Plastic Scrap need not go in the bin.
Recycle it into a ball

Plastic scrap fills up so much of my bin I had to think of ways to reuse and recycle it. If, like me, you use a trillion baby wipes a week and want to reuse the plastic scrap from the packets. This is the project for you!

The instructions on this page are to make a ball using baby wipe packets. If you are interested in plastic bag recycling then why not stuff your ball with old grocery bags. They are light and we all have lots of them :)

This uses a quilting method called english paper piecing quilting follow the link if you want to try it with fabric first. It's not hard to do and you don't need any special sewing equipment at all.

If you enjoy quilting and want to try some more projects, please follow this quilting techniques link I am hoping to add more pages and projects very soon. If you want to keep up to date with new these new pages and projects click on the orange RSS feed button to subscribe to our blog.

This recycling project starts in an identical way to the fabric ball it's only about half way through that it is slightly different. Enjoy recycling your plastic scrap :)

Plastic Scrap recycled into a ball.

Templates are the first thing you will need to make when paper piece quilting. You can make them out of any strong material, cardboard works well. I find that plastic is the best and most hard wearing though. After trying many things I've found the best plastics are the see through covers on A4 size pads. You can buy recycled pads with recycled plastic fronts from the remarkable shop . So if you are buying a pad anyway why not swop to these recycled products that will be great for your quilting too!

pentagon templates

So once you have decided what you will make them from, you need to draw a pentagon with 6cm sides. Now if you enjoy a challenge why not use this how to draw a pentagon tutorial If you're a bit like me and want an easy life, why not use your word processor to draw a regular pentagon instead. You can usually specify the size or align the sides with the rulers on the edges of the page to make sure you get it spot on. Then all you have to do is draw around it onto your plastic or cardboard and cut it out. I have also shown here another template that is half a centimetre bigger all the way around. I use this to cut out the material so that it has a half centimetre seam allowance.

pentagon papers

Your next job is to cut out 12 papers. For this you can use any paper that you have at hand, I use the pizza leaflets we get through the door. They are shiny, thin and easy to sew through. Glossy mags are also a good choice but really any paper you have will do. So take your 6cm pentagon template and draw around it 12 times. Cut out the shapes and hold them up to your template to make sure they are correct. You can re-use these over and over so even though it seems like a lot of work it's a good investment of your time.

Patch Drawn

Draw around the big template onto the baby wipe packet you want to recycle. I use a light coloured marker pen to do this, but anything that writes on plastic will do.

Patch cut out

Cut out this patch with scissors.

Paper on Patch

Take one of the paper you have cut out and pin it to the middle of the plastic scrap patch. Use only one pin as with plastic any holes you make will always show so we want to make as few as possible.

Patch Tacking Close

Start to turn the edges over, and tack them down stitching right through the paper. Again don't use too many stitches only enough to hold the corners down.

Tacked Inside Out

You should end up with a neat pentagon shape folded over your paper and secured down at the corners. Repeat this until you have at least 6 of the required pentagons.


Take two patches and put them right sides together. Using a thin needle sew the edges together using whip stitch. This might take a little practice to do with this plastic scrap. Don't put your stitches too close together as the plastic will just rip. Once you get into a rhythm you'll find it just as easy as sewing fabric.


Continue to sew pentagons onto the original pentagon until you have the shape shown.


Then sew together all the adjacent edges of the other pentagons to form a cup shape.

ball almost

Make another one of these cups by repeating all these steps. The next step to recycle this plastic scrap is to sew both cups together. Put them on top of each other and start to sew them together where they meet. Remember to leave a couple of sides un-sewn so that you can turn it inside out and add stuffing!

almost there

Remove the tacking stitches and papers then turn the plastic ball inside out and stuff it with plastic bags until you are happy with how firm it is.

outside stitching

Sew up the hole you have left on the outside with visible stitching. You won't notice it once the ball is finished.


That's it! You have recycled your plastic scrap into an amazing ball.
return from plastic scrap to plastic recycling or
recyle-crafts home page
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