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Colorful Recycled Motif Granny Tote Bag

Posted on March 1, 2009

Spring is just around the corner and this crocheted granny square motif tote brings out the best of recycled crafting with a colorful Spring theme. The motifs are crocheted from recycled plastic bags in six different colors to create a unique panel for each side of the tote bag.

motifs Click to supersize any photosmotif side
Motifs before assembly and side shot of finished tote

Think Spring so it hopefully gets here soon as this snow and ice is getting old. Enjoy this recycled bag project and happy green crafting to all!

Free Colorful Motif Tote Pattern

Materials needed:
One large ball of White plastic bag yarn Plarn approx. 35 bags
Plastic bags in each of the center colors: blue, yellow, wine, pink, orange and green

Hooks: N (9 mm) and J (6 mm) U.S. size metal crochet hooks
Size: Approx. 4″ Motif if using 1 inch strips of cut plastic bags
Finished Tote bag measurements: 14-1/2″ wide, 10″ tall, 3″ depth, 8 inch handles

With N hook Ch 4 with center color, Sl St to form ring.

Row 1
Ch 2, (counts as 1 Hdc) in ring work 2 Hdc,
Ch 1, 3 Hdc, Ch 1, 3 Hdc, Ch1, 3 Hdc
Ch 1, Sl St to top of Ch 2. (4 corners & 4 shells made)
Fasten off and weave ends under on back side of motif.

Row 2
With next color attach in any Ch 1 corner space.
Ch 2, 2 Hdc, Ch1, 3 Hdc, all in the same ch 1 corner space.
*Sk next 3 Hdc, 3 Hdc, Ch 1, 3 Hdc, all in the next Ch 1 corner space.*
Repeat between * 2 more times, Sl St to top of the beginning Ch 2.

Row 3
Sl St across remaining Hdc’s to corner.
Ch 2 (counts as 1 Hdc) 2 Hdc, Ch 1, 3 Hdc, all in the corner space.
*Sk 3 Hdc, make 3 Hdc in between shells, Sk next shell, make 3 Hdc, Ch 1,
3 Hdc in corner.* Repeat 2 more times then Sl St to top of first Hdc.

Row 4
Continue in the established pattern for one more row.
Fasten off and weave ends under on back side of motif.

Using the 6 different colors, make two motifs of each color for a total of 12 motifs.

Long side and bottom strip:
Row 1
Ch 9 using White plarn and N hook.

Row 2
Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea chain st down to end. Ch 2, turn. (8 sts)
Repeat row 1 to create your strip by working even on 8 sts until your piece measures 32 inches long.
Don’t finish off but leave your yarn attached should you need to add another row to your strip. If your strip is too short when you put your bag together this allows you to add a row without a problem.

Assembly of pieces:
Using the J hook, assemble the 6 different colored motifs together with 6 to a panel. Each panel has three motifs across and two down. Make two panels.

With right sides facing take one motif panel together with your long strip and place them with edges together.

Starting in the corner, work a Sc through both layers to attached them together. Work down the sides, across the bottom, and back up the other side. FO. You will notice that using this method of attachment creates a raised edge seam around your entire bag.

Tip: If your strip is too short when you join the first main piece, just crochet another row of Hdc so the strip is long enough to match to the top of bag at both ends. FO the strip once you have the first main piece and strip attached.

Take the remaining motif panel and place it together at the top of your long strip. Starting in the top edge corner of the bag, work a SC through both layers to attach in the same manner as you did above. Don’t finish off. Leave yarn attached to work handles.

Rnd 1
Using N hook and white plarn still attached at top front edge of your bag, Sc evenly along the top edge of tote bag until you reach the center motif of front panel. Ch 14 for handle, skip over center motif and work Sc in ea remaining st of panel’s top edge. Continue working Sc around in ea st until you are at the other side’s center motif, Ch 14 for handle, skip sts again of center motif for handle and work Sc in ea remaining st of panel’s top edge. Do not connect or join at end of row, just continue working Sc in rounds. Leave plarn attached at end of round as you will continue from here once you complete round 2.

Check your handles and make sure each side matches each other before moving on. Adjust your sts as needed to match.

Rnd 2
Attach separate piece of plarn at handle chain and Sc around chain of handle, (approx 18 Sc) evenly. FO and weave under ends at end of handle chain. Repeat again for other side’s handle chain to match.

Rnd 3
Pick back up plarn where you left off at end of round 1. Sc in ea st to handle. Sc in ea st of handle and Sc in ea st of bag. Repeat for other side to match and Sl St into next two sts at side of bag to finish off edge smoothly. FO and weave in ends.

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

Ch – Chain
Dc – Double Crochet
Ea – Each
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Plarn – Plastic Bag Yarn
Rnd – Round
Sc – Single Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sl St – Slip Stitch
Sm – Same
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 of this pattern or photos are permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable and appreciated. Ā©2009-2016

****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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10 Responses to “Colorful Recycled Motif Granny Tote Bag”

  1. Sam Youngers
    Mar 04, 2009

    I love all your bags, but this one I REALLY love!! Thanks for posting the patterns!

  2. Betty
    Mar 14, 2009

    Thanks for the pattern. I’ve wanted to try using plarn – so will start with this one. I really like the additional width on the sides.

  3. Maria
    Mar 15, 2009

    I love your bags but this one really caught my eye!
    Thanks for such a great pattern!

  4. KC
    May 02, 2009

    Been a while. I hope you are well. I never thought of granny squares. This is neat, ( one does tire of the larger bag bags). BTW All the ladies at my supermarket are smitten with the bags. šŸ™‚
    A few want to make their own and of I directed traffic here for some terrific patterns.

    Take Care…I need to catch up on my blog one of these days. šŸ˜›

  5. michelle
    May 31, 2009

    i love your bag that a very googd idea. it is so lovely.

  6. babs
    Jan 27, 2010

    I enjoy recycling. My sister-in-law found a newspaper article and she sent it to me, as I am always looking for patterns. I really like the grannie square tote. Thanks for the pattern.

  7. Melissa
    May 31, 2010

    Do I use size N or J to make the motif squares?

  8. Cindy
    May 31, 2010

    Melissa, I used the N (9mm) hook for the motif and then the J to assemble it. I added this to the pattern instructions to clarify as it wasn’t clear. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the pattern.

  9. Lise
    Apr 24, 2012


  10. […] #9: Now that you've given up plastic backs, use up what you have left by crocheting them into a more permanent tote by My Recycled Bags. […]


  1. […] #9: Now that you've given up plastic backs, use up what you have left by crocheting them into a more permanent tote by My Recycled Bags. […]

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About Me

Hello, Iā€™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!