How to up-cycle used plastic bags for a Halloween project
Autumn has arrived (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) again! There’s a fresh snap in the breeze blowing tiny yellow leaves around my front door. And my thoughts turn to Halloween! There are hundreds of creative ideas online for decorating and celebrating this holiday. Here’s one, with a bit of Re-Form School adaptation.
Inspired by YouTube vids of DIY life-size ghosts (like this one) I wanted to try to make jack o’lantern ghosties. I made two; one with cling film as in the video linked above, and one with used plastic bags. Re-using the bags seemed to me like a better choice, from an environmental perspective.
If you want to try this, you’ll need:
- Plastic bags
- Small gift-wrap tape, clear
- Large packing tape, clear
- LED candles
To begin, inflate a balloon. Cut a few plastic bags along the seams so they’re single-layer. Then, using clear tape, cover the entire balloon with a couple layers of plastic.
When they’re well covered, wrap the entire balloon with the clear packing tape. Rub out the wrinkles as much as you can – they’re not critical – and make sure the packing tape covers all the plastic.
plastic-bag coated balloon… now covered with packing tape!
Use a marker to draw a face or other decoration. Then poke thru with a pin to pop the balloon, and cut a small slit to pull out the balloon, leaving the ball empty.
***Tip – it’s easier to draw the face before popping the balloon! Otherwise the surface is not stiff enough to draw on easily…***
this head is made with cling film this head is made with re-used plastic bags
And Finally – Light it up!
Here they are, with LED tea lights slipped into the bottom opening.
Another re-use tip – these can be deflated, folded & stored for future Halloweens. Just re-inflate by blowing a puff of air into the slit in the bottom.
Things to try using this basic process!
- How about colored tissue instead of plastic bags?
- How about stencils, or autumn leaves, for decoration?
- Or a mass of these plastic orbs, in different sizes and colors – like a bunch of grapes?
- Or lit with fairy lights instead of battery-op candles?
The changing season will bring us indoors more, so we’ll have more time for clever and creative inventing! Happy Autumn, everyone – and happy crafting!