Come Learn and Share Information about Recycling, Crocheting & Green Crafting


Instructions for cutting plastic bags & creating recycled plastic yarn

Posted on February 17, 2007

Each photo below is thumbnailed, click on photo to view larger size

This process is a great way to recycle those old plastic bags into something useful. You can crochet or knit a cool tote bag similar to reusable totes that are sold.

Cutting
Lay recycled bag out flat
Bag1

Fold in half lengthwise then fold in half again
Bag2

Cut off top handles
Bag3

Cut bag in strips about 1 inch wide or as desired
Bag4

Set aside the end of bag where bottom edge was glued. The ends and the handles can be recycled either as stuffing for other projects, packing material for shipping, or taken to your local recycling bin for plastic bags.

Tying strips together
Take two strips and inter-twine together as shown
Bag5

Bag6

Gently pull on ends to knot two strips together
Bag7

Connect next strip to last strip in the same manner
bag8.JPG

Continue connecting strips until you have a large ball of plastic yarn
bag9.JPG

Tips:
Pull ends evenly to create a smooth and flat strip.
If you find your strip doesn’t lie flat between knots, you didn’t pull
evenly which creates a bunched strip. Just make sure your strip is
even before you pull your knot tight between the two connected
strips. To fix a bunched strip, just loosen your knot between the strips
then pull on the ends again to make your strip flat and smooth.

Related Posts with Thumbnails



Tags: , ,

175 Responses to “Instructions for cutting plastic bags & creating recycled plastic yarn”

  1. […] Do some recycling. Knit with plarn, make baskets from old magazines and decoupage with candy […]


  2. Rebecca
    Oct 26, 2009

    This is such a great idea – we have used your information and some of your patterns on our site about living a green life in Australia!

    At times I feel like my kitchen is swamped with these bags, even though I am not much of a crafter this really does look simply enough to follow! I will give it a go and cut back on the bags that I use the shops with the new bag I plan to make!

    Thank you again – and the doormat idea is also a really good one too. The cat will love to laze around on something new now!

    http://www.mygreenaustralia.com/2009/10/plastic-bag-craft/
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Plastic Bag Craft =-.


  3. […] can learn how to plarn at myrecycledbags.com.  Plarning is incredibly easy, and makes a fun project for youn […]


  4. Emily
    Nov 18, 2009

    This is so easy to do!!! I need my mom to teach me how to knit but this was fun and e-z to do. I have already done 7 bags in about 10 minutes!!

    Thanks!


  5. revisiting the 3 Rs
    Nov 24, 2009

    […] bagsThere are so many great ways to reuse these scourges of society. Make plarn and knit or crochet them into something fabulous. Some more plastic bag craft ideas […]


  6. […] 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 […]


  7. […]Make plastic bag yarn and knit or crochet recycled goodies […]


  8. w8in4dave
    Dec 12, 2009

    I am making your bag as we speak 😀 Thank you so much for the pattern .. I love it!!!


  9. […] in need of a clothes pin bag. There is a crochet pattern over at myrecycledbags made with plastic yarn. I have actually found a knitted version at craftster for free, but since I own Home by Debbie […]


  10. Lisa
    Jan 13, 2010

    Cindy…thank you for sharing all of this. I’m so happy!


  11. nutmeag
    Jan 24, 2010

    I love this idea. I’m looking to make a beach bag, and I think plarn would be an awesome material for it. Thanks!


  12. bonbon78
    Jan 31, 2010

    I am so impressed by Plarn !! You have really inspired me 🙂
    .


  13. […] Plastic Bags in  gray,  tan, or blue:  I make these into plarn (plastic yarn) to make bags and other non-clothing items. I shop at Food Lion, so anything not […]


  14. […] Here is a great picture tutorial. […]


  15. […] paper towel usage, and The {NewNew} peeps arrived with bags of plastic bags cutting them up into plarn or fusing them down into sheets. . . Very mysterious. KimmChi and […]


  16. Zinda
    Mar 27, 2010

    It’s great to see others have the same ideas!! (I love the term PLARN) I’ve toying with making netted bags out of the plastic bags but found it quite tedious as I was using the “crochet” pattern for netting. So thank you for simplifying this process…
    Cheers Zinda


  17. Pat
    Mar 30, 2010

    I have been making and crocheting with plarn for 7 years….make great door mats and tote bags…..great to see so many others excited about recycling the plastic bags


  18. […] bags. Make a plarn bag, like our fan Christina Brady. Want to see how it’s done?  Check out this YouTube […]


  19. […] big for  a coaster , too small for a placemat!! Made with plarn (plastic bag yarn) here’s one way of creating it but I prefer this way […]


  20. […] Here is a link to a picture tutorial if the video does not work for you: http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2007/02/17/instructions-for-cutting-plastic-bags-creating-recycled-pla… […]



  21. Garie Thomas-Bass
    Apr 30, 2010

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful information. I love recycling ideas.

    The book I wrote is printed on recycled paper. It is entitled:
    Purposeful (Not Random) Acts of Kindness (AKA Beginning Steps for Overcoming Spoiled Brat-aholism). It is a book of 52 “common sense rules” told in a humorous manner.


