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I learned how to do locker hooking from a book.  Most of the projects were fabric based, but one used plastic bags.  I tried it out with shopping bags.  Then I started thinking how I could use the plastic newspaper sleeves that we got every day.  Friends, co-workers and family started giving me theirs. 

Normal back and forth on the grid got boring and I began planning designs I could create.  The bags have a wide degree of variation in density, color and hue so I sorted them accordingly.  The ink printed on some of them distracted from my design, so I cut that part out and saved them in case I could use them in another way. 

I have a background in interior design and custom draperies, so neatness is very important.  My designs are supported by quality work to make the best foundation and finish work on them.  The base for most of my designs is 3.5 latch hook canvas.  I hem all four sides, paint the background dictated by my design, and bind all edges with the same plastic I’m using in the piece.  The back is anchored with either silicone sealer or ModPodge.  You can use tiny nail brads in the wall and push the wall hanging onto them.  Otherwise you can use drapery rods and rings or have them framed.  

In the beginning I thought I was making rugs, but soon my admirers assured me that "No, these should be hung on the wall because they are truly an art."  So, my first designs are a bit larger and took quite a long time to make.  Sometimes the size of available canvas left from another work will inspire my design, such as the tree and leaves. 

I have been doing locker hooking since 2009.  I have created about 6 pieces each year.  Working around 2 hours a day on them, it takes between 6 weeks and 3 months to complete a piece.  To help keep from damaging my body with repetitive motion, I also like to do knitting, crocheting, embroidery punch, jewelry design.  Right now I'm growing some cotton for my adventure into spinning cotton for some project in the future.

-Mary Gerstner

Location:  Topeka, Kansas, USA
Online shop:  UpCycleArt
Languages spoken:  English

Locker Hooking with Recycled Plastic Bags by UpCycleArt

Tags:  Locker Hooking, Newspaper Sleeves, Plastic Shopping Bags, Recycle, Upcycle, Reuse, Bright Colors

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“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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