Where can I find speherical bags that will help me turn my trash into toys?
November 19, 2009 12:45 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find bags of various sizes that: are spherical or ball-shaped when full of stuff are made of durable outdoor-hardy material and close with velcro or a drawstring or some other kid-safe closure mechanism Bonus: Bags of other useful shapes like kid furniture, that can be filled and closed You see, I want to make balls out of trash...

We throw away a lot of junk mail, paper, etc since we don't have recycling in our community. I was wanting to find a way to collect that trash in a way that would make a useful outdoor play toy for my kids using paper and other relatively soft, dry trash as "stuffing."

Every year at Christmas, I save all the wrapping paper and make a huge ball of it with masking tape to hold it together. The kids love playing with it before we throw the whole mess away. I was looking for something made of durable reuseable material I could use in this capacity and then keep and not throw away. A trash bag that converts into a ball. I had my eye on making one of those giant earth balls out of out recycled newspapers from a month or so. Or even something the size of a soccer ball would work.

My search for a commercial version of this has been fruitless. Commissioning a prototype from a craftsman or seamstress undermines my goal of a cheap alternative to an expensive item while reusing what would otherwise go into the bins. Any leads?
posted by cross_impact to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
You could use plastic grocery bags, with tied handles to close them. Several bags would be adequately sturdy. Alternatively, mesh bags from oranges or grapefruits.
posted by theora55 at 1:01 PM on November 19, 2009

I have pleasant goofy childhood memories of going to the neighbor's house that got TPed every Halloween and rolling the paper up like a ball of yarn into huge oversized socer balls. I highly approve of this project.

If you're crafty, maybe you could sew something: patterns like this beanbag cover or this plush basketball or this beach-ball style toy would work, and could pretty easily scale the size up and down.

Cloth would be best, but if you don't need it as durable, consider fusing plastic bags to make a stronger substance. Or any garbage-bag-weight plastic is sewable also, as is paper (if you do overlap seams instead of inside-seams) if cutting the pieces out and sticking them together doesn't sound like so much work that you'll cry when it rips.

On the other hang, maybe just looking at those patterns would suggest to you where to put darts/seams/tucks in a regular garbage bag to make it rounder, for less effort. The handle-ties would be ugly, but you could tape it closed. Bonus points for bright-colored duct tape.
posted by aimedwander at 1:54 PM on November 19, 2009

stuff sacks. Not round like a ball but has the drawstring closure and could be good for outdoor use.

or if you want to get a little creative, how about clothes you no longer wear. You could sew up the openings and have people sized dolls.
posted by ljesse at 2:32 PM on November 19, 2009

Response by poster: Update: I have contracted with someone on Etsy's Alchemy service to make me some prototypes. I get seven of varous sizes -- softball, soccer, and 80" giant ball size for $50 plus shipping. Not bad if they turn out.
posted by cross_impact at 12:51 PM on December 18, 2009

« Older Review book for Criminal Procedure   |   Am I being too uptight about my Macbook screen? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.