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Recycled Plastic Wallet

Fifth Grade Fabric Projects Activities: Recycled Plastic Wallet

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Show your child just how fun—and fashionable—recycling can be. Plastic bags, which take up precious landfill space and litter city streets, can be reconfigured into environmentally-friendly (and free!) wallets. Fuse old plastic bags together and embellish the creation with brightly-colored paint and no one will guess your child's wallet was homemade. So go ahead: Turn your family's grocery shopping trips into adorable accessories! Your child will build her creative thinking and designing skills with this artistic endeavor.

What You Need:

  • Four plastic grocery bags
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Parchment paper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Needle and thread
  • Velcro strip (optional, found at your local office supply store)

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to turn each bag inside out (so the label is on the inside) and lay each plastic bag flat, with the wrinkles pressed out.
  2. Ask your child to cut off the handles of each plastic bag and also along the bottom, leaving only the center portion. Help her do this to each plastic bag.
  3. Have her stack all of the rectangular pieces directly on top of each other and smooth out any wrinkles. Ask your child to place a piece of parchment paper over the plastic bags, and then you can then iron the bags. To the best of your ability, evenly apply the iron to every piece of the bags for at least one minute.
  4. Once that side of the bags has been ironed, move aside the parchment paper, and turn the bags over so that the other side may be ironed. With the parchment paper on the top again, repeat the process.
  5. Once the bags have been ironed and have cooled, let your child check that there are no air pockets or portions that aren't completely sealed together. If there are, simply pass the iron over those spots a little longer until they are gone.
  6. With the plastic bags now fused together, your child can trim the edges so that she has a long rectangle. Help your child then fold this rectangle into thirds so that it comes out looking like an envelope. Trim the left and right sides to keep the wallet to your child's desired size.
  7. Help your child sew the left and right sides of the wallet. Leave the top flap free so that it may open and close.
  8. If your child desires, have her put a velcro strip on the inside of the flap to keep it closed.
  9. With the structure of the wallet created, your child can now get to the real fun part and paint the outsides as she envisions them. Make sure to use permanent paints, and apply enough coats so that no decals from the bags are seen.
  10. Your child may want to glue other decorative items, such as stickers or pictures from magazines, to the outside of the wallet.
Updated on Jun 25, 2013
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Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Fabric Projects
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