Crochet Plastic Bags into Mats and More: Recycle This

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Even with the best of intentions, there are times when we forget to bring our totes grocery shopping and it quickly becomes obvious that the most extensive collection of canvas and cotton totes won’t do the world any good if you don’t remember to bring them to the store. Then bam! Back home with another ten or twenty plastic bags to stuff into that bag full of other bags.


There must be something to be made out of all these bags, right? There is—you can transform the sacks into “plarn” (plastic yarn) then crochet almost any project you would tackle with regular yarn. Cool, huh?

My Recycled is dedicated to showing anyone with a little basic crochet knowledge and a planetary conscience how to turn those ever-multiplying plastic bags into functional items. The super-easy tutorial on how to make plarn is here, pictured is a step where you loop two loops together and reapeat (see image below). Once a ball of plarn has been created, the only limit is the crafter’s own imagination.

The site also gives instructions for a doormat made of plarn, a messenger bag and many more exciting plarn projects. (we just like saying plarn) But maybe the most poetic-justice project on the site is the market tote: made from dozens of bags, and strong enough to stuff with organic food over and over. All of the above projects can be gently washed. Just don’t throw them in the dryer; they’ll melt. Obvious, now that we mentioned it, huh?

Once you get the hang of crafting with one non-traditional material, try recycling other ubiquitous household items: My Recycled has ideas for crocheting with VHS tape and even a pattern for a teeny Barbie outfit crocheted out of cassette tape – for your eco daughters!

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