Plastic Collage bag. The bag is 14 inches long by 12 inches wide, it has a strip of plastic running around the bag, 2 inches in width. It has two handles also collaged. I used upholstery plastic which is flexible but a bit difficult to work with but it is strong. I made sure to double sew where I could. You need to be careful when sewing and to gently push the plastic under the needle without breaking the thread.
•sewing thread – you can use ordinary thread but I will be using a stronger thread next time, which I bought in my haberdashery shop
•Enough plastic for your bag – I bought mine in a household store, the plastic is flexible enough to work with but it is strong, it’s used generally for covering upholstery or making a table cloth. Mine cost £2 a metre.
•Photomount – optional, for holding down the collage images while sewing not to glue them to the plastic – use just enough to hold the pieces of collage paper in place
•A paper template for the plastic sides of the bag – mine was 12 inches x 14 inches
•a paper template for the plastic that joins the two sides, make this longer than you need so you can double the tops over at the top of the bag for extra strength, this needs to be longer than the sides and bottom of the bag so that you can double over the top at each side for extra strength.
•a paper template for the handles – mine was 14 inches x 3 inches – you need four of these, as you are going to collage the middle of the handles using one long piece of paper/image, cut on a diagonal from a magazine.
1.Cut out 4 pieces of plastic from your templates for the four side pieces.
2.To make the collage, I laid the pieces of images down on the plastic with a little photomount on them to hold them in place, or you can work with one piece of collage at a time which works too. Lay the plastic under the needle on the sewing machine and hold your collage image in place while you sew around all the edges.
4.Continue filling one piece of plastic with your images till it’s full
5.Then sew on top the second piece of plastic – in this way your collage side for the bag has plastic on both sides.
6.When sewing the plain plastic to the collaged plastic, make sure it is flat. I stacked up books around my sewing machine so that the plastic always laid flat when sewing on the machine, rather than the plastic falling down off the edge of the sewing machine.
7.Do the same with the second side of plastic, sewing on your collage images and then adding the second piece of plastic on top.
8.Then add the surrounding plastic length – make it longer than you need so you can double over the edges at the top of the bag for extra strengh.
9.Be careful when attaching the strip to the bottom corners – this takes patience and is not easy!
10.Attach the second side of the bag
11.You now have the bag without its handles.
12.Before attaching the handles strengthen the top of the bag with a zig zag stitch on your sewing machine
13.When you sew you need to do backwards and forwards stitches on the sewing machine to strengthen the tops and bottoms of the plastic.
You can collage the handles which I did then attach them carefully – find the middle of the top of the bag and place the handles in place using sellotape, then sew on the machine and do a few runs backwards and forwards for extra strength.