Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to make a pencil case from a plastic food bag

how to make a pencil case

I was inspired to try this project after watching a Terracycle youtube video on how to make a coin purse from a plastic food bag.

However, I like taking the easy way out and my bag already had 3 closed sides, I was definitely not cutting new pieces just to sew them back together.
My personal no. 1 rule of upcycling is take advantage of as many seams as you can. (okay so that's for clothing, but why should plastic be different?).

So here's how I did it...
recycle plastic food bag
What you need:
1.  a strong plastic, empty, rinsed, food bag.
2.  scissors
3.  a zipper that's a little longer than the opening of the bag
4.  thick needle
5.  color-coordinated thread.

Step 1:  Use your scissors to cut the bag at the height that you want your pencil case to be.
  (admission of guilt: being as lazy as I am, and not owning a ruler *gasp*, I estimated the height on each side rather than measuring equal sides, which is why the final product's a little skew).

sew a zipper

Step 2:  Tape the zipper to the edge of your bag. 

how to sew a zipper

Step 3: Hand sew the zipper to the bag with a double layer of normal thread and a thick(ish) needle.
I say hand sew, because if you have kept the original three sides like I did, it would be very difficult and probably impossible to maneuver around the sewing machine.

how to sew a zipperhow to sew a pencil case
Step 4:  Sew the edges of the zipper together and tuck them in.

And that's it!  In only four short steps, you have a fully functional upcycled pencil case.

how to make a pencil case

Happy Upcycling!

Remember, I loooove your comments:
Would your kids find an upcycled pencil case cool? or geeky?

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