Crochet Plastic Bags

By Rachel Choi – 16 Comments

An interesting way to mix up your crochet life is to try crocheting with new material! Transforming plastic bags into crochet-able yarn is a fun adventure to try. If you hate it, then at least you can say that you tried, but if you love it, there is so much you can create by crocheting with plastic!

Why crochet with plastic?

  • A new adventure!
  • You can recycle your plastic grocery bags and turn them into something amazing!
  • Some things are just better when they are made with plastic, such as a crocheted soap dish.
  • Crocheting with plastic creates a very strong material, which can be great for making bags that will carry heavy objects.

How to crochet with plastic bags?
That’s simple! Here is a tutorial for “how to make plarn (plastic yarn)“. This post shows you the easy process of transforming your plastic bags into crochet-able plastic yarn, or as enthusiast say, plarn. Crocheting with plarn is just like crocheting with regular yarn. The only difference is the texture that may take a little while to get used to. There are even crochet pattern on my site and other sites that are specially designed as a plarn project. But don’t limit yourself to those patterns, regular crochet patterns can be made using plarn as well! Just make sure to check gauges when needed.

Most importantly, have fun with this new adventure in crocheting plastic bags! If you ever need any help or would like to share your knowledge in crocheting with plarn, feel free to leave a comment!

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  1. Amanda says:

    I love crocheting with plastic. It is all I work with now. I love the look on peoples faces when they see a new purse I made and I tell them that its all out of old plastic bags. My boyfriend is not too thrilled on my new obsession, but he understands that it makes me happy.

  2. RecycleCindy says:

    Great post about crafting with recycled plastic bags. Using recycled plastic bags and other re-claimed material to create “yarn” is not only eco-friendly but very frugal. During these times of economic concerns and many people out of work, using free materials to create things can be a very useful. The person can sell the items to earn money or give them as gifts, thus saving them money from having to buy gifts. There are lots of sites that offer fun and frugal crafting projects that are free for personal use such as your great site here. One just needs to ‘Google it’ to find literally thousands of free crafting ideas on the web.

  3. Kathy K says:

    For those who have used “plarn”: I have wondered if it is hard on your hands when crocheting with it? I had seen a project where people were usung plarn to make sleeping bags/mats for the homeless. I was considering doing this with my Girl Scouts(I would have them help make the plarn and I would do the crochet-unless one of the girls wanted to learn), but I have Rheumatoid Artritis and even under normal circumstances, my hands can only crochet for so long befoe they give out.

    • Rachel says:

      When I first stared it was rough on my hands! I guess it can vary from person to person though. You can try crocheting something small and simple to see what it’s like 🙂

  4. Janice says:

    My mother told me that her grandmother used to crochet with the plarn and when she did, she would soak it overnight in a solution of 1/2 liquid fabric softner and 1/2 water. Then let it dry and it would be easier and softer to work with and use.

  5. starling says:

    I got a bag crocheted out of plastic bags as a wedding present. It’s in the colours of my country (red, white, blue, orange) and lined with an old pillow case made of a traditional fabric. It’s also got a little dangly thing on the zip made out of Hama beads. It is TEH AWSUM, to use some awful netspeak.

  6. Rowan says:

    Great post. I made myself a water bottle holder out of plarn last summer from one of my local supermarkets. Am thinking of doing a bigger bag for the beach as you can just rinse the sand out afterwards.

  7. Singlemom Rule says:

    Oh i like doing recycled things. Thanks for the idea.

  8. […] or any other stuffing product? Cut up some plastic grocery bags (if you can spare any from your Plarn projects) and use that for stuffing. You can also use unwanted ends and scraps from finished […]

  9. Gini says:

    How long does the plarn last in a project? Plastic bags do disintegrate over time. Just wondering.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Gini, I haven’t had a problem with my plan disintegrating yet. Only time would tell, so I can’t give you an exact time frame. But I can say that the purses that I crochet with plarn seem to hold up better than the ones I crocheted with regular yarn 🙂

    • Kat says:

      It’s been my experience that you only get about 5-6 years out of a finished project made from grocery store bags, however it could be different with other types of bags. The more you use said item the shorter it’s life span too, the water carrier I made is now starting to disintegrate after about 5 years of semi use.

  10. Jan says:

    I used plastic bags to cover the legs of my swing that is on my deck. I didn’t want them to rust over the winter with all the cold, ice and snow. These bags lasted for 5 years, through all kinds of weather. I am now in the process of crocheting a rug for the deck. I am just using double crochet and it will be square when I finish. (probably 48″ x 48″) It takes me awhile to finish things, cause I get bored with some, and some are just too large to carry with me. Right now I am working on two full afghans, a baby blanket and some dishclothes, not counting my rug which is also too big to travel. I plan to crochet a grocery bag with plarn, as soon as time allows.

  11. dutch margreet says:

    In the Netherlands we have two types of plastic bags, thin ones, like those you receive magazines in, maybe a tiny bit thicker, and those big bags you take bought clothes home in. The first are not so hard on hands, the second I would use the fabric softener hint, but I give those to thrift shops, they re-use them to pack sold things in, like books etc. I read in one of your posts somebody had the paint on the bags painting her hands. I have that sometimes only carrying a plastic bag home, sweaty hands loosen the paint. Before cutting to make plarn, try this: make a strong water/salt liquid in a cup, rub with cottonswap and liquid, if the paint loosens, give bag to thriftshop or try handwashing them. They do this in Africa, real moneymakers. first retrieving the bags from the big dump, washing, drying, making plarn items, selling them, money for food to them. I would buy the items, but wash them at home, because the rinsing water looked still brown to me and I would know where they had been;-) but it is a clever idea, don’t you think? I guess the thicker plarn is used for the sleeping mats for homeless people.

  12. Ann T says:

    I am just starting out crochteing plastic bags, I am not sure what I am doing wrong but the ends keep curling up on me. It is getting frustrating I don’t want to give up but I am not sure what I am doing wrong I go back and undo it till the ends are straight again but it does it all over this is usually happening about three rows into it.

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