Come Learn and Share Information about Recycling, Crocheting & Recycled Crafting

Plastic Trash Rug

March 28, 2010 30 comments
Plastic Trash Oval Rug

This crocheted rug has been a work in progress for quite some time. I’m happy to say its done — Yea! It is completely crocheted from plastic trash. I used recycled bags from bread, hotdog buns, bagels, toilet paper, frozen foods, hashbrowns, paper towel packaging, hamburger buns, taco shells, hoagie buns, and other pieces of plastic from numerous products having plastic packaging. This plastic is the heavier gauge stuff and it’s much harder to crochet and does make your hands and joints sore.

Because this plastic was much heavier than the normal thin plastic grocery bags, I cut the strips only about 1/2 inch wide. I cut the plastic into strips using my standard plarn making method to assemble the plastic strips.

I crocheted it all using single crochet stitches as this is a bit easier on the hands. A word of advice though, take lots of breaks from this project as it will help your hands and joints from getting too sore. Also if your rug doesn’t want to lay down flat, apply some gentle heat from a blow dryer, and flatten out your rug as you warm up the plastic. This really helped as my rug wanted to curl up a bit but with the heat from the dry blower, I was able to get my rug to lay down fairly flat.

Below you will find the general directions for crocheting this recycled plastic rug. Please be aware that this pattern is just a loose guideline for making your own unique rug using recycled plastic. You may need to add a few more stitches here and there so your ends lay down flat. I re-worked several rounds at times as the rug just didn’t want to lay down very flat. But remember the dry blower tip and try this out if needed. With that being said, enjoy the project and happy crocheting!


Recycled Plastic Oval Rug Pattern

Materials needed:

Plastic bread bags and any other plastic packaging that you can cut into loops 1/2 inch wide
to create plastic bag yarn or plarn.

N (9 mm) USA size crochet hook

Recycled plastic oval rug measures 16 inches wide and 30 inches long

Ch 36 (approx. 14 inches)

Green Easter Basket

March 22, 2010 11 comments
Green Easter Basket

My Easter basket project this year uses the bottom of a laundry soap bottle and plastic bags. I cut the bottom off a plastic soap bottle and used it as a base for my Easter basket. I then crocheted around the base and up with recycled plastic bags or plarn.

The pink bunny was crocheted using AmiAmour’s free crochet pattern found here. This is my first official ami animal and while I’m not going into the ami making business, I was pleased with the outcome of my Easter bunny.

Oh and I used cut up plarn for the grass in my Easter basket. That way it can be recycled after the holidays into another project. Happy Easter!

Free Pattern for Recycled Plastic Easter Basket

Materials needed:
Plastic bags cut into 3/4″ strips of white bags (3-4 bags)
And approx. 4-5 bags of green and yellow plastic bags
1) Plastic handle from a soap box or other plastic strap
1) Plastic laundry soap base cut from bottle
Metal punch and hammer for making holes in plastic base

Hooks: H (5 mm) US sized metal hook
and J ( 6 mm) US size crochet hook
Small Steel crochet hook for first round on base

Description: Recycled Plastic Easter Basket
Basket measures 7″ wide and 4-1/4″ tall with 20″ handle strap
at base 6″ wide and 3″ across.

Using the base cut from a laundry soap bottle (mine was 6″ long and 3″ wide), punch holes around the base as shown in the photo. I used a metal punch and a hammer to put my holes in the plastic base.

Charity Baby Afghans

March 18, 2010 7 comments
Red and White Starghan

Here are my two latest baby afghans that I crocheted for the NICU Baby Blanket drive. The first is a round ripple afghan that I crocheted using reclaimed yarn from a thrift store sweater. The white cotton yarn was from a thrift store yarn cone I picked up.

Here is a before picture of the sweater and then a picture of one of the balls of reclaimed yarn I got from unraveling this thrift store sweater. My baby RR measures 36 inches across and I still have leftover yarn from the unraveled sweater for another project. I found reclaiming the yarn from this old cotton sweater fairly easy and very rewarding to create something new and useful.

Next is a starghan baby blanket I crocheted using some worst yarn from my stash. I had some issues with this pattern and it does not lay completely flat but still turned out okay.

Both of these blankets will be making they way to Kathryn who heads up the charity drive for the 4th Annual Baby Blanket Drive at her local hospital. It was a joy to crochet these blankets for the sweet little babies and I hope they bring comfort to the little ones and their families.

Plastic Plarn Scrubbie Dots

March 12, 2010 3 comments
Plastic Plarn Dot Scrubbies

Here are my colorful plarn scrubbies I crocheted using Doni’s scrubbie dots pattern. I used a “J” (6 mm) crochet hook and followed her pattern instructions using recycled plastic bags cut about 3/4″ wide as shown in my plarn-making-tutorial. The finished dimensions for my scrubbies are 4 inch wide if you follow the exact pattern directions but use plarn instead of cotton yarn.

