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

Mini Christmas Socks

December 19, 2011 1 comment
Mini Christmas Socks

Merry Christmas! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with recycled crafting. Here is my latest using this ever so cute little Christmas sock pattern. I used a “H” (5 mm) crochet hook and worked the pattern using 8 recycled newspaper plastic bags and one large green retail bag for the trim. The pattern doesn’t state if you should join each round or just work in the round. I single crocheted in the round without joining except for the final round of each color. On the final round of each color, I did join with a slip stitch to keep each color edge smooth. My finished plarn mini stocking is 6 inches long.

Here is the same pattern crocheted with some ww Christmas yarn.

I made my yarn stocking a bit bigger than the pattern called for by adding a few additional stitches and rows. This 2nd stocking is about 7-1/2″ long. So whether your working with plarn (plastic bag yarn) or regular worst yarn, this pattern is super fast and easy. Enjoy!

More Crocheted Towel Toppers

December 14, 2011 4 comments
More Crocheted Towel Toppers

I have been on a crocheted towel topper kick lately. I have crocheted several different ones including ones with rings and those with button closures. I love doing the no-cutting and no-sewing toppers with double layered towels as they are so nice and thick.

Here is the free crochet pattern and picture tutorial for making double layered towel toppers. The method I use is to just fold the towel in half and using a small steel crochet hook, single crochet the base row through both layers along the top of the towel edge. Once this base row is complete, you switch over to a larger hook and the towel topper works up quickly using only about an ounce of yarn.

I added a jingle bell for the button closure on this towel. Just chain 2-3 stitches for a larger button opening than the original pattern calls for when you crochet the buttonhole.

So if you need a last minute gift idea, grab a towel and some yarn and crochet one of these pretty towel toppers. They really are a wonderful handcrafted gift.

Triangle Ring Towel Topper

December 6, 2011 5 comments
Triangle Ring Towel Topper

My triangle towel topper uses a finger towel and a recycled plastic milk jug ring for a hanger. I really like the idea of the round ring as you can hang up the towel on a cabinet knob or hang it up over a hook. It works up very quickly and I made the first one using less than an ounce of thrift store sport cotton. This one had 48 stitches along the top as the yarn was thinner.

Here is a closeup of the finished top. You can click on the photo to supersize it.

When I made the red triangle towel topper, I used regular cotton weight yarn. It’s Bernat Christmas Sparkle.

Because the red triangle towel topper is a thicker weight yarn, it has 44 stitches across the top edge of the towel to start. But don’t worry about the number of stitches across the top, just do your single crochet stitches evenly along the top edge. You can always adjust your stitches as needed as you work your topper. I did one extra row for the flap on the red topper. With 4 rows, the turning flap was a bit longer but you can do just 3 rows if that works for you like I did with the sport weight yarn on the blue triangle towel topper.

I used Christmas finger towels for this project but you can use towels of different widths or lengths. Just adjust your stitches as needed to end with a 4-stitch wide flap for the fold over the plastic ring. I used plastic milk jug rings but you can also use recycled juice or other round rings for this project. Make sure you crochet lots of stitches around the plastic ring to cover it entirely with the yarn. I found this gives the project a nice look and no one with ever know that you used an old plastic jug ring for your crochet project.

As always please enjoy the free pattern below and happy crocheting to all!

Crocheted Triangle Ring Towel Topper

Materials needed:
Finger towel – 10 inches wide by 16 inches long used
Plastic milk jug ring 1-1/2″ wide
1 oz. Cotton yarn

Finished topper: 10″ wide & 5″ long from top of ring to towel top edge

#7 Steel crochet hook
G (4-4.25 mm) crochet hook

Because finger towels are shorter, there is no cutting or sewing necessary to begin your base row. You will use the steel hook to poke the first hole into the right side corner and pull the yarn through the hole. Then use the G hook to complete your first Sc st. Then move onto the next hole until you have worked completely across the base row evenly with your stitching. Once you have the base row done, you will only be crocheting with the G hook.

Row 1
Using the steel crochet hook as explained above to poke holes, Sc evenly along the top edge of towel.

Recycled Milk Jug

November 28, 2011 7 comments
Recycled Milk Jug

Today I want to share a recycled milk jug project that I saw over at Disney Family Fun. By cutting a milk jug you can create a reusable container that you can use for a lunch box or other purposes. All you need is a plastic one gallon milk jug, a sharp pair of scissors, a marker, a nail or thumb tack, a button and a bit of yarn.

Mark your milk jug as shown and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut away the top and handle portion of the jug.

My first attempt was done free hand and I found it difficult to get my shape even when I marked the jug for cutting. I made this little template below and used it as a guide for marking the jug on my 2nd attempt. Just hold it up to the milk jug to help you mark the shape for your cuts.