  22. […] instructions for making plarn are pretty simple. there are a bunch of videos on youtube including a really quick introduction to […]


  23. […] be a great project for kids. The yarn used is made using plastic bags – plarn. There is a picture tutorial here and it looks quite […]


  24. Lisa
    May 28, 2010

    Love the patterns for plarn and other recycled crochet material. I found this site by accident and have never thought of crocheting with anything but yarn. creativity is not my strong suit but I am excited and cannot wait to crochet my first project using plarn.


  25. Denise
    May 28, 2010

    I have been using plarn for over two years now, and amazingly this summer so far the response of those who pass by my booth has been tremendous. I also use the black video casette tape in my totes. In the sunlight they simply dazzle. A woman came to my booth just two days ago and was so impressed with the work i had on display ( 56 ) different patterns and varieties. She took my name and number and told me she worked for our local newspaper and she would be getting back in touch with me for a feature story. I am very excited about getting the word out there, but my efforts to begin a small co-op of plarn and recycle up-cycle crafters has failed. I will keep up the good fight and wish you all very well. and thanks for all the ideas and how to’s.


  26. Filbert
    Jun 04, 2010

    AWESOME!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


  27. […] Them Into Yarn – Knitting fanatics will like this free plastic yarn, or “plarn”, that you can use to make a sturdier shopping bag or just practice your knits and purls […]


  28. […] also include the instructions for cutting and creating the plastic yarn – see here for the […]


  29. Jessica
    Aug 02, 2010

    I love this idea! My ‘old’ idea wastes all that good shopping bag use, and this is SO much better! Thank you!


  30. Di
    Aug 17, 2010

    Thanks for the information on making plarn. About 25 years ago my Great Grandmother gave me a padded coat hanger she bought at a street stall which was made from knitted sandwich bags. I still have it, it is still in good condition and I use it every day.


  31. Sue
    Sep 01, 2010

    I have read that some of u dont know what to do with the leftover plastic after making plarn (plastic bag yarn). Here is what I do I take one of the plastic bags and put the leftovers in it and take it to my local store for recylcing. (here super value and walmart has recycling of the plastic bags).


  32. Melanie
    Nov 06, 2010

    This is soooo cool. I can’t wait to try it. 🙂


  33. Soledad
    Nov 17, 2010

    I was looking for recycling materials for a college project, and I think this would do it! I’m planing to weave with plarn and I’m wondering though, if it’s possible to sew over this. I see your bags are lined with fabric, so it might work? And, what would you use for sewing two weaved pieces? (meaning, two plastic pieces together)

    Thanks!


  34. Cindy
    Nov 18, 2010

    @Soledad:
    It is hard to machine sew over the crocheted plarn as it is very thick. My linings are hand sewn in and when I do it I just use a heavy needle and stitch into the plastic a bit to hold the lining in place. Its still pretty hard going. As far as what to use to sew two pieces together, I would use that clear nylon thread which is like fishing twine. I’m not sure what it’s called but its strong and doesn’t shown much.

    Best wishes and good luck with your project.


  35. […] solved the knotty problem by discovering a new way of making plarn, by cutting the bag in loops instead. I also experimented with knitting – and crocheting […]


  36. Tabitha
    Jan 28, 2011

    This is a much easier way of cutting the bags. I was cutting a big spiral slowly by hand, time consuming! I used my plarn to weave a bag. It is currently still on my loom but I’m going to wait until I weave a few more (with plarn cut in the easier way) until I either run out of plarn or my warp!


  37. […] should work out just right. In any case, I will certainly be working on more projects using “plarn.” I’ve already recruited all of my housemates into collecting and saving bags for […]


  38. […] way more bags than I can use as small wastebasket liners.  And then I found out about plarn, aka “yarn” made from plastic bags.  It’s easy to […]


  39. […] to figure out how to create my own plarn and subsequent projects. Finally, I stumbled across this great website. Eureka! My first couple of exploits have been small and humble, yet I am already finding fun ways […]


  40. […] tad bit obsessed with collecting stuff I can make recycled crafts out of (like magazine bows and plastic bag yarn). My bus pass is my best […]


  41. Andrew Cheng
    Mar 30, 2011

    Thanks for the detailed instructions, I can’t wait to give this a try!


  42. […] 2. If you can’t flush your litter, then use bags from packaging (cereal bags, chip bags, etc.) for disposal. These bags typically aren’t recyclable, and they just go in the trash anyway, so why not find another use for them before tossing them? A lot of people use plastic grocery bags for this purpose, but these bags can be recycled (and also upcycled—ever heard of plarn?). […]


  43. […] easy. I searched through blogs here and found Flextiles blog post about a plarn bowl with a link to myrecycledbags.com‘s instructions for making plarn. I followed the instructions and cut all my loops somewhere […]


  44. 65¢ Knit Project! « myknitche
    Aug 03, 2011

    […] I mentioned in my previous Adventures in Plarn post I used the instructions found here to make my plarn. 12-13 bags were used to make this […]


  45. […] […]


  46. […] wanted to share this today with you,my loyal readers.Learn to recycle those old Wal-Mart bags! Make yarn.I found her site to be informative and interesting,she is most certainly an eco-warrior.Don’t […]


  47. Annette
    Nov 16, 2011

    Thank you for providing this information. Both of my daughters are in Girl Scouts and this would be a great Eco/Craft project for them to work on. AND, finally, a craft I can do without having to go out and buy supplies. I have everything on hand for this already!