I just love this quick and so cute pattern. The nice thing about these scrubbies is that they only take about 2 colored and two white plastic bags to crochet each scrubbie. If you are like me, it’s hard to get colored bags so this is the perfect recycled crafting project to use those uniquely colored bags.

Enjoy this pretty and very useful crochet pattern. Have fun experimenting with colored bags to create your own unique recycled scrubbie!

Two Years Later

March 10, 2010 21 comments
Two Years Later

Two years ago today, I was told that I had breast cancer. I will never ever forget the feelings and utter terror I felt that day. My mind ran through all the different scenarios and I faced some of the most terrifying moments of my life after my diagnoses. As I look back, its the unknown that was the worst. It’s not knowing what the outcome would be and questioning myself about my strength to face this beast.

I have heard many people say that battling cancer makes you a better person. You don’t take things for granted. You love your family a bit deeper and you know how fragile your good health can be. You face your fears. You endure surgery, chemo, hair loss, and radiation. You fight to get well and get your life back as you once knew it. And you remember to enjoy each and every precious minute of your life.

Sure it’s been hard, I won’t try and sugar-coat cancer. There is nothing sweet about it. It tears you and your family apart and you are never the same again. Yes you can get better and yes you learn that you can face your worst days. You heal and become a stronger person for all that you have experienced. You find a new strength within yourself and you move on.

So as I look back on this two year cancerversary, I am thankful to God above and feel blessed that I’m cancer free now. I look forward to many more years of good health, loving my family, and enjoying my life. I know that I am stronger and that I can and have faced cancer. I move on now with a new sense of courage and conviction.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude for all your love, support and prayers. You have all helped me more than you will ever know to be able to endure and succeed in this journey that I began two years ago. Thank you all!

Pink Baby Sweater Jacket

March 6, 2010 4 comments
Pink Baby Jacket

Here is my latest baby wearable I made for my granddaughter. I crocheted this cute pattern by Beverly called Cat’s Meow Toddler Jacket using Bernat Baby Jacquards. It is a fairly easy pattern but I did have some questions and I thought I’d clarify a few issues that I had as I worked the pattern.

First I wasn’t sure what the pattern was referring to when it read “Work over 26 patterns for 3 rows” after you finish the sleeves. I figured out it was talking about the vertically rows that this stitch pattern forms as you crochet the repeat pattern. I counted over 26 pattern rows which was about 10-1/2 inches from the sleeve edge and 4 inches from side edge in to neck.

Next I found that the border needs to start on the left side as you are looking at it which is the actual right hand side of sweater. I also found that it was easier for me to do the buttonholes on the right side of jacket by starting from the top edge and working down. Because I started at the top, I worked single crochet (sc) stitches in the first 8 stitches from the collar down to the first buttonhole. Then I worked the first buttonhole ch 2, skip 2 sts, and then worked sc in the next 8 stitches and repeated down to bottom of the right side.

I finished off the border by working a sc around in each st and 3 sc in corners the same as row 4 calls for in the pattern. I worked the collar’s first row by sc in each st and then skipping every 4th stitch but then I worked the remaining rows of the collar by sc in each stitch and 3 sc at collar points. I edged my sweater jacket with white contrasting yarn by working sc around the collar and cuffs and then I crocheted the ruffled edging around the rest of the sweater.

I hope my notes may help anyone else that may have questions working this pattern. It’s really an adorable finished baby jacket and I can’t wait to see my sweet granddaughter model it.

Thrift Store Sweater Upcycled

March 1, 2010 16 comments
Thrift Sweater Bag Keeper

Recycling thrift store sweaters is a great way to reclaim some nice yarn at a reasonable price. I recently picked up this mohair blend sweater from my local thrift store with high hopes to unravel the yarn. Well I soon found out that this sweater didn’t want to unravel and appears to be an interlocked knit.

I put on my thinking cap in an effort to upcycle this old sweater into some new and useful items. First I used the lower portion of the sweater to create a scarf cowl. Using some scrap yarn, I added two rows of single crochet along the lower edges to finish off the raw edges where the sweater body had been attached. My upcycled cowl was finished off with some wooden buttons from my stash.

Next I tackled using the sleeve as a plastic bag holder. The natural cuff on the sweater was perfect for transforming the sleeve into a handy bag keeper. As shown in the pictures, I folded under the top of the sleeve to the inside. Using a basting stitch, I sewed around the top edge about 1 inch from the top to create a casing for the ribbon tie closure. I machine stitched the basting to hold the fold in place and also so I could crochet in a straight line to create my casing. I left the back of the casing open where the sleeve seam is. Then using a small D crochet hook and some scrap brown yarn, I worked a slip stitch over the basting and through both layers to create my casing for the ribbon tie closure. See photos below and you can click on any other them to enlarge the pictures.

I added a hook hanger at the back by chaining the length I wanted and then worked back down the chain by working a single crochet stitch around the chain and attached both ends into the back of the bag keeper. I threaded a piece of ribbon through the casing and tied it at the back with a bow to complete the plastic bag keeper. I present the upcycled thrift store sleeve which has been transformed into a plastic bag holder.

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!