Project 15 Week 19 – Recycled Plastic Bag Pendant Light

I couldn’t be more excited about this week’s project, a beautiful pendant light made from recycled plastic bags, and the fact that it marks the halfway point in my 30x30x3 journey.

For those of you new this week, here’s a reminder of my lofty goal.  I plan on completing 30 projects over the course of 30 weeks based on the 3 R’s that my blog is named for: Reduce, Reuse, Redecorate!  (As you can see, I’m not exactly maintaining a one project a week schedule, but I will get there by my deadline I promise!)

My light this week is based on the same technique as my Drinking Straw Pendant Lamp from Project 10, which in turn was based on a tutorial by Mark Montano.  I started with the same metal baskets, but instead of folding straws to poke through the holes, I cut up some plastic bags from the grocery store into strips approximately 1 inch wide and 3 inches long, and threaded those through the holes instead of the straws.  Then I made two sconces, wired them together and had one full sphere pendant!

The bags I chose to use were white with some black printing, and they were a heavier and higher quality of plastic than the normal drug store plastic bag.  Personally I liked the heavier feel of the plastic, and I thought the black pieces gave it some real interest.  But, you can use any type of plastic bag you have lying around your house, and you can either choose to show colors or keep it purely white, its all up to your own personal preference.

You can also stop halfway through the project and leave it as a wall sconce, which I think is pretty awesome too.  I made sure to photograph mine as a sconce before attaching the two halves together, here’s an image of the sconce version.  It looks pretty similar to the pendant light, but with a bit of light reflected back on the wall.

I hope you like this week’s project as much as I do, its a great way to reuse some of those extra plastic bags we all have lying around.  And if this seems like too big a project for you to do on your own (and trust me, it was a bit time consuming) then check out my new Lighting store on Etsy, Zipper8Lighting which is an offshoot of my original housewares store Zipper8Design.

Ciao for now, Allison

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29 Responses to Project 15 Week 19 – Recycled Plastic Bag Pendant Light

  1. Kaylie Joy says:

    Fan Flippin Tastic . . thankyou thankyou thankyou and Mark . . . I’ll get right on that . . I was actually looking at purchasing something similar but a horribly mass produced plastic thing . . very very much happier about this x Cheers

    • Kaylie Jenkins says:

      Ahhh like Ahh where did you get your baskets and how much were they???

      • I happened to find these at a random 99 cent store in Queens, NYC and they were only a couple of dollars. Before I found those I purchased them on for between $15-20. Look for Deep Fryer Baskets, because those will have the large holes. They usually have some sort of handle that you need to remove or cut off, which can be tricky. I was lucky that mine had an easily removable handle, some have detachable ones so look for those. You can also try housewares or kitchenwares stores near you, maybe you’ll get equally lucky!

      • Jennie says:

        Hi Allison,
        Do you remember where in Queens you got them? I live in the city. And what were they called?

      • I’m sorry, I have no idea… It was so long ago. But it would be either a mesh sieve, or mesh basket, or deep fryer basket.

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  13. Lisa Ley says:

    are there instructions???

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    I want to make it but there is no clear instructions.

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  20. Betty Schwartz says:

    I wonder, how do the bags (the plastic) handle the heat of the light? Is this safe?
    Thank you. Betty

    • Well, they would certainly melt if the temp got too high, you’re right about that. You’d definitely want to use a low wattage bulb, and maybe an LED to be safe, since they let off less heat. There are even small LED strings of light that stay completely cool to the touch even when on for hours, you could put one of these inside instead of a light bulb to be completely safe. They are often sold as fairy lights, they are small LEDs evenly spaced along thin wire, if you got one of those with a plug on the end you could wrap them up inside the light, then plug it into an extension cord which could then serve like the traditional light bulb cord for hanging the light.
      I hope this helps! Allison

      • dan doyle says:

        Fields thinks that his version remembers him of the ‘torments of St Anthony.’ I guess that’s complimentary.

  21. Deborah Zawisa says:

    Would love to know the secret.

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