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Recycled Container and Pattern

December 8, 2015

I saw a similar container on a website that was in a different language. There was no tutorial on how to make the container. I fell in love with it but needed to figure out the dimensions and relationship of shapes for the pattern to work. Here is the image I fell in love with:

So I figured I would need sturdy material to support the form and hold it's shape. I assume this was made with industrial felt. I think fused fabric might work. And, I thought about fused shopping bags as well. I researched fusing the shopping bags and found that the cheap drug store and grocery bags worked best. 

Cut the top and bottom off the bag, leaving a tube that will lay flat. I began with one bag between waxed paper. The wax paper stuck to the bag in spots. Back to research other options. I found recommendations for fusing 8 ply or 4 bags together and iron them between copy paper. This worked. 

Now to cut the pattern from the fused bags. I could cut the pattern out flat or in a fourth of the pattern, which I felt would make all the cuts even. I folded the fused bags in half and then in half the other direction. Using the pattern aligned in the corner fold. I had tried this with paper first to figure out the measurements for the pattern. Paper worked but putting it together was difficult because the paper ripped. Crumbling the paper first made it work better.

I used a clothes pin and paper clips to hold the pattern in place because I didn't want to leave pin holes behind on the fused plastic. I cut the pattern out. 

I am not sure what happened but you can see the handle sections (left and right on the image) aren't the same. The one on the right is significantly smaller. Next time, I would cut the pattern out folded once or not at all in hopes to fix this error. The container still works, but the handles aren't even. I still like the result. I would love this in a much larger size to use as a laundry basket. It would travel well due to the fact that it could be stored flat in luggage and then put together on location. The container doesn't require anything to hold it's self together. I am going to have to experiment with this form further. 

You can download the free pattern here:

PDF of pattern

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This is a neat idea! I've never fused bags before - seems like a good way to make a dent in the giant bag of bags in my closet, haha.

I wonder if you could fuse fabric to the bags while ironing.... Need to try this out! Thanks for the inspiration.



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