Show Your Plastic. Make a Quilt.

Create Plenty logoIf you’ve been waiting to join the Show Your Plastic Trash Challenge, this coming week is your chance to not only collect and analyze your personal plastic waste, but also to be a part of a gorgeous traveling exhibit — the International Plastic Quilt Project — which is encouraging people to live plastic-free and to make art from the plastic waste that they do end up with.

I met up with Oakland resident Amy Chovnick last month to be a part of the following video, explaining the idea behind the project and how you can get involved. It’s simple!

Video Link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDcfqKuOv6k

The quilt will be displayed on December 2 in Portland, OR, so Cheryl from Create Plenty requests that squares be delivered or mailed by November 22. What have you got to lose? Join the challenge this weekend! Complete instructions are on the Create Plenty web site.

I got a chance to see part of the quilt a few weeks ago at the Mini Maker Faire in Oakland. What I loved about it was the variety of designs, from simple to complex. See for yourself. (Click images to see larger.)

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

plastic quilt project

And here are some fake plastic fish…

plastic quilt project

14 comments
SherryGreens
SherryGreens

This is such a cool idea. I see I have missed the deadline. What a great project for schools, and children to raise awareness of how much plastic we go through, and how permanent it is. I would like write to my local public school trustees about the need to incorporate more environmental education into the curriculum. I was trying to come up with some great green teaching examples and tools to use with kids. This for sure could be one of them!!

claire
claire

I have seen the plastic fish, it's a great mascot for your site (your cats make pretty good mascots too). thanks for the plarn link, I love crafty stuff like that, just have a hard time getting myself to do it. I want to try using VHS tape as plarn, but it's a slightly different consistency than shopping bags so I'm not sure if it'll work the same. you should check out the Craftivity book since you've used plarn before (though you said you knitted the fish, which is not quite the same as crochet, but the book has really simple instructions), maybe you could sell them or do a giveaway on your website. I thought of a concept for my plastic art, now I just have to sit down and do it.

claire
claire

Suzanne, I'd love to see that, I have so many bread bags saved and would love to try to make something with them. I found a crochet pattern called "bag o' bags" in a book called "Craftivity" that uses "plarn," which is yarn made from strips of plastic shopping bags. I haven't made any yet (I still don't have the right sized crochet needle and that's my only legitimate excuse), but I'm really looking forward to it. I could probably use this same pattern for the bread bags, but I'd love to see a bread-bag specific design.

Suzanne
Suzanne

I love the idea of the quilt, my grandma when she was still alive used to make large reusable bags out of old bread bags, they were very sturdy and they last forever! I should send you a picture of mine, it is actually pretty cool.

Lily
Lily

Sorry! I'm trying to fix that!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Hi Lily. For some reason, some of your images are not coming through for me. I can't see the images for November 1 or November 8.

Lily
Lily

Just look at my blog, Fake Plastic Guppy and you will find a very primitive prototype. I found a better pattern online and hope to soon be sharing my creation with you!

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Quercki -- that was my mistake! Amy emailed me to say they are not actually fish but her "message in a bottle." I guess I have a one-track mind and just see fish everywhere. :-) Claire and Lily -- please share your creations with us! Claire, just start with something simple. Mix up the colors and shapes and see what they want to be.

Lily
Lily

Hi! I'm trying to make plastic art, too! I'm trying a new design.

Quercki
Quercki

That's quite a quilt! I'm not sure I would have recognized the fake plastic fish as fish without a little help, though.

Natalie
Natalie

Those fake plastic fish are pretty cute! In a plasticky kind of way. I love the hitchhiking doll's arm too.

claire
claire

I want to make plastic art so badly, I have so many things collected but I have little faith in my ability to make anything cool with it. I'm tallying my plastic this week, so I'll see if I can think up anything neat for this. I don't know if I'll post my tally on this site or my own blog (which I've yet to start), maybe both. I've been having fun separating the plastic from plastic coated paper products (which is not as hard as it might seem, and there's more plastic than you'd think).