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Messenger Bag Crafted from Plastic Bags

Posted on April 4, 2008

Messenger2
Here is my messenger bag crocheted using recycled plastic bags. I am tempted to call this my ultimate recycled bag because it is so big and could be used for so many different purposes. This was a fun and challenging project as it fulfilled a request I had received.

Awhile back someone asked me to make a bag big enough to hold a scrapbook album. Well, I think this recycled bag would work wonderfully to hold your scrapbooking projects along with extra supplies. I added a plastic canvas sheet to the bottom of my bag to provide more stability. I just placed it inside rolled over at the center in the base of the messenger bag.

Messenger Bag Clickable

I hope you enjoy this messenger bag project and happy green crafting!

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Free Crocheted Messenger Bag Pattern

Bag measures 15-1/2 inches wide and 13 inches long
Strap length is 42 inches

Materials: One large ball of plarn (plastic bag yarn) Appox. 60 bags
Picture tutorial is found here on how to make plarn

Hooks:
Metal N (9 mm) crochet hook for main bag
Metal J (6 mm) crochet hook for edging

Chain 32.

Rnd 1
Hdc in 2nd ch from hook in each chain.
Continue to the corner end st, work 2 Hdc in end st. Continue around and down the back side of chain by working a Hdc in every stitch of chain, work 2 Hdc in end st.

Rnd 2
Hdc in each st down to first end. Work 2 Hdc in the 2 end sts, and then Hdc in ea st down to other end. Work 2 Hdc in ea of the 2 end sts. Do not connect at end of rounds, just continue working Hdc in ea st to create a seamless bag.

Rnd 3
Hdc in each st down to first end. Work 2 Hdc in the 3 end sts, and then Hdc in ea st down to other end. Work 2 Hdc in ea of the 3 end sts.

Rnd 4 – 30
Hdc in ea st around entire bag. End so at side of bag to begin flap.

Row 1 (Flap)
Ch 2, turn. Hdc in ea st across back of bag only to create flap.
(Crochet less one st on either side of back to bag to create a smooth flap overlay.)

Row 2 – 15
Ch 2, turn. Hdc in ea st across for flap. ( I did 15 rows before dec’s to create a tapered flap.)

Row 16 – 26
Ch 2, turn. Work 2 Hdc together over next sts (1 dec made) then Hdc in ea st to lasts 2 sts of row. Work 2 Hdc together over last 2 sts to create one dec.

Row 27
Ch 2, turn. Work Hdc in ea st. Finish off and weave under ends.

Edging
With right side facing and using J hook, attach plarn with a sl st to right side of upper edge of flap.
Sc evenly around complete edge of flap to create smooth edge. Finish off.

Strap: (edited 07/25/08 to clarify strap beginning)
Using N hook, start strap at side of bag by joining plarn with sl st with right side facing out 6 sts from flap. Sc across top edge of bag in the next 5 sts (toward flap.) *Ch 2, turn. Work Hdc in ea of the 6 sts.* Repeat between *until strap is 42 inches long. (Make sure your strap is straight and not twisted.)

End so your strap can be attached to other side of bag. Working from the inside Sc in ea of the 6 sts across the top edge of bag at opposite side to attached strap. This way your work doesn’t show the attaching of sts.

On the outside press down to flatten your strap attaching sts so it lays flat.

Leave long your end so you can reinforce your attaching sts of the strap by intertwining through your attaching sts to strengthen.

Finish off and weave under ends.

Attach a velcro strip under flap if desired.

If you have any questions or find discrepancies in this pattern, please email me using contact tab above.

Abbreviations:
Ch – Chain
Dec – Decrease
Ea – Each
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Rnd – Round
Sc – Single Crochet
Sl St – Slip Stitch
Sk – Skip
Sm – Same
Sp – Space
St – Stitch
Rnd – Round

This pattern is copyrighted by Cindy of My Recycled Bags {dot com} and may only be used for private individual use. No commercial sales or use is permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable. ©2008

****Please do not copy my patterns on your blog site, post or offer my patterns on Internet sites. I do not allow my patterns to be republished without expressed written permission. Posting of my patterns, without written permission is in violation of my copyrights and is content theft.

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34 Responses to “Messenger Bag Crafted from Plastic Bags”

  1. Gizmo
    Apr 05, 2008

    Great bag! I love the little colors dotted throughout. Very pretty. It’s amazing what you can do with recycled plastic bags.


  2. Thrifty Karen
    Apr 05, 2008

    Great job, Cindy!