It’s very important that you cut up high to the top of the milk jug opening to get the curved flap area for your lunch box. I used a small sharp nail to push the holes through on the plastic to create the folds for the flaps. My milk jug had a natural line molded in the plastic that I used for the line for my holes. Once the holes are punched, you can fold over the flaps along the punched edges.

The original recycled craft project called for a Velcro closure but I wanted to create a simple closure using some spare buttons I had on hand along with a scrap of yarn.

Cluster Stitch Recycled Gift Bag

November 16, 2011 4 comments
Cluster Stitch Recycled Gift Bag

This week I present a variation of my cluster stitch bag that I made recently. The main body of this bag is crocheted using recycled plastic bags that have been cut into plarn using the looping method. I have a picture tutorial here for making plarn from plastic bags should you need instructions. Just click on the green link.

I wanted to add a gift bag type closure to the original pattern to create a reusable gift bag. I used some Christmas cotton to top this plarn bag and created a looped handle to finish off my little gift bag. The looped handle works wonderfully for closing the bag. I plan on crocheting several of these bags to use for gift bags for Christmas. They work up quickly and with the looped handle, you have a ready-made gift bag that doesn’t even require a bow.

Special thanks to Helen over at CrochetN’Crafts who was my inspiration for this project. So grab a few of those plastic bags laying around and whip yourself up a beautiful recycled gift bag for Christmas!

Cluster Stitch Plarn Gift Bag Pattern

Materials needed:
Plastic bag yarn “Plarn” about 10 plastic grocery bags
1/2 oz Bernat Holidays Red Sparkle cotton yarn for trim and handle

J (6 mm) metal crochet hook for bag
H (5 mm) hook for top trim and handle

Description: Recycled Plastic Bag Cluster Stitch Gift Bag
Bag measures 6″ wide and 4-3/4″ tall with 12″ handle and 5-1/4″ wide at base

Cluster Stitch Details:
Beg Cluster: Ch 2, (Yo, insert hook into sp indicated, yo and pull through, yo and pull through 2 lps on hook) 4 times, 5 lps on hook, yo and pull through all 5 lps, Ch 1.

Cluster: (Yo, insert hook into sp indicated, yo and pull through, yo and pull through 2 lps on hook) 5 times, 6 lps on hook, yo and pull through all 6 lps, Ch 1.

Using J hook with plarn, Ch 11

Concentrated Homemade Laundry Soap

November 10, 2011 5 comments
Concentrated Homemade Laundry Soap

A few months ago you may remember that I made my first batch of homemade laundry soap. In my first attempt I felt my original soap recipe was a bit too runny and I wanted to try the process again

In this new batch of soap, I made a more concentrated soap by using less water. It’s still liquidy but not so watery which I like much better. I tweaked the original recipe and this is my newest recipe for a more concentrated homemade laundry soap.

Large metal cooking pot at least 4 quarts or bigger
2 gallon plastic bucket for final soap container
1/2 bar of Fels-Naptha laundry soap
1/2 cup Arm & Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup 20 Mule Team borax powder
6-7 drops of essential oil (Optional)

Grate 1/2 of the bar of Fels-Naptha soap and place in cooking pot. Add 6 cups water and heat gently over low to medium-low heat stirring occasionally until the soap melts. Turn heat to low, add the washing soda and the borax stirring until all ingredients are dissolved.

Pour 4 cups of very hot water into the plastic bucket. Now quickly add the cooked soap mixture to the plastic bucket mix and stir well. I added 6-7 drops of lemon essential oil to the mix at this point. This is an optional ingredient but the bit of oil gave my final soap just a hint of fragrance. Now add 1 gallon of hot water to the plastic bucket mix and stir well again. Let the soap mixture sit at least 24 hours to gel.

This recipe resulted in a much less watery soap mix and I use 1/3 cup of soap in my top-loading large washer. For best results I place the soap in the washer and use a little hot water to dissolve the soap before placing my clothes into the washer. As a reminder this soap can be used for stain treatments by either pre-soaking or spot treat the stain directly with a small amount of soap before washing.


Cluster Stitch Recycled Bag

November 4, 2011 3 comments
Cluster Stitch Recycled Bag

Many of my recycled bag projects involve taking traditional yarn patterns and converting them into items made from recycled materials. This little cluster stitch bag is just such a project. One of my on-line friends Helen created this adorable gift bag pattern using a medium weight yarn.

With Helen’s permission, I used her pattern for the basis of making this cute little bag project using recycled plastic bags. I then used some scrap yarn to make the top trim and handles to finish off this recycled bag project.

