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Recycled Bread Bag Tote

Posted on February 8, 2009

Bread Bag ToteI’m back to share this colorful crocheted recycled tote bag. It’s been awhile since I completed a bread bag project and I’m excited to share this free pattern with you all. In this project I used plastic bread bags including bagel bags, taco shells, pita bread, muffin bags, hot dog and hamburger bun bags.

All the different recycled plastic bags makes for a very colorful and unique tote. This tote bag features a sturdy bottom made with half double crochet stitches and then an open netting type stitching for the main body of the bag. This recycled plastic bag project would make an excellent market tote or beach bag.

(Click to Supersize Photos)

Bread Tote Standing

Free Recycled Bread Bag Tote Pattern

Bag measures 12 inches wide and 13 inches long with 6 inch handles
Materials: Bread bags cut into 1/2 inch wide strips to create plarn (Appox. 50 bags)

Picture tutorial is found here on how to make plastic bags into plarn (plastic bag yarn)

Metal N (9 mm) crochet hook
Chain 24

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

Rnd 2 – 3
Hdc in each st down to first end. Work 2 Hdc in the two end sts, and then Hdc in ea st down to other end. Work 2 Hdc in ea of the two end sts. Do not connect at end of rounds for bottom, just continue working Hdc in ea st to create a seamless bag bottom.

Rnd 4 – 5
Hdc in ea st around entire bag. Finish rnd at side of the bag.

Rnd 6
Sc in the 1st st at the side of the bag. *Ch 3, sk 2 sts, Sc in next st*. Repeat between * to end of rnd. Ch 3 and join with a Sc to top of 1st Sc.

Rnd 7
*Ch 3, Sc in next chain 3 space*. Repeat between * to end of rnd and then continue with this pattern until bag length measures 12 inches long. Finish at side of the bag with a Sl St into a Sc.

(Appox. 20 rounds of the netting stitch which are worked without joining, Just continue working Ch 3, Sc in next chain 3 space around and around until bag measures the desired length.)

Top edging and handles:
Rnd 1
Ch 1, *3 Sc in next chain 3 space, sk Sc*, Repeat between * to end of rnd and join with Sl St into Sc at side of bag.

Rnd 2
Ch 1, Sc in ea st around. Don’t join but end at side of bag with a Sc.

Rnd 3 (handle round)
Mark center 12 stitches on each side of bag for handle opening.
Sc in each st to mark for handle opening. Ch 12, leave 12 stitches un-worked for handle, then Sc in remaining stitches and across other side to mark for handle opening. Ch 12, leave 12 stitches un-worked for handle opening on other side of bag to match front side. Sc in each stitch around until you reach side of bag.

Rnd 4
Sc in each st around to handle. Work 16 Sc around the chain of handle, then Sc around in each stitch until you reach handle on other side. Work 16 Sc around chain of handle, then Sc around in each remaining st of round.

Rnd 5
Sc in each St around to handle. Work one Sc in each st of handle, then Sc in each st of bag to other side’s handle. Work one Sc in each st of handle, then work one Sc in each st to remaining last stitches at side. Then work Sc, Sl St, and Sl St in the next 3 sts of round ending at side of bag. This should blend the edge so round ends with edge being even with last round.
Fasten off and weave ends under on inside of the bag.

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

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

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. ©2009

****Please do not copy my patterns on your blog site or post 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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24 Responses to “Recycled Bread Bag Tote”

  1. Bev
    Feb 08, 2009

    I really like the colours of this one. Have you ever thought about setting up an etsy shop to sell some of your bags for those of us not great at knitting? I think they would sell well.

    I hope all is well with your health? x

    Bev’s last blog post..brrrrrrrrrr ing on the Spring!

  2. Cindy
    Feb 08, 2009

    I’m glad you like the colors. All the different bags really creates a colorful tote and I had fun mixing and matching all the colors. I do offer a few of my items for sale on my site at this link. I don’t really have lots of time to try and sell my stuff but do have a few things for sale and do take custom orders too. As for my health, I’m doing well and my hair is growing back — Yahoo for hair!

  3. Very pretty! Did you use all the bread or do you collect from friends, relatives, random people on the street? I’d love to do something like that, but we almost never buy bread in a bag. Maybe a toilet-paper-roll-bag bag?

    Amy @ Experience Imagination’s last blog post..That Must Have Been One Awful Shelving Blunder

  4. Cindy
    Feb 10, 2009

    Yes, I collected all these different bread bags for probably about a year. You could use other plastic as you mention to craft with by cutting the plastic into long single strands.