  3. […] up is a series of submissions about recycling and reusing: a messenger bag made from recycled plastic bags, a blog post with examples of turning trash into art (I especially like the dress made out of […]


  4. Silvia
    Apr 09, 2008

    Wonderful bag!

    😀


  5. Rose
    Apr 13, 2008

    I’ve been kidding my kids that their next backpack will be plarn. So…I just printed this out and will leave it laying around (with some hand written comments on color choices) for them to see. I can’t wait for their reactions! LOL

    Bad mommy…bad mommy LOL


  6. 2sweetnsaxy
    Apr 16, 2008

    This is such a great thing! I never heard of using the plastic bags like yarn. Great idea!


  7. […] Messenger Bag – Another crocheted bag using plastic bags. […]


  8. Rose
    Apr 26, 2008

    Addition to my April 13 post. My daughter actually wants a plarn backpack. She thought the messenger bag was a great idea. Hooray!! She is a plarn convert!


  9. Alyson
    Apr 27, 2008

    Great job! I love it. I don’t knit so am passing onto my Aunt who will love this project.

    Alyson LID 01/27/06
    http://www.alyzabethan.blogspot.com


  10. Kim
    Jul 23, 2008

    This is brilliant! I’ve been looking everywhere for a plarn bag big enough to use as a backpack (and as I’m in High School, that’s no easy task), and was easy enough for a beginner to make. It’s so pretty too!


  11. Kim
    Jul 24, 2008

    Oh! I did have a question about the strap…it said to sc the five stitches going towards the flap, and then chain two, turn, and then work hdc in the 6 sts.

    Is it five, or six? Or am I just a little bit lost?


  12. Cindy
    Jul 25, 2008

    @Kim,
    I edited the strap to clarify how to begin. I was counting the sl st at beginning as a stitch and it was confusing on the count. So you work a sl st (counts as first sc) to start with right side facing out 6 sts from flap. Sc across top edge of bag in the next 5 sts (toward flap.)(6 sts complete)
    *Ch 2, turn. Work Hdc in ea of the 6 sts.* Repeat between *until strap is 42” long.

    Remember you can always add or subtract a st on the strap to make it wider or narrower as desired. Best of luck and please email me back if you have any questions at all.


  13. Andrea
    Aug 18, 2008

    I made one of these, only a bit altered, it has no flap and is 17 inches wide and about 15 inches tall.

    It’s very spacy, but it’s not very strong. if i but more than 6 lbs in it, the strap stretches, if i put a heavy book in it, the corner jabs at the material and threatens to rip my bag 🙁 and i don’t want it to rip cause i worked like 12 hours on it.

    what do you suggest i do for lining? will the lining make it stronger


  14. Cindy
    Aug 18, 2008

    @Andrea:
    I did line mine with plastic canvas and it helped shore-up the insides to make it stronger. But like my grocery totes, the straps do stretch but they do come back to nearly normal after you take the weight off them. I’m surprised it seems to want to rip. I put heavy groceries in my totes and they do stretch way out but have never ripped. I would maybe reinforce your strap by putting a wide ribbon on the underneath side of the strap. I did that on a small handbag so the strap didn’t stretch. Try these things and see if it helps. Good luck.


  15. Andrea
    Aug 18, 2008

    Oh thanks! Haha maybe I’m just paranoid. I’m going to line it with a ripped bedsheet we were going to throw out. Maybe put some cereal box cardboard in between the bag and the lining to make the bottom flat.

    Thanks for the quick reply!


  16. Cindy
    Aug 18, 2008

    @Andrea:
    Sounds like a great lining and will provide you with a strong base. Best wishes on your bag.


  17. pat gorham
    Sep 21, 2008

    Fabulous! I am also making purses out of recycled products. I am in search of recycled purse handles that I can buy in bulk. Some short and some very long. Any ideas? If so, please contact me at pgorham11@aim.com.

    Thanks!


  18. Cindy
    Sep 22, 2008

    @Pat:
    I sent you a list of ideas for your plastic handles. I don’t sell any handles but hopefully gave you some ideas to try. Best wishes on your project with the students.


  19. Kerri
    Oct 04, 2009

    I made a version of this bag using this pattern. It was the first thing I have ever tried to crochet from plarn. I love it! I lined mine with fused plastic bags that I also made. I made a pocket inside and have been using the bag to hold the winter hats I have been making. I love your patterns. Keep up the good work!


  20. Barb Klopfenstein
    Apr 15, 2010

    I Love it. My Great Grandma used to use bread wrappers to crochet rugs out of, so this brings back lots of memories for me. Plust I have a crochet back pack pattern that I’m going to try this with. I’ll let you know how it works out.


