How to Make a Plastic Bag Bra
Created | Updated Jun 27, 2006
If you are the thrifty, crafty, type why not follow these simple instructions and create your own bra from a plastic bag? This bra can be used for men as part of a party costume for instance. You will need scissors, sticky tape and some stuffing. The plastic bag, ideally, will be similar in size to one found at any supermarket. Make sure it is reasonably flexible and comes fitted with handles. If you can find one featuring interesting colours or patterns, so much the better. You can even paint a plain one. Please note that standard white plastic bags can be a little 'see-through', so it will pay to check your appearance in a mirror before venturing outdoors. Make sure you keep the plastic bags out of the reach of small children.
The first stage is to make a kind of crop top from the plastic bag. In both bottom corners you should notice a 'seam', where four pieces of plastic join together. In normal use this gives the corners of the bag strength, but we don't need this and it provides a simple way to create arm holes. Cut out the seam, but try to leave as much material as possible on the bag. Then practice placing your arm through it - if the hole is too small to comfortably take your arm, make a small slit from the corner up towards the handles.
Repeat for both corners. Next we need to create a hole for the head and neck. Hold the bag upside down, and cut a slit from what is now the top of the bag, down towards the bottom (the handle end). This needs to be big enough for your head to comfortably fit through it. You can now put on the bag, as you might a tight T-shirt. Take care not to rip it by putting it on too fast.
If you followed the previous two steps correctly, you should notice a bag handle on either side of your body, between your waist and armpit. Now put your arms down through the handles. Then move the handles so they are over your shoulders. The rest of the material will naturally double up as a result. You should have effectively two shoulder straps at this point.
The Finishing Details
If you have followed the plan correctly, there should be a pocket in front of you, at roughly the correct level, which can be filled with two breast-like pieces of your stuffing - socks work as well as anything else. 'Nipples' can be fashioned from marbles, or blue-tac, in a traditional manner. Ensure that there is a decent sized gap between the 'breasts', or you will end up with no cleavage.
At this stage the bra is beginning to come into shape, but if the material between the breasts is stretched a little too tight, the best thing to do is to wrap sticky tape tightly around this middle section, scrunching all the material up into a thin cylinder: the 'clasp' in a front-loader. In all likelihood, this clasp will stick out more than it should on a proper bra. You can remedy this by simply sticking it to your chest, but this is liable to be extremely uncomfortable, particularly if you have any chest hair to speak of. The better option is to use a few pieces of sticky tape, to scrunch up the material immediately adjoining the clasp, on the side closest to the skin. This moves the clasp inwards.
Now all you need to do is adjust the height. If the breasts are too low, use sticky tape to shorten the straps and hoist them up, if too high, try and carefully stretch the bra so it sits lower, or just use heavier stuffing. That's it! If you want to be a bit swish, you could tape the two shoulder straps together too and generally attempt to shape the whole thing in a more life-like manner. You should be able to take it off while retaining the shape by slipping it over your head - if this is tricky, you may find that removing the padding first helps. Be sure to check the back in a mirror before going out - if it looks weak use tape to strengthen it otherwise it may break halfway through the evening - not good...
Try putting your hands up through the handles, then through the corners in the normal way. This gives you a design in which the handles are the bottom of the two shoulder straps. Though superficially similar, the load in this variant is distributed differently, and if the preceding version did not fit your physique, you may find that this variant works better.
You could deliberately break the back strap, or the clasp, then attach strips of plastic to either side of the break with sticky tape. Now you can use it as a tie-on bra, by rolling the strips into strings, and tying the pieces of string together after putting on the bra. If you fancy going a bit up-market you could use lace instead of plastic strips. In either case you should use a bow to make it easier to put on and take off.
If you are happy to lose the stuffing, you can always tape it into the bra on a permanent basis. The relevant pieces of plastic simply need joining together with a few bits of tape. You could also make it stronger by starting with two plastic bags, one inside the other. This has the side effect of making the bags opaque, rather than semi-transparent, which may or may not be a good thing.
Depending on the type of bag, and which way round you make it, you may or may not get a lovely 'Sainsburys'1 emblazoned across your chest. This is definitely a huge bonus point in terms of style, and if your body shape and craftsmanship allows you to do this you should be very grateful.