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Plastic Trash Rug

Posted on March 28, 2010

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 ½” wide
to create plastic bag yarn or plarn.

“N” USA size crochet hook

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

Ch 36 (approx. 14 inches)

Rnd 1
Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each st down to the end of chain , work 2 Sc in end st. Then working along the back side of chain, Sc in ea st down to the other end and work 2 Sc in end st.

Rnd 2
Work Sc in ea st down to the end, work 2 Sc in two end sts then Sc in ea remaining st down to other end st. Work 2 Sc in other two end sts.. Don’t join but just continue working rug in rounds.

Rnd 3
Work Sc in ea st down to the end, work 2 Sc in three end sts then Sc in ea remaining st down to other end st. Work 2 Sc in other three end sts.

Rnd 4
Work Sc in ea st down to the end, work 2 Sc in four end sts of oval then Sc in ea remaining st down to other end. Work 2 Sc in other four end sts of oval.

Rnd 5
Work Sc in ea st down to the oval end, work 2 Sc in five end sts then Sc in ea remaining st down to other end. Work 2 Sc in other five end sts of oval.

Tip: Add a st along the oval and/or sides as needed so your rug lays down flat.

Rnd 6
Work Sc in ea st down to the oval end, Work 2 Sc in six end sts then Sc in ea remaining st down to other end st. Work 2 Sc in other six end sts at oval end.

Continue working in rounds and add stitches as needed. I found as the rug got wider that I reduced the amount of increases on the oval ends and I did need to add a stitch here and there to get the rug flat. Check the lay of the rug periodically to make sure you are adding or subtracting sts as needed.

Final Rnd:
When your rug is at the desired size, finish off your last round by doing several Sl Sts in the last final sts of round. Then take the tail end of your plarn, and weave under a few more sts to get a smooth edge and so your rug is shaped correctly.

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

Ch – Chain
Ea – Each
FO – Fasten Off
Rnd – Round
Sc - Single Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sl St – Slip Stitch
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. ©2010

****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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27 Responses to “Plastic Trash Rug”

  1. Libby
    Mar 28, 2010

    Awesome! I keep starting one of these, but haven’t finished one yet. I’ll get there someday. Thanks so much for sharing your work.

  2. Kristy
    Mar 28, 2010

    Great job! Thanks for the blow dryer tip & the pattern :)
    .-= Kristy´s last blog ..Spring is in the air =-.

  3. Stephanie
    Mar 28, 2010

    hey Cindy I actually learned to crochet a little bit. Can you believe it? :) I thinking of making a rug similar to this out of baler twine.It may be a long time coming though. :P
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..32% Rebate at 123Inkjets =-.

  4. Lynne
    Mar 28, 2010

    Wow! You are patient!
    .-= Lynne´s last blog ..someone had to knit all this =-.

  5. [...] Plastic Trash Rug | My Recycled [...]

  6. Snowcatcher
    Mar 29, 2010

    So colorful! Good tip on using the blow dryer to flatten it, too. This project is such a great idea!
    .-= Snowcatcher´s last blog ..Snowflake Monday =-.

  7. Clare
    Mar 29, 2010

    I always asked my Mom to ask Mrs Sherman how to make these kinds of rugs out of breadbags. My mom always shrugged it off, said she “couldn’t remember such things” and said “you ask her if you want to know.” I was always too much in awe.
    In my own experiments. I found that these bags are too “stiff” for my liking, and began to doubt that what I remembered was true. The fact that you took the time to write it all down gives me new hope – maybe I can find a way to make it work. Then again… know how it goes. So many projects, so much stuff, so little time.

  8. Christy
    Mar 30, 2010

    This is fantastic! Thanks for the pattern. Now I know what to do with all those Target bags i’ve been saving for … something. :)

  9. [...] presents Plastic Trash Rug posted at My Recycled RecycleCindy says, "I present my Trashy Rug which is crocheted from [...]

  10. [...] Cindy at My Recycled Bags made a rug from plastic trash bags [...]

  11. ShirleyGreeny
    Apr 18, 2010

    Great job !!!
    Some day I’ll make a rug too :-)

    I included a picture with a link on my blog with pattern links, I hope you don’t mind. I always suppose the artists wouldn’t mind some kind of advertising; since people who wants to make the arty craft, will have to follow the link to your site ;-)
    (and your whole blog has to come on the blog list too, it’s awesome !!!)
    .-= ShirleyGreeny´s last blog ..Recycled Round Plarn Rug by MyRecycledBags =-.