  5. Melani
    Feb 10, 2009

    Hello! I was just admiring your site… I will be trying my hand at making plarn very soon, and I was just curious as to whether the bread bags, etc. were cut in the same manner as the plastic “grocery sack” type bags were cut, or how you do cut them if it’s different. Thanks for a great site!! -Melani

  6. Cindy
    Feb 11, 2009

    Yes, I do the same cutting and looping method for bread bags as I do for regular plastic retail bags. You can see my picture tutorial here on the method. I do cut the bread bags in 1/2 inch widths as it’s easier to crochet with the narrower strips as the plastic is much heavier than retail plastic bags.

  7. Leah Siemens
    Feb 13, 2009

    hi, i just love all your projects, and i was just wondering if you ever thought of making a plarn Christmas stocking! i think that would be really neat! i know it’s not the christmas season, but it takes me a while to make anything out of plarn! 🙂 thanks for considering! 🙂 keep up the good work and i’m glad you’re getting your hair back!

  8. Isabella
    Feb 17, 2009

    I love your recycling plastic projects! They look gorgeous and help reduce the waste! I’m speechless 😉 I will try to make something small or a try. Thank you for sharing!

  9. Sherry
    Feb 20, 2009

    Hi! I just visited your site. A group of friends have wanted to have a project,with recycling in mind. This is great! I’m so excited to try these projects. God keep you well. The planet is important to Him.

  10. dee wilson
    Feb 25, 2009

    i look at your site. im really impress with your work. really neat ideas.
    i wish you the best..

  11. […] Recycled Bread Bag Tote […]

  12. Ann Morgan
    Mar 03, 2009

    I just found your recycled plastic bag pattern yesterday and was ecstatic!
    I’ve been recycling all my life, long before it was “fashionable”. Your idea took the cake. I’m almost done with my first bag! Thanks a million!

  13. Cindy
    Mar 03, 2009

    Hi Ann,
    Glad you found my site and I hope you enjoy the patterns. Happy green crocheting to you!

  14. Stephanie
    Apr 08, 2009

    Hi Cindy! Glad to hear you are still doing well. I’m going on 6 years myself. Yahoo! I’ve made 3 of your bags now and everyone absolutely loves them. All my friends have requested a bag for their next gift from me. I don’t mind, it’s a great way to recycle and the only thing it costs me is my time. I’m going to start on this bread bag one tonight. I’ve been saving up bread bags for a year now too! : )

  15. Cindy
    Apr 08, 2009

    Thank so much for stopping by and sharing your story. I’m happy that you are enjoying my patterns and I hope you continue to enjoy working with recycled materials. Best wishes.

  16. Monica Salyer
    May 24, 2009

    I just love this bag, but I was wondering how you “prep” the bags for use. Aren’t there crumbs or other residue inside the bags? How do you deal with that?

  17. Cindy
    May 24, 2009

    Yes I do clean out the bags because as you mentioned there is often crumbs and stuff in the bottom of the bags. I gently rinse them out and hang them up to dry on my basement clothesline. They usually air dry in a day or so. I then cut each bag about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide strips and connect them just as I do with my plastic bags.

  18. Debbie
    Jun 09, 2009

    Great bag
    I’m working on a “bread bag” myself in all single crochets. I figure i’ll be done sometime in the year 2011 LOL
    They use a lot of bags. I must have used 20 and have gotten about 3 inches done,but the colors are awesome.Thanks for the idea. 🙂

    Debbie’s last blog post..Bright Yellow and White Cell Phone Cozy

  19. georgina ash
    Aug 25, 2009

    hi, this is a great idea i was just looking it up coz when i was little my nana used to get me to clean the old bread bags for her about 20 years ago so she could crochet them an i thought about giving it ago myself so thanks for the help

  20. Wendy
    May 03, 2010

    I am looking for a project using recycled t-shirts (same method of creating as the plastic) Do you think it would work with this pattern or might the tshirt yarn be too stretchy? Thanks for any input.

  21. Cindy
    May 03, 2010

    Yes you could use t-shirts (tarn) to crochet this same bag. Depending on how wide you cut your strips, will change the stiffness and ease of crocheting. I would experiment to see what you like as tarn is harder to crochet than plastic bread bags as it’s not a flexible. Did you see this smaller bag I made using t-shirts?

    I would try making this pattern with tarn by cutting your strips about 3/4 inch wide and see if you like it. Because this pattern is more of an open stitch, I think 3/4″ wide would work. Otherwise you could go a bit narrower or wider as desired. Best wishes.

  22. […] who doesn’t love an adorable, multi-purpose tote? What’s more, it’s made from recycled bread bags. Again, this would complement our eco-conscious wedding theme, plus it’d be great as a market […]

  23. […] Recycled bread bags! […]

  24. […] You will find a great tutorial here. […]


  1. […] who doesn’t love an adorable, multi-purpose tote? What’s more, it’s made from recycled bread bags. Again, this would complement our eco-conscious wedding theme, plus it’d be great as a market […]

  2. […] You will find a great tutorial here. […]

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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!