28 Ways to Re-Use Plastic Bags- Make Money

With all the fervor over plastic bags, unemployment and the economy, there are plenty of ways you can make some money by reusing a readily available free product- plastic bags. I have already blogged on making money with other available free materials (pallets, sofa’s, chairs) and now it’s time to address the plastic bag issue.

Taxpayer Facts

  • Americans use 84-100 Billion plastic bags annually
  • 13 Billion Barrels of Oil to make them.
  • It cost $4,000 to process and recycle 1 Ton of plastic bags for an ROI (return on investment) of $32.00. Yes that is your taxpayer dollars at work!.
  • Only 1-3% of plastic bags are recycled.
  • That means there is alot of free plastic bags to make some fun, usable crafts and gifts.

Where to sell? Farmers’s Markets, your local liquor store, grocery store, online, ebay, Amazon, home parties and swap meets. Or check out Etsy the Super online store for recycled things.  The reality is most states, not just Washington will start taxing plastic bags(up to 25 cents) so the need for reusable bags will grow- That said, get your ironing board out, learn to crochet and dig into the plastic bag stash!

This little tutorial from Etsy will demostrate on how to fuse plastic bags.

I am sorry if all the pics don’t come through, for some reason, WP is just not picking up all images!

1.) Purses, Tote Bags, Grocery Bags, Messenger Bags, Diaper Bags, Coin purses

Recycled Tote Bag from My Recycled Bags –

2.) Clothes

Dress A

Plastic Bag  Fashion from America’s Next Top Model

3.) Make Up Bag

N1461540289 30049834 2781

4.) HeadBands

5.) Jewerly

6.) Raincoats

7.) Yarn for scarves and more  (called Plarn)

8.) Dishcloth from My Recycled Bags

9.) Water Bottle Holder

10.) Clothes Pin Bag

11.) Plastic Cover For Hangers

12.) Doormats


13.) Rugs

bag rug

14.) Dog Leash

15.) Pet Collars

16.) Messenger Bags

17.) Lap Top Covers

18.) Wallet

19.) Plastic Beads

20.) Sandals

Baby Shoes

21.) Kites

How to build a pyramid kite tutorial

21.) Place Settings

22.) Costumes

23.) Inflatable Art

24.) Virginia Fleck does some amazing Art from Plastic Bags


25.) Mannequin Art at Ruby’s ReUsable


26.) Fabric

plastic fabric

27.) Wedding Dress

plastic wedding gown

28.) Messenger Bag


Not a Crafty Person:

  • Use for mailing and shipping
  • Restuff furniture
  • Recycle at the Grocery Stores


MSLK: Urban Tumblewood Project

Morse Bags: They encourage people to make bags and give them away

Buffalo Exchange– Tokens For  Bag Program

Other Artists :

Free 103


John Dahlsen Plastic Bag Art

Kim Holleman

Other Ideas:

Great Ideas from Craftzine on Plastic Bags

My Recycled Bags has tons of great ideas and tutorials for turning all those bags into great clothes and bags.

Green Museum has tons of ideas and art made with Plastic Bags

Bags2Riches-designer recycling

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  1. Julie Jurkowski says

    )GEEZ!!! I’m in love!!! Are you married?? (jk) ; )
    This info is amazing…I really appreciate this post. Thanks!

  2. Collins Pt. says

    Biodegradable plastic and packaging is a modern necessity for our ever-endangered environment.
    Now PLA has been used to line the indoors of Paper Cups in place of the oil based lining additional usually used, create Plastic Cups, Plates, Carrier Bags, Food Packaging and even Nappies.
    Eco Pure is our proprietary blend of organic materials that does not modify the base resin to which it is added.

    Thanks a lot for your information

  3. says

    I am designing and handweaving fabric with recycled plastic bags. I use everything from shopping bags to shrink wrap to dry cleaner bags to create a unique cloth. Depending on the color, graphics and quality of the plastic, a one-of-a-kind pattern and texture is created. People are always surprised and amused by the transformation of a recognizable, mundane shopping bag into a woven fabric. I then use this fabric as the body for handbags and accessories.

  4. suzanne says

    Is anyone in NJ? I am looking for vendors, crafter, exhibitors to be involved with the Watershed Butterfly Festival on August 11, 2012 in Mercer County. We are having the Bag Monster at the festival and would love to have a pastic bag recycling project going on.

  5. says

    Please check your math. 13 Billion barrels of oil to make 84-100 Billion plastic bags? It’s probably 13 million barrels, which is still a lot.

    Thanks for your interesting site


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