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Newspaper Bags Recycled into Plarn

Posted on March 6, 2011

This tutorial shows how you can recycle plastic newspaper bags into plastic bag yarn or plarn. Converting these narrow plastic bag sleeves into yarn is very similar to cutting retail bags to make plastic bag yarn. I have create a picture tutorial outlining the steps below. This method can be used for any narrow plastic bags like newspaper sleeves, English muffin bags, packing pillows and any other skinny plastic bags. The result is short plastic loops that can be joined into one long continuous strip for crocheting, knitting, or weaving.

First step is to take the newspaper bag which measures 7-1/2″ wide x 21″ long and flatten it out.
Click on any photo to supersize

Step 2 is to fold it in half lengthwise.

Step 3 is to fold it once more lengthwise. Now you are ready for the cutting stage.

Step 4 you cut strips 1 inch wide across the short length of the bag. This creates 1 inch wide loops of plastic.

Step 5 is closeup of the 1 inch wide plarn loops. Because the end is sealed off, cut a very thin strip at the end of bag to open up the last loop.

Step 6 shows how you interconnect the loops and then pull the knot tight.

If you cut the strips about 1 inch wide, it will result in about 19 loops per newspaper bag. Once joined together, this nets about 3-3/4 yards of plastic bag yarn per newspaper bag. Continue to add loops to your chain of plarn rings to make your recycled plastic bag yarn for whatever crafting project you may have in mind.

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19 Responses to “Newspaper Bags Recycled into Plarn”

  1. CrochetBlogger
    Mar 07, 2011

    Great tutorial for anyone interested in learning to make plarn! I’ve been needing to start doing this myself because I want to participate in Something in the Water (crocheting plarn breasts for eco-awareness) and that’s due soon.

  2. Tara K
    Mar 07, 2011

    I used newspaper bags and produce bags to make a bag. It turned out kinda kewl šŸ™‚

  3. […] Plarn – Popular for the last few years, Plarn is an acronym for plastic yarn. Grocery bags and […]

  4. Pat
    Mar 20, 2011

    Can hardly wait to delve into the stash of bags I have! Many Thanks!

  5. Sharon S.
    Apr 03, 2011

    Congradulations on not being in the pink. I want to thank you for the tutorials! I will be using your method, and the continuous strip method at an Earth Day event I am volunteering at. Thank you so much for sharing your talent!

  6. Alice J.
    Apr 08, 2011

    Thank you for sharing this great idea.I am a teacher in a School for children which are saved from human trafficking in The Netherlands. We want to learn these children skills they can use, if they ever have to go back to their own country. This is a way to learn them how to earn there own money and be more aware of our environment.

  7. Karen
    May 10, 2011

    My grandfather was doing this back in 1971 with bread bags. We had all kinds of plastic crocheted rugs all around the house!

  8. Leaette Lally
    Sep 30, 2011

    I love your website. I am a 63 yr old, young, grandma. Wondered if you have ever tried cutting on the bias? I make t shirt items and cut on the bias. This is one continuous rope made from one t shirt. It can be as long as 10 ft and I have applied this technique to plastic bags and it actually works.I dont know how to put this on a website but if anyone is interested I can give as clear as possible instructions

  9. Cindy
    Oct 01, 2011

    I have cut my t-shirts like that and created a one-piece continuous strand of t-yarn. As for plastic bags, I have tried that method but prefer the looping method to create my plarn. It’s just stronger and is a smoother material for me to work with.

  10. belinha
    Oct 02, 2011

    Hello! I’ve seen this in many blogs but your way of explaining and your bags are the best! I have a blog where I post about recycling stuff and if you don’t mind I would like to feature your bags! Have a nice weekend!

  11. belinha
    Oct 02, 2011

    Hi! I always provide link back, that’s the least one can do. That’s why I sometimes take a lot of time to prepare a post. Sometimes I find a photo on a blog somewhere and I love the work.It makes me mad when people don’t link back to the author!;)

  12. bethsheba
    May 14, 2012

    Soo soo wonderfull. am going out to get plastic rolls of different coulour to make table mats and tote a bag

  13. […] using recycled plastic newspaper bags. I cut the plastic bags into 1 inch wide strips using this plarn making tutorial. Here is the free crochet pattern for the plastic bag water bottle holder. But the twist on this […]

  14. Henrietta Lang
    May 24, 2016

    I was wondering if you could use plastic tablecloths to get a color you want

  15. Cindy
    May 25, 2016

    Henrietta – Yes recycled tablecloths do work and you cut them into one continuous strip. I don’t use plastic tablecloths but people who do have made plarn from them. There are several post around the ‘Net using plastic tablecloths for recycled crafting projects.

  16. UpcycleJosh
    Oct 10, 2016

    What a cool idea, I’ve never heard of this before but it looks very versatile and I love some of the ideas that you have come up with for this material. Great work!

  17. Linda Barr
    Jan 30, 2017

    I have a question from a practical and time saving perspective. Why do you cut many short loops from the width instead of just a few long loops from the length? Thank you for the tutorial, it is easy and I like the pics.

  18. Cindy
    Feb 02, 2017

    @Linda – If you cut long width you wouldn’t have loops. You only have loops by cutting across side to side of the bag so its a loop which you then attached to each other. You could also cut one long strip but I like the looping (double strand) method. Hope that explains it. Best wishes and I hope you can use this to make yourself something useful. I just love the pretty pink bags that the paper comes in for crafting.


  1. […] Plarn – Popular for the last few years, Plarn is an acronym for plastic yarn. Grocery bags and […]

  2. […] using recycled plastic newspaper bags. I cut the plastic bags into 1 inch wide strips using this plarn making tutorial. Here is the free crochet pattern for the plastic bag water bottle holder. But the twist on this […]

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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!