Crafts

Upcycling Craft – Plastic Bag Bat Wings

While carving pumpkins with my 3 year old son this year, he requested bat wings for his design. Luckily for him, momma is a quick thinker and is fairly resourceful. I really hope that’s something he inherits from me, haha! I took a look at what we had available around us and quickly threw together some bat wings made out of pipe cleaners, a plastic shopping bag, and hot glue. Sure, they’re not cosplay quality, but for decorating a pumpkin to last just a week, beggars can’t be choosers. Here’s a quick and easy run down of how I did it. I’d love to see or hear about your changes and additions, so please leave me some comments below!

Instructions

First, using pipe cleaners (this is what I used out of convenience), straws, popsicle sticks, wooden skewers, or any other light, strong material, form the “bones” of your wings. Check out images #4, 5, and 6 below for a visual example of how we shaped our pipe cleaner wing bones.

  1. Flatten out a plastic grocery bag.
  2. Cut handles off of plastic bag.
  3. Cut down sides and seams of bag and separate into two pieces. This allows you to flatten out the whole grocery bag. Cutting it into two pieces is convenient if you are making two wings.
  4. Glue your “bones” to the flattened plastic bags. Hot glue is probably the easiest and fastest method but I’m sure you could use others. But other, more liquid types of glue might not hold as strongly.
  5. Using a permanent marker, draw cut lines for the material between the wing “bones.”
  6. Cut along those lines or past them to achieve a cleaner look with no marker lines on your finished product. Cut the overhanging bag material off from around the “outside” of the wing bones so that the material only shows between the “fingers” of the wings.
The finished bat wings before we placed them on the pumpkin.

Final Notes

Sure, this is a cheap craft and isn’t really something that will last long, but it is a good example of how you can use materials from around the house to enhance something else. A lot of us have these pesky plastic bags floating around the house with very few ways to re-use them.

I strive to find ways to re-use materials in my house, even if it’s not a long-term solution. At least these materials can find a temporary re-purpose and brighten a day and make memories. My son was so excited when I could just dive into the recycling bin and pantry and make him some pumpkin enhancers. It was a fun way to show my kids how you can use your imagination and resourcefulness to lessen your burden on the environment even in the smallest ways.

I’m also hoping to use the things that I learned from trying this simple craft to apply to larger and more intricate crafts later on. There are a lot of possible applications in cosplay or future Halloween costumes here, and I learned what some of the hangups could be in those applications. Share with me what you’ve learned or how you used this craft below in the comments section. I look forward to hearing from you!

And here’s our finished pumpkin hanging out with his other friends!

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