I first saw a posting at a popular Crochet board where a board member asked the question if anyone had ever tried to crochet using old VHS tape. After reading the post, it inspired me to look into the possibility. Being a recycling craft enthusiast, I had never heard or tried crocheting using VHS tape. I quickly decided that I had to try out this new and interesting idea.
I first found an old VHS tape. After dusting it off and deciding this old blank tape wasn’t something I’d ever view again, I went to work. I had to figure out how to get the tape out and not make too big a mess. After a bit of a struggle, I pried open the case with a screwdriver and was able to get to the tape itself. (Some tape cases have small screws which can be removed making it much easier to open the cases.) I should say that the tape really needs to be completely rewound as you don’t want to have tape on both reels. I removed the reel with the tape on it from the tape case and discarded the remaining stuff. What I now had was this beautiful shiny black tape that was ready to be used in my crochet project. Unlike the plastic grocery or retail bags, I didn’t have to fold, cut, and tie together the strips to create the yarn. The reel of black VHS yarn was already prepared for me!
Next I got my favorite metal size N hook out that I do most of my plastic bag crocheting with. Taking the single strand of VHS tape, I started by chaining a simple Sc chain stitch to see how this was going to work. The VHS tape is only about Â½ inch wide and my chain was pretty loose and thin. I turned at the end of my chain and started doing a Hdc stitch into the chain and quickly found out this wasn’t going to work. I am used to crocheting using plastic grocery bags that I cut in 1 inch strips and create double strand yarn. I find the double strand plastic bag yarn gives me a nice sturdy yarn. The single strand of VHS tape was too narrow and lightweight for my use.
So I found another VHS tape and repeated the process so that I now had two reels of 1/2 inch tape. I doubled the tape by holding two strands together from the two reels. I started my chain again and this time it went much better. My chain was sturdy and was about the same thickness I was accustomed to using when I crochet with plastic bag yarn.
The VHS tape is not quite as smooth to use as plastic bags. I had to somewhat manhandle it which tends to make my fingers and joints sore. So just beware of that and don’t pull too hard on your work as you crochet or knit with the VHS tape.
The tape has a wonderfully pretty shine to it. It provides an excellent sheen for a purse or evening bag. Here is my finished product a cute evening bag that I added a recycled button for the front closure. The evening bag is a very sparkly black and the picture doesn’t really do it justice. My camera flash takes away the natural shine.
Give this idea a try yourself and I think you will find that you are pleased in the final product.