  12. [...] at My Recycled are crotchet patterns for making plastic rugs, among other [...]

  13. Munchkin Momma
    May 13, 2010

    This is awesome! I wish I had the patience for this it would be a fanastic rug to clean off shoes and for in between my hardwood entry and linoleum kitchen where there is a whopping 3×4 section of carpet to get filthy on a regular basis thanks to 5 adults, 3 kids, 2 dogs and the cat not to mention playmates running through constantly!

  14. Denise Crew
    Jun 14, 2010

    I love your crafts. I would like to know where I can get a bit of information to start up a co-op of crafters who care about recycling. I have over 50 items completed myself and you have given me more excellent ideas and tips. Thank You, any information would be appreciated..keep crafting and love the earth. Denise, Hamilton Ohio

  15. Cindy
    Jun 14, 2010

    I’m not sure if you want to connect with people on the Internet or locally in your community. On the Internet there are several great places to connect with like-minded crafters such as Flickr and Ravelry. I am a member of a group at Ravelry that is called Trash to Treasures that you can find here. If you are looking to connect locally you should check out freecycle which has local groups or check at your local library or craft shop.

    Best wishes and I hope you find what you are looking for.

  16. Jessica
    Aug 01, 2010

    Okay, I REALLY like this pattern. At first I thought the crumbs on the packages would make it, well, honestly, gross. But I thought of doing it with grocery bags instead and it’s not even one bit CLOSE to done but it looks awesome! Thnx! Make more patterns!

  17. Cindy
    Aug 01, 2010

    Glad you liked the pattern. I wash all my bread bags out and hang them to dry so you don’t have any crumbs. Good luck on your rug.

  18. Lynnda
    Jan 07, 2011

    Cindy, have you ever tried braiding your plastic bag rugs?

  19. Cindy
    Jan 08, 2011

    Yes I’ve done some simple braiding and used a three strand braid of plarn for a hanger on my recycled cup holder for holding plastic bags.

  20. Marcia
    Feb 02, 2011

    I have 2 yellow and navy blue plastic table covers (throw away kind) left over from my son’s graduation party that I plan to cut up into strips and see what kind of a rug I can make out of them. Just need to get myself motivated to try it. Also, maybe it won’t be so hard on the hands since it’s a soft plastic. Just a thought if anyone wanted to try it.

  21. Cindy
    Feb 02, 2011

    I have known several people who have used plastic tablecloths for rugs and tote bags. You can cut them into one long continuous strand of plarn. Depending on the plastic you may find it easier than plastic retail bags but it all comes down to the plastic and whether its smooth. Good luck on your project.

  22. Susan
    Feb 03, 2011

    Plarn has been in my craft world for quite awhile, and I am going to use what I’ve learned there to re-cycle old tee shirts into rag rugs. Same idea, just different stuff!

  23. Karla
    Mar 31, 2011

    Hi. I’ve been knitting plarn into my recycled grocery bags and get lots of great feedback in the “organic” store. But was getting bored with those, so now I’m inspired to knit a rug like yours!
    I found that on the thinner plastic that I just double up on the strands as I loop together, which makes a very strong, durable bag [this worked well w/ Target bags and I made a beautiful red and white one that way!]. It’s a great way to use them up faster especially if you’re tired of storing all those bags!

  24. Jacqui
    Dec 26, 2011

    I’ve had some of these for years. When I was growing up, my next door neighbor made them all the time.

  25. Khris
    Jul 15, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your rug pattern. I have shared your post on Freebies for Crafters…Khris

  26. carol
    Jul 19, 2012

    GREAT idea! while using heavier gauge plastic, i find the spiral cut easier to use (saw it on another website for plarn), it makes one long continuous strip of plastic per bag.. this would be a nice rug for the mud room…

  27. [...] >crochet a rug from plastic bags [...]


  1. [...] Plastic Trash Rug | My Recycled [...]

  2. [...] presents Plastic Trash Rug posted at My Recycled RecycleCindy says, "I present my Trashy Rug which is crocheted from [...]

  3. [...] Cindy at My Recycled Bags made a rug from plastic trash bags [...]

  4. [...] at My Recycled are crotchet patterns for making plastic rugs, among other [...]

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About Me

Hello, I’m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. I love to learn and share information about crocheted and other items crafted from recycled materials. This is a green, eco-friendly website that is dedicated to recycling and crafting.
This blog and my life have taken on a new journey when on March 10, 2008, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have added a special area on my blog in which I chronicle my journey into the pink.
Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!


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