  21. Rachel
    Apr 17, 2010

    This pattern is amazing! I’ve been looking for a good messenger bag pattern for a while, and the fact that this is made of plarn just makes it even better! I do have a question, though: how many stitches across did you make the flap? Also, thank you for giving a bag estimation! I’ve been looking at plarn projects for a while, but none gave me any idea as to how many bags it would take for a project.


  22. Cindy
    Apr 17, 2010

    Rachel,
    My flap is about 36 stitches wide but just crochet whatever you want to cover your bag after you work the main body. It’s one of the things about working with recycled materials, it’s not a exact science and you just improvise and work it as you go. Good luck with your messenger bag and email me back should you have any questions as you work the pattern.


  23. Colleen
    Apr 20, 2010

    I love this idea!!! … Now just to attack the bags of plastic bags in the garage waiting to go back to the store for them to recycle :D:D
    Thanks again for the idea
    Colleen


  24. Sheila
    Apr 22, 2010

    thank you so much for this pattern!!!!!….. i am a girl scout leader and we are going “green” this year. this pattern fits in beautifully with our recycling arts and crafts projects. i’ve already tried this method with several other bags and purses and it works wonderfully!!!


  25. Theresa
    May 21, 2010

    This sounds like a terrific project, I’m making the bag for my daughter
    who purchases only green products and recycles everything.
    Thank you for the pattern, i love your website.


  26. […] Plan Alison takes over festival duties this week, and the very first post is about Cindy’s super-sweet looking messenger bag made from spare plastic sacks. It’s the ultimate in recycling, […]


  27. Haley
    Jul 22, 2010

    OMG! This pattern is so cute! I have been looking for a good messenger bag pattern for awhile, and I think this is it. I’m also just getting into the plarn stuff, and I think this will be a great intro. Thanks!


  28. Karen
    Nov 16, 2010

    I have been crocheting with plastic bags for about 5 years. Have made them for all my friends. I crochet a handle on each side that is 60 stitiches long. That way the bag can go on your shoulder, but tuck under your arm. I don’t care for long shoulder straps, just me! But how fun to find this pattern. I love it


  29. Karen
    Nov 16, 2010

    Another comment. I crochet around the top and handles with left over yarn that sort of matches the colors of the bags ( all kinds of people save bags for me ). I was concerned that the handles would stretch otherwise. The bags wear like iron. I’ve also crocheted small ‘belt bags’. They are a little bigger than the cosmetic bags and have a casing on the back that a belt can slide through. Much cuter than a fanny pack.


  30. Janette
    Feb 22, 2011

    I have been crocheting with plastic bags for about 5 years now, didn’t know it had a name (plarn). I love getting new ideas as I have many, many bags in all colors I have saved over the years. I too have used yarn to reinforce handles and add shape to the bag or whatever it is you are making. Also, if you are making a round bag, like I made for my mom to take to their Good Sam Club meetings, I put a plastic paper plate holder in the bottom. It makes it strong enough to put in all their plates,silverware, etc. Glad to know about putting plastic sheets in the bottom to reinforce the bottoms of my square bags.


  31. PochaccoLuvr
    Aug 27, 2011

    Is plarn durable? because I want to put a lot of heavy books, and i don’t want it to stretch out or tear on me.


  32. Cindy
    Aug 28, 2011

    @PochaccoLuvr – Yes plarn is very durable and will hold up very well. You can put a piece of plastic canvas in the bottom of this bag for extra strength. I did and just rolled a piece up in the bottom of the bag for support. The plastic may stretch but I have never had it break. I wouldn’t put too many books in at once but would try it out first with a few books to make sure it’s holding up the way you want it too.


  33. Lesley
    Nov 16, 2011

    I have found that two strands of #10 crochet thread make a good edge. It can be done however you like. Single crochet, double, etc. I even have used a shell stitch which worked well.


  34. […]  Messenger Bag Crafted from Plastic Bags ~  This bag was crocheted from “yarn” made from plastic bags.  It’s the […]



Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] up is a series of submissions about recycling and reusing: a messenger bag made from recycled plastic bags, a blog post with examples of turning trash into art (I especially like the dress made out of […]

  2. […] Messenger Bag – Another crocheted bag using plastic bags. […]

  3. […] Plan Alison takes over festival duties this week, and the very first post is about Cindy’s super-sweet looking messenger bag made from spare plastic sacks. It’s the ultimate in recycling, […]

  4. […]  Messenger Bag Crafted from Plastic Bags ~  This bag was crocheted from “yarn” made from plastic bags.  It’s the […]

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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.


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

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