Take an Upcycling Workshop

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

Upcoming Workshops:

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 3:00 – 4:30 pm  

Groton Public Library – Grades 6 – 12 – FREE – Sibley Hall, 99 Main St. Groton, MA – Register online – Supported by Town of Groton Trust Funds Lecture Fund.

Friday, September 20, 2019 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm   

Four Rivers Charter Public School –  Closed Student Workshop as part of the Global Climate Strike week.

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


Fused Plastic Upcycling Workshop Information:

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.

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/upcycled. When a projector is available, the discussion is lead through a Power Point presentation.

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 certain pre-discussed workshops with small groups and experienced sewers, participants bring their sewing machines with them 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. 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.