Recycled plastic bag roof

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Blog entry by mcoyfrog posted 08-26-2010 06:31 PM 4522 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok so here goes my attempt at a “how to blog” as mentioned in Recycle and Feeder

I got this idea from recycle book my wife brought home from the library. It was showing how to take plastic shopping bags and turn them into purses, pillows, wallets, you name it. Hmmmm I thought to myself, maybe I can use the same technique to make some roofing material for a chicken coop I’m in the process of building. Now I was pretty sure that those bags are made to be bio-degradable so my search was on for something to seal them up first thing. A guy at work told me about a product from krylon that was designed specifically for plastic. (more testing on this to come) But first I’m making a little feeder with a much smaller roof and I’m going to let the plastic sit out in the elements and see just how long it will take to break down with nothing to help it out.

So what you need is lots and lots and then some more plastic shopping bags, an iron and parchment paper. I have an old iron I got from salvation army for doing edging that works just fine, (and I don’t get in trouble with the wife when glue gets on it, LOL) parchment paper comes in rolls next to aluminum paper at just about every grocery store out there, and of course all the used bags under the sink from the many trips to the store.

The book said to trim up the bags and get them nice and square for whatever piece you are making. Since I’m lazy I skipped that step and layed out the parchment paper then the bags on top. One thing I did do was lay the bags out the same way each time and work from the bottom of the bag to the opening to get the air bubbles out the best I could. (on much smaller scale I did cut it out nice a pretty and it did seem to iron our nicer but it was only for a couple layers to make my son a book cover for school)

I started out with 3 bags all on top of each other with parchment paper underneath and a sheet on top. Start at the middle point of the bottom of the bag and slowly work your way along the bottom slowly working your way up to the top. I set the iron I had about half way between full hot to full off. (I tried to go super fast with it set all the way to full and that had bad results to say the least LOL) its kind of a trial and error thing until you get the result you want with your iron. After you have ironed flat the 3 bags you started with then I add 2 more with overlap, I tried 4-8 inches of over lap to get different thickness, I liked the 8” overlap the most, it gave me about 5-7 bags of thickness which would be 10-14 layers thick.

What it looks like after ironing

When you get to the end of the shingle fold your last bag over to the back and iron it on to make a nice edge. If you leave the bottom part of the shingle natural (not folded over) it gives the roof kind of a sculpted look. When I finish up the chicken coop I’ll post that so you all can see what I mean.

When I folded it over I turned the heat up a bit so it would fuse it better, then I went over the entire shingle again at the higher heat but a faster movement to get all the little bubbles out.

Well hopefully some of this makes sense let me know. I might not be by a computer this weekend my daughter is getting married, but if you have questions i’ll get to them when I can. Thanks for looking and have a great weekend…

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

8 comments so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3301 days

#1 posted 08-26-2010 07:03 PM

Don’t think your problem will be “bio-degradability” but rather “UV degradability”. Polyethelyne, which is what these bags are made of, will loose all its molecular bonds (and turn to dust) after a year or two in the sun. This can be solved by coating with a good UV blocker. I like to use aluminum paint. But paint won’t stick to polyethelyne very well. In fact, nothing sticks to polyethelyne very well; why it makes a good non-stick liner. You might try a top layer of the black or silver poly sheeting used for tarps, with UV blockers molded in, but I don’t know what effect the ironing would have on those. Also, that kinda cancels the whole original idea to recycle in the first place.

View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3979 days

#2 posted 08-26-2010 07:22 PM

very cool. thanks for the post!

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4754 posts in 3924 days

#3 posted 08-26-2010 08:29 PM

Yup yup thats what I meant UV oops, I’m just doing an old fasion study on how long it will take to be no good anymore, as David said in my previous post It will be fast. But my next test will be with Krylon Fusion

I’m hoping this will fix the problem or at the very least give it enough life to make it all worth while LOL

Thank both of you for the comments,,

More info to come, stay tunned

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3445 days

#4 posted 08-26-2010 10:03 PM

I knew it was too good to bee thrue….SHIT !

now I will have two black eyes in the near future :-(
when my wife found out that my daugters has stollen
the iron and ironingboard from the closet and turn
them around to bee tools in schools when she
learn her classmates about one way of recycling :-)

she is soo sweet and becourse of that I get two black eyes, what can you do !

take care

View John Steffen's profile

John Steffen

218 posts in 3385 days

#5 posted 08-26-2010 10:23 PM

Good idea, but wow that looks like a lot of work for a roof!

-- Big John's Woodshed - Farmington, IL

View Manitario's profile


2747 posts in 3213 days

#6 posted 08-27-2010 04:53 AM

interesting idea

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3326 posts in 4042 days

#7 posted 08-27-2010 06:00 AM


That’s an interesting concept . . . a good idea for using all the bags that propagate under the sink. My aunt cut them into strips and crocheted rugs from them. Now my cousin crochets them, too. Unfortunately, the rugs last FOREVER and are really ugly!

Maybe a person could laminate them into rain gear for fishing! Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View mcoyfrog's profile


4754 posts in 3924 days

#8 posted 08-30-2010 06:44 PM

Dennis— Yup you are going to be in trouble LOL… just go buy the little ones a $5.00 one over at the nearest goodwill type store…

Ltwtlady— actually the book I got the idea from did have some rain gear in it hmmm might have to try that

Big John— yeah lots of work thats for sure, but when i get the paint part to work I think it will be worth it

Thanks all for the great comments,,,

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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