When friends and neighbors heard the Brady family needed crafting materials for a special project, two-handled white plastic bags magically appeared on their doorstep in Newport News, Va.
When they had more than 60 bags on hand, Michelle and daughter Cecily went to work, recycling the bags into a hooked rug that is now the talk of their friends.
"People who've seen the rug seem to think it's cool," says Michelle, 41. "One family friend decided to make her own."
Michelle came across the idea last fall while researching creative ways to use old Christmas cards. One online site showed a raincoat and tote bags made of fused plastic bags. Another Web site featured hats crocheted from plastic bags and rugs woven with them. But, it was a photo of a rug hooked with plastic bags that snagged her interest.
"The designer talked about the durability of the rug; all she had to do was hose it of or shake it clean," she says. "I thought the hooked rug was attractive and was suddenly struck by how many plastic bags I was storing in the house. I felt an immediate impulse to make one, even though I've never hooked a rug before."
HOOK A RUG
For this rug, a 37-by-27-inch piece of rug backing makes a completed rug that measures about 40 inches by 30 inches, using about 60 plastic bags.
Time it takes: Michelle and Cecily worked on the rug several hours a week, totaling about 24 hours over a month's time