Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fusing plastic/Plastik schmelzen

What I've been experimenting with lately is: fusing plastic.

Basically, what you need are plastic bags, a pair of scissors, an ironing board, an iron and some parchment paper.

Place your ironing board where you have a good ventilation (there could be fumes), cut the bags into flat sheets (cut off handles, bottom and one of the side seams), sandwich three layers of plastic between parchment paper (to protect iron and ironing board), put your iron on a medium heat and keep the iron moving on the sandwiched layers for about two minutes - turn the 'sandwich' and repeat from the other side as well.

Different kind of plastic bags behave differently, so you will have to experiment a bit with the heat and the time you keep ironing. What you want to achieve is that the surface of the bags is melting to the point of being fused - without shrinking too much or producing holes in the plastic - adjust the heat accordingly.

Let your fused sheet cool down, tear off the upper parchment paper gently and decide whether to add strips of new plastic here and there for hiding holes or wrinkles, for reinforcing or just for design reasons.

About 3-6 layers of plastic are to recommend - the thickness depends on what you want to use it for.

I decided to sew a fancy wallet, or money-bag, out of my fused plastic, using a ebook-pattern I bought from 'ki-ba-doo' at DaWanda (similar to Etsy) a while ago.

The fused plastic is very durable - still you can sew it like a fabric, using velcro strips or snap fasteners for closure. I think it's quite a cool material to work with ;-) and there are certainly a lot of projects I can think of using this ...!

(German summary: In der letzten Zeit habe ich mit dem Schmelzen von Plastiksackerln experimentiert - ein cooles Material, das sich wie Stoff weiterverarbeiten läßt und gleichzeitig sehr strapazierfähig ist! Wichtig: gute Belüftung und unbedingt das Plastik zwischen Backpapier legen, um Bügeleisen und Bügelbrett zu schützen!)


Elizabeth said...

What is this, two posts while I have a whirlwind weekend. Your purse looks amazing, that it is possible to make something like that. On the other hand, fumes, that sound a bit dangerous since you have no idea what you are inhaling.

And that the most gorgeous brooch. Girl you have been busy. You had probably a very raining weekend with all of this while I was at the beach and market.

Have a lovely evening and I'll see you soon.

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!

As a matter of fact, I didn't notice any fumes at all while ironing, as the melting process is ment to be very subtle and stays on the surface - but as everyone is recommending good ventilation when working with heated plastic, I thought it to be a good idea to be on the safe side with that too.

And no, it wasn't raining at all - we had a wonderful weather and during daytime I was out gardening :-) - but the week/days before I was quite busy ...

kristin said...

i'm so curious to try this ! it seems like the combination of the different fused plastics could be endless...and so much fun to discover. thanks anneli...i'll let you know if i get brave enough to give this a go...xx

Clare Wassermann said...

I like that idea - I've heard of it before but I didn't know the method - so thank you!

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Thank you, Kristin and Clare! I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll be up to with that plastic!

petozi Design said...

Sehr cool, mit den Tüten.
Näht das die Maschine ohne Probleme?
Muß ich auch unbedingt mal probieren.
Liebe Grüße Petra

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Hallo Petra! Ja, es war ganz problemlos, das Plastik mit der Nähmaschine zu nähen. Ich habe einen großen Zick-zack-Stich verwendet - bei Nähten, die stark strapaziert werden, oder wenn man lieber einen geraden Stich verwenden möchte, könnte man vielleicht noch ein Band mit einnähen ...

Anneli/Bockfilz said...
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