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

Draft Dodger From Recycled Plastic Bags

April 30, 2011 6 comments
Draft Dodger From Recycled Plastic Bags

Drafts from around doors and windows is never a good thing. But you can craft your own draft stopper or dodger from recycled materials to save on your heating bill and help keep your home warmer.

You can use scrap pieces of plastic bags or other stuffing material to fill the shell of the draft dodger. For this particular project, I crocheted my draft dodger from recycled plastic bags. It was a great opportunity to use the many different colored plastic bags that I have been saving. Each stripe only takes between 2-3 bags each. It’s hard to find colored bags in large qualities so this was the perfect project to utilize the pretty colors that I have been collecting but didn’t have enough of one color for a large project.

I crocheted my draft dodger and then stuffed it using the scrap pieces that you get when you make plastic bag yarn or plarn. When I make my plarn, I have the end pieces and the handle portion that I don’t use as I assemble the loops. So I took those leftover plastic bag pieces and used them for the stuffing of my draft dodger. You want to stuff the draft dodger before you close the ends. I put in a few pieces of plastic and then used a broom stick to push them into the shell of the draft dodger. You want to stuff it somewhat loosely so that your shell isn’t too stiff and so it doesn’t stretch out the shape of the tube. I stuffed from one end until it was nicely filled to the halfway point and then closed that end of the tube as shown in the pattern below. Then I repeated the stuffing for the other end.

That completes the project and below you will find the free crochet pattern details for the draft dodger. Adjust the length as needed for your door or window. But most importantly enjoy working this recycled craft project.

Draft Dodger Crochet Pattern

Materials needed:
Variety of plastic bags made into Plarn
Approx. 56 plastic grocery bags
Stuffing material for inside the draft dodger shell

Hook: J (6 mm) U.S. size metal hook
Description: Draft Dodger
Measurements: 3 inches wide x 38 inches long (or width needed for your door or window)


With J hook, ch 18 and join to form a ring. Make sure your chain is not twisted and your stitches are facing out. This pattern is worked in the round and is done in single crochet stitch.

Sc in each stitch and don’t join at the end of each round but rather just continue working in the round for 5 rounds in each color. At the end of the 5th round. Finish off at the end of 5th round by cutting the plarn and working a slip stitch into the next two stitches to end the round smoothly.

Ch 1 at the beginning of each new color and slip stitch into the last […]

Happy Easter

April 15, 2011 4 comments
Happy Easter

With Easter just around the corner, I thought I post some of the recycled Easter baskets that I have crafted in past years. So if you are looking for recycled Easter basket projects, let me share a few links of free patterns with you. This cute green Easter basket was made from a recycled plastic soap base and then I crocheted the top using plastic bags.

Maybe you need something a little smaller, if so check out this mini plarn Easter egg basket. It’s a real quick and easy pattern. Also it only takes about 3 to 4 plastic bags made into plarn to crochet.

Should you need a large Easter basket, here is my big recycled Easter basket that I crocheted from some purple plastic bags that you were given to me several years ago. To this day, I’ve never seen bags this color again and was so fortunate to be given them by a reader of this blog.

I hope you enjoyed this little parade of recycled Easter baskets that I have crocheted. Happy Easter Everyone!

Lining a Crocheted Oven Mitt

April 10, 2011 3 comments
Lining a Crocheted Oven Mitt

A few weeks ago I shared my crocheted oven mitt project that I made from a recycled cotton bed sheet. At that time I hadn’t been able to line the oven mitt but I just got the lining done and wanted to present the photo tutorial.

Here is my finished product with the lining sewn inside the t-yarn oven mitt. This lining project would work for any crocheted or knitted oven mitt.

The first step in this lining project is to lay out and cut your lining fabric and heat protection material. I used some scrap fabric that I had on hand along with a piece of Insul-Bright insulation material. Insul-Bright is an inexpensive material that provides heat protection and is designed for use in oven mitt and potholder projects. You just need enough fabric to cut out two oven mitt shapes and one shape from the insulation material. You need to cut out two thumbs from the printed lining fabric and the insulation material.

Next step is to

Reclaiming Yarn From a Thrift Store Sweater

April 2, 2011 2 comments
Reclaiming Yarn From a Thrift Store Sweater

Reclaiming yarn from thrift store sweaters is a wonderful and frugal way to get some very nice yarn at a terrific price. I’m always on the lookout for great deals on sweaters that I can unravel the yarn. You have to make sure you get the right type of seams otherwise the sweater won’t unravel properly making it difficult to reclaim the yarn.

There are several excellent resources on the Internet where seams that can be unraveled easily are shown. Most importantly the bad type of seams are shown so you can avoid those sweaters as there is nothing more frustrating than trying to unravel a sweater when it’s unravel-able. Here is a link to an outstanding post that shows detailed pictures of the seams and how to unravel sweaters.

Here is my latest thrift store sweater that I got for a dollar. It had a new stains but otherwise was an outstanding candidate for me to reclaim the yarn. It’s 100% cotton and was an extra large men’s sweater so it contains lots of yarn.

Cotton yarn is something that I use frequently and it’s very versatile. I can make baby blankets, dishcloths, baby bibs, hotpads, potholders, placemats, rugs, totes, and purses from the recycled sweater I unraveled.

Here is a up-close photo of the seam. If you look closely you can see that the seam doesn’t have a serged edge. I have marked the stitching of the seam in the photo. The stitching is what you want to use a seam ripper to remove so you can open the seam and separate the pieces for unraveling. You want to avoid edges that are serged as the piece won’t unravel. Click to supersize the photo if you want to see a closeup.

I wrap the reclaimed yarn in a hank form for washing as shown here. Once I have it in a hank form with a few ties to hold it in place, I gently wash and rinse it in the sink. Then I hang it to dry so my reclaimed yarn is clean and fresh smelling. And because I like balls of yarn, here is one sleeve that I wound into a ball after washing and drying.

Now I just need to finish unraveling the rest of the sweater and decide on a project or two for the recycled yarn. I’m thinking about using some of the reclaimed yarn for dishcloths and because the yarn is so soft, I plan to use some it for a baby blanket.

With the cost of cotton rising these days, it seems reclaiming yarn is not only a green thing to do but also very frugal. I hope you have found this post informative and if you find yourself strapped for money or yarn that you consider reclaiming yarn. As always, happy crafting to all.

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!