Take an Upcycling Workshop

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

Upcoming Workshops:

Reserved: 4/27 & 5/3 – Bancroft Elementary School – Classroom Workshops

Thurs. 04/12/18 – Chelmsford Public Library – FREE (Adult Class) – 7:00 – 9:00 pm – 25 Boston Rd, Chelmsford, MA. Sign up online. Questions about signups: 978-256-5521

Tues. 07/03/18 – Athol Public Library – FREE (Ages 8-12) – 1:00 – 3:30 – 568 Main Street, Athol, MA . Sign up by calling the Children’s Library at 978-249-9515. This workshop is brought to you with federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum of Library Services and administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.​

New workshop dates are scheduled often. Keep checking back for one in your area or get in touch to schedule one!

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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 with all the bells and whistles require approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes (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, just 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: Maximum # per class: Lou can successfully manage about 15-18 participants solo in a public group setting (library programs, after-school groups, and birthday parties for example). 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 adult hands to help, larger groups are welcomed with additional planning.

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)

“Per Participant” Fee: Lou is happy discuss various fee structures when friends or community members gather together for a class.

Get in touch 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.

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.

IMG_5007 Your group will then be picking out pieces of plastic bags 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!

11264585_1010177899033078_8273506494217518754_n 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.

 You will then be cutting scraps of rescued/recycled fabrics for the interior of the your final project.  This requires your group to use 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.

IMG_5008  Completion of your project utilizes duct tape and velcro for a fun, colorful, and easy finish.  In select cases with small groups and experienced sewers, participants bring their machines in and the group sews their own projects.

 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 one is unique as each participant’s pouch is their very own design.

Samples of Lou’s handmade 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. 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.

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.