much. I can't stop hitting "Older Posts"!

This is beautiful. I never would have expected something made from plastic bags to be so, but it's so feathery and ethereal!

Jackie Sullivan said...

Thanks very much, Mary! I'm happy to hear that you're enjoying my blog and the wreath so much!