Plastic Bag Art on Styrofoam "Canvas"

by Dayna
3 Materials
3 Hours
I wanted to share an artsy experiment I did as inspiration for others since there are entirely too many plastic bags floating around (literally!). Although I'm not entirely happy with the way it turned out, I'll be giving it another attempt soon. I wanted to recreate a beach scene using only recycled plastic shopping bags I had saved.
The foam boards came from packaging material I saved. I've used these boards as my "canvas". You'll also need an assortment of plastic bags. The blues and browns definitely come in handy for creating nature scenes. You'll also need mod podge or some other acrylic sealer. (I didn't end up using the box of paint in this picture)
I took each bag, flattened it out, and cut around the logos or text.
This next step is the step that I'm going to pay more attention to next time around. When I was cutting my ocean strips my cuts were kind of choppy. I really wasn't giving much care to the cuts thinking I would just layer them anyway. That didn't turn out to be the case, especially since I ran out of the blue bags. Next time I'm going to avoid sharp points and angles. The next step was to glue the pieces to the foam board. I was hoping the process would be similar to decoupage. It wasn't. It was a mess. The more glue you use, the more the plastic pieces slide around. If the "canvas" hadn't been styrofoam, it may have worked better.
I layered pieces of bags on top of one another to create the different shades of sand and sky.
I rolled up some smaller pieces to create grass.
I live near sand dunes, so that was the inspiration for this art experiment. It looks better from a distance. Next time I try this I may try cardboard instead of styrofoam. Hope this inspires you to use plastic bags in some artful way.
Suggested materials:
  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam Board
  • Acrylic sealer like Mod Podge
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