Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Upcycle Plastic Bags into Yarn

If you're anything like me, you have the best intentions to bring your mountain of reusable bags to the store every single time, and without fail, every single time you forget to bring them and end up using plastic bags instead.
This leaves me with a mountain of reusable and non-reusable bags!

Instead of using these bags for lunch or doggie duty before tossing them into a landfill, I discovered a method to upcycle and turn them into yarn. A girl can never have too many kinds of yarn, right? A few common plarn creations include bags, hats, sandals, baskets, and, my choice, rugs. Without further ado, I present:

How to Make Plarn

  • Plastic bags, the more the merrier
  • Scissors
  • A ruler or large coin

  1. Lay your plastic bag out flat. Tuck in the sides, fix the handles, smooth out any air.
  2. Fold it in half, lining up the handles. Smooth out any air.
  3. Fold it in half again. Smooth out any air.
  4. Cut off the handles and bottom seam completely. Toss these scraps or keep for embellishments.
  5. Measure out approx. one inch wide pieces and cut. Bigger is better than smaller but try to keep them even.
  6. Take two of your pieces and undo them to reveal the loops you've created.
  7. Lay out your first loop in an oval
  8. Lay your second loop over the first loop, slightly skewed to the right.
  9. Take the right edge of the inside (first) loop and bring it to the outside, to the right of the second loop.
  10. Take the right edge of the inside (second) loop and bring it to the outside, to the right of the first loop.
  11. Pull on the far ends of each loop
  12. Adjust the knot if necessary.
This is between one and two bags worth of plarn.
Additional Tips:
  • Beyond just sorting plarn by bag type, you can sort each bag type into two balls: printed and non printed. This way you can crochet with solid or mixed colors as your heart desires!
  • Hold the plastic bag against the floor close to where you're cutting to keep the bag from slipping
  • If your knot doesn't tighten all the way, just loosen it up and tug at it again.
  • If it looks too small, it is! Toss these before they break in the middle of your masterpiece.
Let me know how your plarn turns out, I'd love to see pictures. I hear some areas even get bright colored bags like reds. I wonder how nice it would look to use pure white or black garbage bags, or if they'll stretch too much and break.

Next up, making a rug for the back patio with my new supplies.

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