There are many, many ways to reuse plastic bags and keep them out of the landfill. The key skill to make most of these projects is learning how to fuse plastic bags. Here are 50 uses for plastic bags:
1. Apply Wax
Wear a plastic bag as a mitt to apply furniture wax or polish.
Make a woven basket out of plastic bags instead of yarn or rope.
Fuse plastic bags together. Cut the fused bags into strips the width of your belt. Attach the fused plastic to a woven back. Cut holes and add belt buckle.
Make bowls and cups out of plastic bags. The instructions are a little complicated so Google if you would like to try.
5. Braided Hanger
Cut plastic bags into loops. Join the loops and use to braid around a plastic clothes hanger. The resulting braided clothes hanger looks attractive and clothes won’t slip off.
Fuse 3 plastic bags together to create “fabric.” Cut into circles the size you want for your coasters.
7. Diaper Bag
Keep plastic bags in your diaper bag to pack dirty clothes and to discard dirty diapers.
Donate your excess plastic bags to an animal shelter, food bank or thrift store.
9. Fill in Gaps
Stuff plastic bags into gaps around pipes and ducts before filling with spray foam or caulk.
Many different techniques exist to form flowers of different shapes and sizes from plastic bags.
Protect plants from frost by putting plastic bags over them.
12. Gift Bows
Cut as many strips from the plastic bag as you can. Strips should be about 1/2″ wide and the width of the bag, but experiment with strip width to see which look you like best. Firmly bind your bunch of strips in the middle with a wire kitchen tie. Trim your bunch so edges are even. Fluff and separate strips from one another, and pull strips up towards center to form a pouf shape.
13. Hand Protection
If you have to pick up something gross, wrap your hand in a plastic bag. It’s a free substitute for a glove!
14. Holiday Wreaths
Using a wire hanger, make a circle shape with the help of pliers. Cut the plastic bags in 1/2″ wide strips. You will have multiple plastic bag “rings.” Cut both ends of these rings. Fold strips in half. Cut the folded end. Fold the strips in half again. Cut the end. Repeat until you have strips that are 5-6″ long. Tie strips onto the wire. Tie the strips tightly together next to each other until you no longer see the wire.
15. Ice/Snow Protection
Wrap your side mirrors and windshield wipers in plastic bags to reduce the amount of scraping you have to do during cold weather.
16. Jewelry Beads
Cut the bag into a 3″ long triangle. Put glue on inside of triangle. Put a thin straw on the long end of triangle and wrap plastic around it. Put modge podge around bead. Let dry for 12 hours. Cut off excess straw. You now have beads to string together into bracelets or necklaces.
Use three plastic bags to practice juggling.
18. Jump Rope
Cut plastic bags open so they are one flat piece. Then cut off the handles and any extra pieces so you are left with one large rectangle of plastic. Next cut each rectangle into long strips. After cutting a few bags worth of strips, start tying the strips together to a little longer than the length you want the jump rope. Make a total of 12 long strips. After twisting the two braids together, tape the ends with duck tape to create a handle.
19. Keep Cast Dry
If you have a broken arm, put a plastic bag over the cast to help keep it dry during a shower.
Cut a bag into the shape of a kite. Tape thin, bendable sticks for frame to the bag. Tie a string to the kite and add a tail made from a long plastic bag strip.
21. Knee Pads
Cut holes in the bottom of two plastic bags and wear them as knee pads while you are gardening.
22. Litter Box
Line the litter box with a plastic bag. It will make cleanup easier when you change the litter.
23. Lunch Sack
Use a plastic bag to carry your lunch to work or school.
24. Miniature Greenhouse
Put a plastic bag over your potted plant to create a miniature greenhouse. Use a bamboo stick to keep the bag from touching the plant.
25. Motion Sickness
Keep a few plastic bags in the car for motion sickness emergencies.
26. Pack Wet Clothes
If you are travelling and have to pack wet clothes, put them in a plastic bag first so that the rest of your clothes won’t get wet.
27. Packing Material
Use scrunched up plastic bags as stuffing to pack boxes, protect fragile items, and keep contents from shifting.
Place a plastic bag over a can of paint before you put the lid on to keep dried paint flakes from falling in can.
29. Paint Brushes
If you need a break while painting, put the brushes in a plastic bag so they don’t dry out.
All you need to make a toy parachute is a plastic bag, some string and a paperclip.
31. Pet Bed
Stuff an old pillowcase tightly with plastic bags. Sew the open end closed and you have a bed for your cat or dog.
32. Pick Up Dog Poop
Instead of buying special poop bags to pick up your dog’s poop, use a plastic bag.
Create woven floor pillows by weaving plastic bags into a pillow shape and stuffing them with more plastic bags.
Fuse 3 plastic bags together with your iron and then cut into the shape of a placemat.
35. Pom Poms
Fold the bag so that the sides are tucked in and it lays nice and flat. Then, fold it into thirds lengthwise. Cut off the sealed bottom and the handles up top. Fold this strip in half and then half again. Thread a twisted length of plastic bag as a “string” through the center of the folded top as pictured. You will use this to gather the pom pom later. Notice at the bottom one flap will have a fold while the other side has raw edges. Just snip along that bottom fold so that all the bottom edges are raw. Cut strips up from the bottom, but leave 1/4″ at the top. Take that ‘string’ along the fold and tie it loosely. Slowly pull it tighter and tighter to ‘gather’ the fringe. Tie it into a knot. Fluff your pom pom.
36. Pom Pom Light
Cover the dome lids from drink cups with double-sided tape. Cut plastic bags into 2″ strips. Wrap each strip around a pencil and stick them to the tape. Put a LED light inside and snap two domes together.
37. Pot Filler
Put a plastic bag at the bottom of a pot before putting in soil and plant. The pot will be lighter to lift and you will use less soil.
38. Pot Scrubber
Cut plastic bags into 1″ strips. Crochet together into a pot scrubber.
Sew plastic bags together to create an environmentally friendly purse.
40. Rain Hat
If you are caught in a downpour, you can use a plastic bag to protect yourself from the rain.
41. Reusable Sandwich Bags
Design cute, reusable bags are from fused plastic bags and fabric scraps.
Weave twisted plastic bags into a rug.
43. Rolling Dough
Put a plastic bag over dough for a nonstick surface when rolling.
Cut plastic bags into sheets. Tie sheets together and then twist. Braid three twisted sections together to create rope.
45. Shoe Protector
Tie plastic bags over your shoes to protect them if you are caught out in the rain or snow.
Stuff plastic bags into your shoes so they keep their shape while air drying.
47. Shower Cap
A plastic bag can be used as a shower cap. Wrap a plastic bag around your hair and tie it closed.
Use a plastic bag to store old rags.
49. Trash Liners
Use plastic bags to keep your trash cans clean. Just pull the full bag out and throw it in the dumpster.
Before clamping up a woodworking project that’s just been glued, slip a plastic bag between the piece you’ve worked on and the clamp blocks. The blocks will slip off easily when the glue has dried.