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Recycled Plastic Bag Shell Purse

Posted on August 14, 2009

Recycled Plarn Shell Purse
As promised in my last post, here is my striped shell handbag purse that is crocheted from recycled plastic bags. I changed colors of plastic bags every round to create this unique looking shell stitch purse. I did 16 rounds and each round takes about 2 to 2-1/2 bags to complete each different colored row. Also this is my first experience using store purchased purse handles. I splurged and bought these as they were on clearance for $2.00. I think they really compliment the handbag and along with the lining, make this a really beautiful and fashionable upcycled handbag.

Recycled Shell Purse InsideHere is a closeup on the inside of the bag. Click to supersize

Free Striped Shell Handbag Crochet Pattern

Materials needed:
14-16 different colors of plastic bags made into plastic bag yarn aka Plarn
Approx. 35-40 plastic grocery bags in different colors
1 Set of Bamboo handles
Small amount of fabric for lining
Magnetic clasp closure

N 9 (mm) metal crochet hook

Description: Striped Shell Handbag
Bag measures 13 inches wide and 9 inch long with bamboo handles

Here is the tutorial on how to make plastic bag yarn if you need it.

Rnd 1
Ch 29, work 3 Hdc in 3rd ch from hook * Sk 2 sts, work 4 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * to end of chain. Ch 2, working back down backside of chain, repeat between * to end.
(Work 4 Hdc in large hole where 4 Hdcs were worked on the other side of chain so clusters are centered.)
Ch 2 at end, Sl St to top of ch 2 beg st. (9 clusters made.)

Change color every round now to create a striped handbag.

Rnd 2 Cluster Shells
Change color and Sl St over to top of 2nd Hdc St of last rounds cluster (center st), ch 2, 3 Hdc in same st, *sk to 2nd Hdc of next cluster,work 4 Hdc in top of 2nd Hdc of that cluster (center of cluster.) *Repeat between * to end. Work 4 Hdc in the ch 2 end st. Continue around corner to other side working in established pattern to end of round. Work 4 Hdc in ch 2 st at end of rnd. Join with a Sl St to top of ch 2.

Rnd 3
Join new color to middle (top) of cluster, ch 2, then 3 hdc in sm st, *sk 2 sts and work 4 Hdc in top of center of next cluster. *Repeat between * until end and join with a Sl St to top of ch 2.

Repeat Rnd 3 until measures 9 inches long or your desired length for handbag.

Add lining and purchased bamboo handles as shown in closeup.

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

Beg – Beginning
Ch – Chain
Dc – Double Crochet
Dec – Decrease
Ea – Each
FO – Finish Off
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Plarn – Plastic Bag Yarn
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. Ā©2009

****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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17 Responses to “Recycled Plastic Bag Shell Purse”

  1. Rachel
    Aug 14, 2009

    Wow! Look at all those colors!!! Nice job Cindy šŸ˜€
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Inspiration to Crochet =-.

  2. Clara
    Aug 14, 2009

    I can definitely see this with a pair of jeans.
    .-= Clara´s last blog ..Tips To Avoid Heat Exhaustion =-.

  3. maria
    Aug 15, 2009

    It looks great!

    What a smart thing to do.


  4. Charlotte
    Aug 15, 2009

    Gorgeous!!So fun and colorful šŸ™‚

  5. SewDelish
    Aug 15, 2009

    Bright and cheerful. Great bag Cindy
    .-= SewDelish´s last blog ..Flower Girl Dress with Stitched in Keepsake Pendant =-.

  6. Jessica
    Aug 17, 2009

    Wow! Your recycled purse came out awesome! I love the colors and I love that it is made out of recycled materials! Very clever and very cute!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Eco Friendly Reusable Snack Sack/Sandwich Sack =-.

  7. All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume Sixty Three | Focus
    Aug 17, 2009

    […] presents Recycled Plastic Bag Shell Purse posted at My Recycled RecycleCindy says, “Crochet this fashionable purse using recycled […]

  8. Stephanie
    Aug 18, 2009

    You’ve outdone yourself this time! šŸ™‚ Beautiful!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Denim Wallet Project =-.

  9. Travis
    Aug 19, 2009

    Great idea! Granted I’m a guy and don’t use purses, but I’ll let my girlfriend know about this… as I HATE seeing a bunch of plastic bags sitting around with nothing to use them for!
    .-= Travis´s last blog ..Boredom Eating =-.

  10. DaisySoapGirl
    Aug 26, 2009

    What a wonderful and creative idea. It is beautiful.
    .-= DaisySoapGirl´s last blog ..Growing My Lunch =-.

  11. drenka
    Sep 11, 2009

    Absolutely beautiful!!! I love this bag!! I really like how the colors work together! I would never thought of combining these colors together
    .-= drenka´s last blog ..Socks..Socks and more socks =-.

  12. jessxcessories
    Dec 04, 2009

    Wow….that is a very nice bag. Especially since it’s from recycled material. I bet it’s easy to clean too. I also design handbags from recycled materials. Check out my site. Keep recycling and being creative!!!

  13. Jordan Brewton
    Nov 30, 2010

    Wonderful idea love it keep making more!!!!!!!!

  14. Betty cool
    Aug 21, 2011

    Thank you for posting your instructions for these plastic bags. I just love being able to use all the ones we get from the stores. Your patterns are really easy to follow.

  15. Jayne
    Dec 25, 2011

    Love your patterns and bags. Wonderful work. I’m curious as to how to put the liner in the bag. I am afraid the sewing needle will cause the plastic bags to tear. Any advise would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

  16. Cindy
    Dec 25, 2011

    @Jayne: I have a lining tutorial here that you can use for a purse or tote bag. You basically create a pocket to insert inside the plastic bag shell. I then hand stitch the lining in place. Hope this helps. Email me back if you need any other help.

  17. […] Make a purse. […]


  1. All Things Eco Blog Carnival Volume Sixty Three | Focus says:

    […] presents Recycled Plastic Bag Shell Purse posted at My Recycled RecycleCindy says, “Crochet this fashionable purse using recycled […]

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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!