ALBANY, Ore. - Folks call Shirley Callahan the "bag lady."
Callahan, 76, has been crocheting for nearly 50 years - and using recycled plastic bags as fabric for 20 of those years.
Her art turned business turned hobby grabs people's attention.
“Others will say, where’d you get that? They don’t even know I’ve made it until I tell them," she said, "and they’re shocked to know that it’s made out of plastic bags.”
Callahan pulls the unique colors from the bags and store logos. She said she knows how many strips it takes to make a bag. Some bags, like the larger tote bags, combine close to 100 plastic bags.
From tote bags to earings and from place-settings to ponchos, Callahan has made over 75 different things.
Her favorite items are her black, grey and white purse made from an assortment of bags, and a teal tote bag made from old blue Walmart bags with the yellow smiley face.
“They’re just amazed that you can take an ordinary plastic bag from whatever store and turn it into such beautiful items,” she said.
What’s next for Callahan? She said she’s always looking for a challenge.
Callahan isn’t selling any of her items but has published a book with detailed directions for specific items. Her book costs $10. Upon request she can also give demonstrations.
If you’d like to contact Shirley Callahan, she said you may contact her by phone: (541) 928-9405