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Using VHS tape to crochet an evening bag

Posted on February 21, 2007

vhs-purse.JPG Crocheted Evening Bag made of VHS Tape

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 ½ 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.

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27 Responses to “Using VHS tape to crochet an evening bag”

  1. Lindsay
    Feb 23, 2007

    Love it!! have a few wips to finish then I am most definately digging out and dusting off 2 tapes!! hmmm we have a million cassette tapes too…does that work as well?


  2. Needle Crafter
    Feb 24, 2007

    This is a very creative idea. You have inspired me to find recycled materials to crochet.


  3. Cindy
    Feb 24, 2007

    Yes cassette tapes work too but the gauge is much smaller. Therefore use a smaller hook and check your gauge on the project so it works for what you have in mind.


  4. Stephanie
    Mar 01, 2007

    Another cool recycled craft. It is Great! Thanks!


  5. Carolyn
    Mar 04, 2007

    Great stuff, recycling is good for everyone and for future generations. Congratulations on ur beautiful designs!


  6. Sarah
    Mar 06, 2007

    That is really awesome. I don’t know how to crochet, but I may have to try a little VHS knitting. Thanks for the idea.


  7. Heather L.
    Mar 06, 2007

    That is SOO CUTE! What are your final dimensions? I might have to try this.


  8. Linda
    Mar 16, 2007

    I definately need to try this. I wish I had thought of this before I dumped a bunch of old tapes, but don’t worry I still have more.


  9. Trenda
    May 29, 2007

    Great idea, I can’t wait to try it.


  10. Hannah
    Jun 04, 2007

    Umm… just wondering about how practical these bags are – wouldn’t they be squeaky when used? Other than that great idea!


  11. Cindy
    Jun 04, 2007

    Yes, just a bit squeaky but not really that bad. They are really pretty looking though and a great way to recycle those old vhs tapes!


  12. morena
    Apr 07, 2008

    me encanta tu bolso, yo ya probe y senti que me costo mucho hacerlo yo helabore un joyero,pero siento que para teuer esta cinta es mu dificil, pues termine con mis dedos morados, pues hay que hacer fuerza para que pase el hilo, es mas facil la cinta de casseth. he hecho varios tapetes y quedan muy bien, te saludo desde el salvador cuidate mucho.


  13. Christine
    Jul 29, 2008

    Just wondering how you cleaned the tape to remove the chemicals. I did not see that part mentioned.

    Thanks for the great idea


  14. Cindy
    Jul 29, 2008

    @Christine:

    I tried emailing you back but your email was returned as a bad email so I’m not sure if you really wanted an answer to your question but here is the email I sent to you about your concern.
    ****************************************************************
    Dear Christine:
    I did not clean the tape. I did put water on it and nothing happened to test that because people asked about it getting wet. I did research on the Internet on using, touching, and handling the vcr tape and couldn’t find any health concern. I don’t know for sure. I’ve tried to research this but didn’t find any for-sure answers. Do you have any links that you found or hard evidence? I’d love to find something for sure so I could document it and share it. Let me know what you found. Thanks.

    Cindy


  15. kellye
    Jul 23, 2009

    was looking for a recycling craft for my girl scout troop. this is perfect. they can learn a new skill and recycle.


  16. frances
    Jan 07, 2010

    Has anyone tried to make slipper soles with video tape? Would they be too slippery (no pun intended) for safe walking?


  17. Cindy
    Jan 07, 2010

    @Frances,
    I haven’t tried making slipper soles but it might work if you combined the vcr tape and yarn. This way it wouldn’t be slippery or rough on your feet. Another idea may be to cover up the tape with fabric for padding.


  18. Denise Crew
    Feb 22, 2010

    Thank you for posting your information. I have been crocheting bags now for over 6 months. evening bags, tote bags, grocery and laundry totes. I also add other recycled items such as t-shirts and those grocery bags we all seem to have a ton of each time we go to the market.

    Does any one know of a non-profit co-op that would accept these bags ( earth friendly)for like minded shoppers. I have 60 or more.

    any info helpful


  19. Denise Crew
    Feb 22, 2010

    also,………………..
    i have made hanging flower planters, last year i frw tomatoes and green peppers upside down ( sucessfully)


  20. […] Evening bag of VHS-tape […]


  21. inge
    May 05, 2010

    really nice , I have to try this in the future , can`t do it right now course my wrists hurt from all the crocheting and knitting and spinning , yes I am an addict to crafts , I shoult stop the crafting for now but hm surfing the net , reading about crafting should help …


  22. howde
    Jul 25, 2010

    Think is a brill idea. But Not for me. I have lots of Video Tapes if any one would like them. Please contact me.


  23. tashian
    Nov 19, 2010

    Hi,

    I started crocheting recycled bags, and it is amazing! I find it very enjoyable, and your patterns are charming.
    I was looking for a new project, and found this evening bag – could you please give its pattern? I liked the idea of using a VCR tape, as I have many old casettes.

    Many thanks!


  24. Cindy
    Nov 20, 2010

    @Tashian — Glad you enjoyed my site and here is the vcr evening bag pattern link you requested. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.


  25. tashian
    Nov 29, 2010

    Thanks so much! It came out just beautiful, and got many compliements.
    Thaמks again for your lovely patterns!


  26. […] can also use the black plastic tape from VCR tapes to crochet reusable bags.  Sort of […]


  27. Liz
    Nov 21, 2011

    This is an amazing idea! My late husband had hundreds of vcr tapes that are sitting upstairs in the attic. WOO HOO. Now I have something to do with them and not feel guilty!



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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.


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