  48. Ryan
    Dec 26, 2011

    Whenever I make plarn I first fold the bag so there is about two to three inches along one edge.((this is of course after I cut the bottom and handles off. Then I fold the folded end up to meet the previous folded area. Then I cut to the edge of the last folded part so there is still the two to three inches left then I open the bag up and along the now four to six inches I cut diagonally from one slit to the next making a continuous piece for me to use


  49. […] use, get rid of it and convert it into something useful.  You can make strips with them and create plarn, which then you can knit or crochet like regular yarn.  I haven’t tried that, but I’ve […]



Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Do some recycling. Knit with plarn, make baskets from old magazines and decoupage with candy […]

  2. […] can learn how to plarn at myrecycledbags.com.  Plarning is incredibly easy, and makes a fun project for youn […]

  3. […] bagsThere are so many great ways to reuse these scourges of society. Make plarn and knit or crochet them into something fabulous. Some more plastic bag craft ideas […]

  4. […] 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 […]

  5. […]Make plastic bag yarn and knit or crochet recycled goodies […]

  6. […] in need of a clothes pin bag. There is a crochet pattern over at myrecycledbags made with plastic yarn. I have actually found a knitted version at craftster for free, but since I own Home by Debbie […]

  7. […] Plastic Bags in  gray,  tan, or blue:  I make these into plarn (plastic yarn) to make bags and other non-clothing items. I shop at Food Lion, so anything not […]

  8. […] Here is a great picture tutorial. […]

  9. […] paper towel usage, and The {NewNew} peeps arrived with bags of plastic bags cutting them up into plarn or fusing them down into sheets. . . Very mysterious. KimmChi and […]

  10. […] bags. Make a plarn bag, like our fan Christina Brady. Want to see how it’s done?  Check out this YouTube […]

  11. […] big for  a coaster , too small for a placemat!! Made with plarn (plastic bag yarn) here’s one way of creating it but I prefer this way […]

  12. […] instructions for making plarn are pretty simple. there are a bunch of videos on youtube including a really quick introduction to […]

  13. […] be a great project for kids. The yarn used is made using plastic bags – plarn. There is a picture tutorial here and it looks quite […]

  14. […] Them Into Yarn – Knitting fanatics will like this free plastic yarn, or “plarn”, that you can use to make a sturdier shopping bag or just practice your knits and purls […]

  15. […] also include the instructions for cutting and creating the plastic yarn – see here for the […]

  16. […] solved the knotty problem by discovering a new way of making plarn, by cutting the bag in loops instead. I also experimented with knitting – and crocheting […]

  17. […] should work out just right. In any case, I will certainly be working on more projects using “plarn.” I’ve already recruited all of my housemates into collecting and saving bags for […]

  18. […] way more bags than I can use as small wastebasket liners.  And then I found out about plarn, aka “yarn” made from plastic bags.  It’s easy to […]

  19. […] to figure out how to create my own plarn and subsequent projects. Finally, I stumbled across this great website. Eureka! My first couple of exploits have been small and humble, yet I am already finding fun ways […]

  20. […] tad bit obsessed with collecting stuff I can make recycled crafts out of (like magazine bows and plastic bag yarn). My bus pass is my best […]

  21. […] 2. If you can’t flush your litter, then use bags from packaging (cereal bags, chip bags, etc.) for disposal. These bags typically aren’t recyclable, and they just go in the trash anyway, so why not find another use for them before tossing them? A lot of people use plastic grocery bags for this purpose, but these bags can be recycled (and also upcycled—ever heard of plarn?). […]

  22. […] easy. I searched through blogs here and found Flextiles blog post about a plarn bowl with a link to myrecycledbags.com‘s instructions for making plarn. I followed the instructions and cut all my loops somewhere […]

  23. 65¢ Knit Project! « myknitche says:

    […] I mentioned in my previous Adventures in Plarn post I used the instructions found here to make my plarn. 12-13 bags were used to make this […]

  24. […] wanted to share this today with you,my loyal readers.Learn to recycle those old Wal-Mart bags! Make yarn.I found her site to be informative and interesting,she is most certainly an eco-warrior.Don’t […]

  25. […] use, get rid of it and convert it into something useful.  You can make strips with them and create plarn, which then you can knit or crochet like regular yarn.  I haven’t tried that, but I’ve […]

Leave a Reply

Archives

  • [—]2017 (21)
  • [+]2016 (39)
  • [+]2015 (37)
  • [+]2014 (33)
  • [+]2013 (42)
  • [+]2012 (44)
  • [+]2011 (50)
  • [+]2010 (69)
  • [+]2009 (58)
  • [+]2008 (64)
  • [+]2007 (63)

About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.


Here is a direct link to all my free patterns available here on My Recycled Bags.


Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!

Calendar

February 2007
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728