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Recycled Plastic Bag Snowman Portrait

Recycled Plastic Bag Snowman Portrait

Winter never needs to end when you have this Recycled Plastic Bag Snowman Portrait hanging on your wall. Recycled art projects don't have to be complicated or expensive to make. To get started, all you have to do is dig into your stash of plastic bags and get to work. Learn how to recycle plastic bags and turn them into a true work of art. This is a great craft for kids to make, so set up the supplies and get to work one afternoon when the kids get home from school. Best of all, you don't need a jacket (or gloves and a hat) to complete this delightful winter craft.

Primary TechniqueGreen Crafting




  • STYROFOAM Brand Foam: 1” X 8 X 12” sheet*
  • Plastic shopping bags: Approximately 3 white and 1/2 in a color. (The actual number you’ll use may vary depending on the size and placement of the store logo.)
  • Acrylic craft paint in blue
  • Pompom, one 1/2” orange
  • Black construction paper, just a scrap
  • Straight pins, extra-long with large heads
  • Two twigs (arms)
  • Optional: Snowflake sequins     
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; 1” stiff paint brush; marker; wood skewers; optional: 1/4” hole punch



  1. Paint blue the front and sides of the sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Let the paint dry.
  2. Cut white plastic bags into 2” squares. Avoid the printed areas on the bags, and don’t worry if the squares aren’t perfect. You’ll trim away the ragged points at the end. Hint: Smoothing and folding the bag into a 2” strip will allow you to cut more than one square at a time.
  3. Once the paint is thoroughly dry, use a marker to outline a chubby snowman with a scarf on the foam sheet.
  4. Tuck the plastic squares into the foam:
    • Cut off the pointed end of the wood skewer and discard. You’ll use the blunt end to attach the plastic squares to the foam background.
    • Squeeze a small dot of tacky glue onto the outline of the snowman. Center the plastic square over the dot of glue, and center the blunt end of the skewer over the plastic square. Push the skewer straight down into the STYROFOAM Brand Foam about ½”. Twist the skewer a tiny bit and pull it out, leaving the plastic behind.   
    • Repeat, inserting plastic squares every 1/2” or so. Once you get the hang of it, you can squeeze on several dots of glue at a time to speed up the process.
    • Finish the outline, and then fill in the snowman.  
  5. Insert plastic squares along the bottom of the picture, creating snow-covered ground.
  6. Cut 2” squares from the colored plastic bag, and insert them in the same way to make the scarf.  
  7. When the glue is dry, stroke your hand across the top of the plastic to fluff it out and even out its appearance. Fill in any empty spots with additional plastic squares. Use scissors to trim off any points that stick out too much.
  8. Punch out two, ¼” circles from the black construction paper; or, cut them out by hand. Glue each circle onto the head of a straight pin, and then insert the pins into the snowman’s face for eyes.
  9. Glue on the orange pom pom nose.
  10. Carefully insert two small sticks for the arms at the sides of the snowman.
  11. Optional: Glue on snowflake sequins.



  1. Cut a larger sheet to size using a serrated knife. Wax the knife blade with an old candle or bar of soap for easier cutting.


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What a cute idea. And very easy too. He would be very nice on my back door. He certainly can take the elements. Now I have to find a store that has white bags. Most near me use a beige color. I may use white garbage bags instead. Give me a reason to use up the non draw string ones that I dislike.


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