Take an Upcycling Workshop

Read more about workshop structure, fee, and size under the schedule below.

Upcoming Workshops:

RESERVED: Saturday, March 28th, 2020 10:00 am – 12:30 pm  

Tyngsborough Public Library – Ages 8 – 108 – FREE – 25 Bryants Lane, Tyngsborough, MA – Workshop is aligned with the Tyngsborough Sustainability Committee’s goal to conduct public outreach and raise awareness in the areas of waste reduction and energy saving actions. Registration information coming in 2020.

RESERVED: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 (Earth Day) 6:30 – 8:30 pm  

Shrewsbury Public Library – Ages 8 – 108 – FREE – 100 Maple Avenue, Shrewsbury , MA – Registration information coming in 2020.

Want to schedule a workshop? Get in touch to discuss!


Fused Plastic Upcycling Workshop Information:

Description: Participants will learn about upcycling plastic bags through the process of fusing. Using the heat and pressure of a household iron, participants will create a new type of textile from un-recyclable plastic bags and wrappers that would usually be thrown away. This 101 class teaches the basics of plastic bag fusing and each participant will complete a final project using the fused textile.

Time: Workshops with all the bells and whistles require approximately 2 hours (which includes presentation and clean-up time).  If you need a modified time frame such as a 50 minute classroom block, a one-hour after school club, or a full-day family function, please get in touch. Lou is quite flexible and can tailor various programs to meet your time needs. Everyone will still be able to finish a project within any time frame.

Group Size: Lou can successfully provide ample one-on-one time within a public group setting that is no larger than 15-18 participants. (library programs, after-school groups, and birthday parties are some examples). Please get in touch to discuss larger groups such as classrooms, scouting, and any group with more than 20 participants. As long as there are extra adults available to help, larger groups are welcomed.

Age Groups: Workshops are appropriate for ages 8 – 108 and Lou can tailor to your needs to suit particular demographics (teen or tween programs, 4th grade classes, adult programming, etc.).

Group Flat Fee: $300 (includes teaching time, materials fees, travel, and each participant receives a finished project, education about recycling and upcycling, and a take home guide to recycling plastic bags) ** Don’t forget that many of Lou’s workshops are funding in total or in part by Massachusetts Local Cultural Council grants which need to be submitted in early October each year. Feel free to work with Lou to solidify one for the following year!

“Per Participant” Fee: Lou is happy discuss various fee structures when friends or community members gather together for a class. If a flat fee structure doesn’t work, Lou is happy to create an “each participant pays $__” arrangement.

Get in touch today to discuss Lou visiting your school, library, home, town hall, or community group!

Workshop venue and space requirements:

1. Electricity accessibility
2. Room with space for at least four 6′ tables
3. Projector and screen or TV with HDMI access (Lou brings her laptop)
4. Extra scissors for groups over 20 (classroom arrangements)

Typical Workshop Structure

The workshop model shown below is a basic structure. Lou is very versed in different arrangements to fit the needs of classrooms, art classes, home parties, after-school programs and more.

  • Lou gives an initial presentation about the hows, wheres, and whys of plastic bags, recycling vs. upcycling,  and discusses which plastic bags can be recycled/upcycled. When a projector is available, the discussion is lead through a Power Point presentation. Lou will need projector access with an HDMI hook up.
  • Your group will first create a collage design using post-consumer plastic bags and wrappers. This collage will be the base of the project. Participants may save their household’s plastic bags and wrappers to use in the upcycling project. However, it is not necessary, as Lou has plenty to use.
  • Participants will then iron or fuse the collage into an upcycled textile using a household iron. By combining heat and pressure, participants will learn how to fuse plastic bags into a new type of fabric and use this fabric for the final project.
  • Reused and recycled fabrics will then be added to the interior of the project (glue sticks and scissors are involved) and the completion of the final project is created using duct tape and velcro for a fun, colorful, and easy finish.  In certain pre-discussed workshops with small groups and experienced sewers, participants bring their sewing machines and the group sews their own projects instead of glueing.


The final project is an upcycled fused pouch that can be used as a wallet, snack pouch, pencil case, receipt holder or otherwise. Each one is unique as each one is the creative design of the participant.

Samples of Lou’s handmade work will be provided for further project ideas and printed information on recycling programs for the group’s community will be handed out at the end of the session.

Lou is looking forward to working with you and your group to create and strengthen environmental awareness while having fun and being creative.

imagesThanks to the Massachusetts Local Cultural Council which provides valuable funding to bring Lou’s creative education to the Commonwealth. MLCC is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences annually.