By Julie Finn | 25 April 2011, 14:34 BST
My family is on a great big road trip this month, and yes, we are eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, granola bars, cups of yogurt, and bananas.
And yes, we are also eating the occasional burger and fries, the occasional fast-food burrito, the occasional bag of Skittles, and the occasional bag of chips.
I know, every time I bribe my girls into the next leg of our 16-hour drive with another bag of Goldfish crackers, that the biggest part of what I paid for, and the biggest waste, went into that packaging that we'll just throw away at the next rest stop.
The good news is that all that shiny, crinkly, chip wrapper goodness is actually a quite viable craft material, and upcycling chip bags in craft projects is a great way to keep a little more trash out of the waste stream. Here are five projects to get you started:
If you have a favorite brand of chips, well, I'm not going to be the one to discourage you from getting your fangeek on. In fact, I'm going to encourage you by telling you to head on over to this chip bag bracelet tutorial, courtesy of Craftster member exousia.
The best part of this tutorial is the information on safely baking a full-size chip bag down to the dimensions that you see in this photo, so even if you're not into jewelry, I'm betting that you can think of something awesome to do with a shrunken chip bag, can't you?
Even though my family homeschools, you may already know of my unholy obsession for book covers-you can't pass down that used copy of Story of the World to the little sister and then re-sell it to pay for the next volume if you don't keep the cover clean!
I've made book covers from brown paper bags, old wallpaper, and even fabric, but this potato chip bag book cover tutorial, from Dollar Store Crafts writing for Make and Takes, takes the book cover to a whole new level. This cover is sturdy. It's water-resistant. It's pop art fabulous. And if you don't want to show off your affinity for chips, then you can put the cover on inside out, and you're a shiny silver spaceman!
Babies LOVE toys that crinkle. Experienced parents know this, and that's how you're going to become the hero of the next baby shower that you attend: by gifting some expectant parents that you know with this cute crinkly baby toy, tutorial created by Joy's Hope.
Not only will you be upcycling a piece of trash into a well-loved second life, but you can also do a good bit of stash-busting here, if you happen to have any soft flannel fabric and bits of ribbon or other trim on hand. Before you know it, you'll have the best baby shower gift on the planet, and it will have cost nothing to make.
Figuring out what fabrics can be safely used to sew leak-proof re-usable food packaging for lunchboxes and backpacks is challenging. Vinyl? I don't think so. Oilcloth? It's a vinyl. Laminated cotton? Well, I used it to sew my babies' diapers, but I don't know if I'd actually want them licking it, if you know what I mean.
The genius behind this mylar snack bag tutorial from French Sleep Deprivation Study is the choice of material. The mylar that you use is an upcycled chip bag. It's not plastic, it is leak-proof, and we already know that Frito-Lay, at least, considers it food-safe. It's a great alternative to wrapping your sandwich in vinyl.
My Papa is really fond of mending pretty much anything that needs to be mended with thick sheets of aluminum. He "mended" a crack in the ceiling, a loose table leg, and even the torn strap on my duffel bag with aluminum and rivets.
If you, too, have something that you need to mend (not your ceiling-please, call a professional for that one) with a sturdy patch, then I'd suggest that instead of using sheets of aluminum, you should check out this tutorial for chip bag patches from Instructables member wocket. You can't wash these patches, but there are plenty of places where a sturdy, attractive patch onto non-washable material would come in handy.
Source: Crafting Greener World