Take an Upcycling Workshop

Read more about workshop structure and fee below.

Upcoming Workshops:

Tues. 7/11/17 – Chicopee Public Library – FREE – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – 449 Front Street, Chicopee, MA –  Signup using the online calendar or by contacting library – Supported by the Friends of the Library.

Wed. 7/12/17 – South Hadley Public Library – FREE – 10:00 am – 12:00 pm – (Program for ages 8 – 18) – 2 Canal Street, South Hadley, MA – Sign up by contacting the library 413-538-5045 – Supported by Friends of the Library.

Wed. 7/12/17 – Granby Free Public Library – FREE – 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – (Program for ages 8 – 18) – 297 E. State Street, Granby, MA –  Sign up by contacting the library 413-467-3320 – Supported by the Friends of the Library.

Wed. 7/19/17 – Grafton Library – FREE – 2 Programs 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm (3rd – 5th grade program) 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm (6th to 12th grade program) – 35 Grafton Common, Grafton, MA. Supported by the Friends of the Library.

Thurs. 7/20/17 – Southwick Library –  FREE – 2 Programs  10:00 am – 12:00 pm (3rd – 6th grade program) and 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm (Teen program) – 95 Feeding Hills Road Route 57, Southwick, MA – Supported by the Friends of the Library and Local Cultural Council Grants.

Wed. 7/26/17 – Manchester-By-The-Sea Public Library – FREE – 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm – 15 Union Street, Manchester-By-The-Sea, MA – Supported by The Hooper Fund ( a local fundraising organization) – Sign up by contacting Kate at kstadt[at]manchesterpl[dot]org or call the library: 978-526-2016.

Thurs. 7/27/17 – Palmer Public Library  – FREE – (Program for Teens and Tweens) – 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm – 1455 N. Main Street, Palmer, MA – Sign up by calling the Youth Services department 413-283-3330 ext. 102.

Tues. 8/1/17 – Sutton Public Library – FREE – 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – 3 Washington Street, Hudson MA. Register by calling the Library: 978-568-9645 – Supported by the Friends of the Library.

Thurs. 8/3/17 – Hudson Public Library – FREE – 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm – 4 Uxbridge Road, Sutton, MA. Register online or call the Library: 508-865-8752 Supported by the Friends of the Library.

Tues. 8/8/17 – North Adams Public Library – FREE – (Program for Teens and Tweens) – 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm – 74 Church Street, North Adams, MA – Sign up by calling the Youth Services department 413-662-3133 ext. 14 or Email naplyouth@northadams-ma.gov.

Tues. 8/29/17 – Dighton Public Library – FREE – 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm – 395 Main Street, Dighton, MA. Sign up by emailing Laurie: Landrews [at] sailinc [dot] org, signing up online, or calling 508-669-6421. Supported by the Friends of the Library and the Dighton Local Cultural Council.

Many more programs are being scheduled for 2017 all the time… Keep checking back for one in your area or get in touch to schedule one!

images Thanks 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.


Fused Plastic Upcycling Workshop Information:

Participants will about upcycling plastic bags through the process of fusing.  Using the heat and pressure of a household iron, a new type of textile is formed 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 need 2 – 2.5 hours depending on group sizes.  Everyone will be able to finish a project within time frame.

Group Size: Maximum # per class: 15 participants

Age Groups: Workshops are appropriate for ages 8 – 108

Group Flat Fee: $300 (includes teaching time, materials fees, travel, and each participant receives a finished project)

“Per Participant” Fee: Get in touch to discuss various fee structures when friends or community members gather together.

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

Workshop venue and space requirements:

1. Electricity with at least two outlets
2. Room with space for at least four tables and an ironing board
3. If possible: a LCD projector and screen or white wall
4. Extra scissors for large groups

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.

  images (1)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 and upcycled. When a projector is available, the discussion is lead through a Power Point presentation.  The group will then see an overview of what the workshop will look like, a rough overview of the different “stations”, a layout of the finished project and what the group will be accomplishing.



Section 1 (Beginning of project): Your group will be picking out the pieces of plastic bag waste that will be used to create a fused collage piece of upcycled “fabric”. From this fabric, your group will create their project. Your group may find it fun to collect bags and wrappers at home leading up to the workshop to utilize your household trash in your personal project. However, don’t worry if you don’t collect any before hand, Lou has PLENTY!









Section 2: Participants will be ironing or fusing the plastic bag collage into an upcycled textile using a household iron. By combining heat and pressure, participants will learn how to melt plastic bags into a new type of fabric and use this fabric for the final project.







Station 3: You will then be cutting scraps of rescued/recycled fabrics for the interior of the your final project.  This requires your group to use straight pins , glue sticks and scissors with guidance.  Depending on the size of the group, extra scissors may be needed.  Again, you are welcome to bring in any types of fabrics that your group would like to use but Lou will provide a stack of usable fabrics.



Section 4: Completion of your project.  Lou sometimes brings her sewing machine with very small groups under six participants but in general, duct tape and velcro are used instead of sewing for a fun, colorful, and easy finish.  In select cases with small groups and experienced sewers, participants bring their machines in and the whole crew sews their own projects.

Final Project

Your group’s final project is an upcycled fused pouch that can be used as a wallet, snack pouch, pencil case, receipt holder or otherwise. Each design is different and each participant’s pouch is their very own design.






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

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Looking forward to working with you and your group!  We can create and strengthen environmental awareness while having fun!  Feel free to get in touch with more questions by heading here.