How about making these gorgeous little heart bags out of the milk bottles that you may normally throw in to the rubbish bin:
Heart bag made from two plastic milk bottles.
- Two clean milk bottles (I put them through the dishwasher when they are empty)
- marking pen (a sharpie or ball point)
- a bread and butter saucer to round the edges
- a stapler to attach the hand bag strap
- a can do attitude (This is a new weaving skill and anything new takes time to master).
How to do it (download a printable version of the "how to" sheet here):
- For each basket, you'll need 2 rectangle strips of milk bottle plastic.
- Cut the top section (handle and lid) off the milk bottle. Cut the base off the milk bottle.
- Cut up one side of the topless and bottomless plastic tube so that you have a long rectangle of plastic – flatten as best as you can. Repeat with the other milk bottle so that you have two long strips of plastic.
- Fold each piece of plastic in half length wise (just follow one of the existing corner folds). You now have two smaller rectangles.
- Round trim the loose edges (not on the fold, the unconnected loose edges that will become your heart bag top). I use a bread and butter plate to make an even arch. Mark it with the marker pen and cut around the lines. Repeat for both pieces of plastic.
- From the other edge (the connected, on the fold edge) mark lines that run up to an imaginary base of the arch. The number of strips you cut and their width doesn't really matter; just as long as both pieces of plastic are the same width and number of strips (I find 4 strips is plenty). Cut from the on the fold edge, up to the imaginary base of the arch.
- It’s time to weave the basket. Place your rectangles at right angels to each other. One rounded edge will be at the top and the other rounded edge to your right (if you are right handed – to the left if you are left handed). Here’s the difference with this weave: In regular weaving, strands are woven "under" and "over" each other; in this basket because we have double strands cut on the fold, the weaving is "through" a double strand and "around" (a strand either side) the next strand. It becomes clear as you begin the exercise. Start the weaving by weaving strip 1 (see the printable hand out for a picture of strip 1 and slit A) through slit A (Strip 1 will have slit A on either side of it as it goes through the double slits), around strip B, through slit C, etc., until the row is finished. Push this row to the back, where the slits end.
- Continue the weaving with strip B. Weave it through slit 1, around strip 2, through slit 3, etc., until this row is finished. Continue until all the rows are done.
- Cut a strip of plastic from a third milk bottle or from the discarded tops for the basket's handle.
- Glue or staple it to the front and back either side of the basket.
Is it gorgeous or what?! From plastic milk bottle rubbish to a very funky little bag. I store a collection of free serviettes in mine (McDonalds, KFC, etc). Or, you may want to paint/decorate your bag for a little girl in your life.
Have fun reusing household waste. Smart art is done by smart people. Yep, that's you!