Here is a closeup photo of the handles that I crocheted onto the bag.
Click to supersize

This little plarn bag would make a great gift bag or purse. By adding a ribbon or bow to the bag, you create a re-usable gift bag that can be used over and over. The pattern works up very quickly and because of the pretty stitch pattern, I think it makes an adorable purse too.

Enjoy the free recycled crafting pattern below and happy crocheting to all!


Cluster Stitch Plarn Bag Pattern

Materials needed:
Ball of plastic bag yarn “Plarn” about 10-12 plastic grocery bags
Here is my picture tutorial on how to make plarn from plastic bags

1/2 oz worst weight yarn for handles

J (6 mm) metal crochet hook for bag
H (5 mm) hook for handles

Description: Recycled Plastic Bag Cluster Stitch Gift Bag or Purse
Bag measures 6″ wide and 5″ tall with 7″ handles and 5-1/4″ wide at base

Cluster Stitch Details:
Beg Cluster: Ch 2, (Yo, insert hook into sp indicated, yo and pull through, yo and pull through 2 lps on hook) 4 times, 5 lps on hook, yo and pull through all 5 lps, Ch 1.

Cluster: (Yo, insert hook into sp indicated, yo and pull through, yo and pull through 2 lps on hook) 5 times, 6 lps on hook, yo and pull through all 6 lps, Ch 1.

Using J hook, Ch 11

Rnd 1
Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea chain st down to end. Work 3 Sc in end st, then continue around other side of chain by working a Sc in ea st to other end then work 2 Sc in end st. Join with a Sl St into beg Sc st. (24)

Basic Fingerless Gloves

October 27, 2011 16 comments
Basic Fingerless Gloves

As many of you know, I’m really into creating basic patterns that are easy to make. With that in mind, I set out to create some crocheted fingerless gloves. I love to work in the round, without joining or seams if possible. So here is my basic and very simple crocheted fingerless glove project.

After making this basic crocheted pair of fingerless gloves, I decided that I would try adding a bit of a thumb to it. Below is the pair of gloves that I crocheted with the optional thumb.

The second pair of gloves were crocheted just a bit smaller by only doing 40 rows of ribbing and 40 stitches along the edge for the body of the glove. This resulted in a 1/4 inch smaller cuff and finger opening area. I mention this as a way to show that this pattern can be adjusted for smaller hands by just reducing the number of stitches on the ribbing. Likewise, you could make larger gloves by just increasing the number of stitches of the ribbing when you begin the pattern.

Each pair of gloves use just one skein of yarn and do work up very quickly. As always, I hope you enjoy my free pattern and happy crocheting to all!


Basic Fingerless Glove Crochet Pattern

Red Heart Heart & Sole Yarn, Super Fine, Toasted Almond, 1.76 oz (50 g)

F (3.75 mm) size crochet hook
G (4-4.25 mm) size crochet hook

Women’s Medium sized fingerless gloves
Measurements: 8-3/4 inches long, 3-1/2 inches wide at cuff & 4 inches across at palm.

Make 2 gloves as follows:
Using F hook for ribbing, leave a long tail and ch 15.

Row 1
Sc in 3rd ch from hook and in ea st down to the end. (13 Sc)

Orange Plarn Trick or Treat Bag

October 15, 2011 10 comments
Orange Plarn Trick or Treat Bag

Using these orange plastic bags to create a trick or treat bag was a great way to recycle my newspaper bags. Here is my picture tutorial for cutting the newspaper bags to create plarn so you can crochet with the material.

For this project, I wanted to create large comfortable handles that could be put over a child’s arms for easy carrying of this basket type bag. I recycled a microwave dinner tray and cut the top rim off. I then hole punched around the base evenly so I could crochet into the plastic tray for the base of this bag. The dinner tray provides a flat and sturdy bottom to the bag which allows the bag to stand up nicely on its own.

Enjoy crocheting this recycled bag project and happy Halloween everyone!

Free Crocheted Pattern for a Recycled Plastic Trick or Treat Bag

Materials needed:
Orange plastic bags cut into 1 inch strips for plarn (approx 25 newspaper sacks used)

1) Plastic frozen dinner dinner tray with the rim cut off
(One used in project was 6-3/4 inches long & 3-1/2″ wide)

G (4-4.25 mm) sized metal hook for base row only
J (6 mm) sized metal hook

Description: Recycled Plastic Halloween Trick or Treat Bag

Bag measures 7 inches long, 5 inches wide and 6 inches tall with 8-1/2″ handles

Using the tray after cutting off the rim, punch holes around the base as shown in the photo.
I used a heavy duty hole punch to put the holes around the base.

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!