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Variegated Plarn Tote Bag

Posted on September 18, 2011

I present my latest creation — Variegated plastic bag yarn or plarn as it so commonly is known as in the crafting world. Pink, orange, and white plastic bags were used to crochet this variegated recycled bag. The pink and orange bags are plastic bags that newspapers are delivered in and the white is from just regular retail bags. I used these 3 colors to create my variegated look by assembling 3 loops of pink plarn, 2 white loops, 3 orange loops, and 2 white loops, then repeat this order for the variegated look. Here is my plarn making tutorials for creating yarn from newspaper or retail plastic bags should you need to see how to make plastic yarn.

This plarn ball was made using newspaper and retail bags together to create the variegated colored yarn. As I outlined below, if color pooling becomes a problem just add another white strip of plarn to offset the pooling. I found if I added an additional white strip to the 2 white ones, it solved the pooling issues with the tote bag as I crocheted it.

Enjoy the free crochet pattern below and happy crafting to all!


Variegated Plarn Tote Bag Pattern

Materials needed:
Plastic bag yarn or Plarn – Approx. 50 white plastic grocery bags along with 20 pink and 20 orange plastic bags for the variegated yarn

This variegated plarn is created by assembling 3 loops of pink plarn, 2 white loops, 3 orange loops, and then 2 white loops, repeat pattern for variegated look.

Hook: N (9 mm) size metal hook

Description: Recycled Plastic Tote Bag
Bag standing up measures 14″ wide and 11″ tall with 12″ handles
with measurements flat 17″ across, 12″ high, and 11″ long base.

The bottom of bag is crocheted with just plain white bags. Using just white plarn, Ch 20.

Rnd 1
Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in ea chain st down to end. Continue around other side of chain by working a Sc in ea st to other end.

Rnd 2-3
Work 2 Sc in ea of the two end sts, then Sc in ea st to other end. Work 2 Sc in ea of the two end sts and then Sc in ea remaining st of round. Do not connect at end of rounds unless told to do so.

Rnd 4-5
Work 2 Sc in ea of the four end sts around curve at end, then Sc in ea st to other end. Work 2 Sc in ea of the four end sts at the end’s curve and then Sc in ea remaining st of round. You will end the all white plarn here but leave st on hook to start next round using the variegated plarn.

Rnd 6
Using variegated plarn, pick up st from last round. Working in BLO, Hdc in ea st of round.

Rnd 7
Working in both loops now and for the rest of pattern, Hdc in ea st of round. Don’t join but just continue working with variegated plarn for balance of pattern.

If pooling of coloring begins to be a problem, just add an extra white plarn strip along with the 2 white strips as needed to stagger the colors. I had to add a white on this round to stagger my colors but then I was okay for quite a few rounds. But did have to add a white here and there to provide a good stagger of my colors as I worked the tote bag.

Rnd 8-14
Hdc in ea st around the entire bag. On last round, end at curve to begin increase round. (Which is about 3 sts back from center of end.)

Rnd 15 (Inc rnd)
Work 2 Hdc in st at curve on first end of bag, Hdc in ea of the next 5, then work 2 Hdc in next st at curve on the other side of same end. Now Hdc down to the other side and repeat same pattern, working 2 Hdc at curve and Hdc in next 5 sts, 2 Hdc in next st, and finish rnd with Hdc in ea st down to beginning curve where you started. (8 increases on rnd)

Click to supersize

Tip: You want to work increases at curves on either side of the end so it is even. Your 5 Hdc sts should be at center of the end of bag with the increases on each side at the curve. Picture a horseshoe shape with increases at beginning and end. Click on photo above to supersize it as I have the increase stitches marked.

Rnd 16
Work even with Hdc in ea st.

Rnd 17-24
Repeat rnd 15 (inc rnd) for all odd numbered rnds and repeat rnd 16 (working even) on all even numbered rnds.

Rnd 25-26
Work Hdc in each st of rnd.

Rnd 27
Hdc in ea st at front (approx. 7 sts or 3 inches from side.) Ch 27 for handle and skip ( approx 28 sts at center front and join with Sc into the 7th st from side. Work Hdc in the 6 remaining sts. (Make sure each side of handle matches each other. I say approximately as the number of total sts you may have could be a bit different than what I have. You just want to make sure each number of sts are the same on either side of handle.

Then Hdc around to other side and repeat the same steps as above. Check to make sure the openings match where handles are so they are centered over each other. Hdc in ea remaining st of round ending at side of bag.

Rnd 28
Hdc in ea st to handle, work Sc evenly around chain of handle. (Approx. 27-28 sts). Then work Hdc in ea st around to other side’s handle. Work Sc evenly around handle and Hdc in the remaining sts of rnd.

Rnd 29-30
Hdc in ea st of bag and Sc in ea st of the handle on each side. On final rnd, end at side of bag with a Sc and Sl St into the last several sts to end with a smooth edge at side.

Fasten off and weave ends under on inside of the bag.

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

Ch – Chain
Ea – Each
FO – Finish Off
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Inc – Increase
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. ©2011

****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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7 Responses to “Variegated Plarn Tote Bag”

  1. […] My Recycled Bags. There’s a crochet pattern here to learn how to make a variegated tote bag out of plarn. […]

  2. Snowcatcher
    Sep 26, 2011

    I love how the colors pooled in this project. I realize you had complete control over that, but I still love it! And I’m so envious you get bags other than white and brown!!!

  3. Marcy
    Oct 02, 2011

    Hi! I love your bag! I’m part of a Ravelry group that is on a mission to connect every pattern with a picture. Your pictures here are great! Could you upload these pictures to a project page on Ravelry and then feature the photo in the pattern? The patterns without photos are at the end of the line and most never even get considered. More people would see your pattern if it had a picture. Let me know if I can help. I will send you a message if you’re on Ravelry. Thanks!

  4. Cindy
    Oct 03, 2011

    Thanks for the heads up about the photos and I have granted use of the photos to Ravelry. I appreciate the information and am glad photos of the projects can be added.

  5. Clara
    Oct 05, 2011

    Look store bought. Great little project.

  6. timethief
    Oct 06, 2011

    Hi Cindy,
    I know you are alwyas busy with some interesting new project like this colorful one. I like the orange througout the bag. It looks so cheerful. It’s good to read that you will be sharing your pictures on Ravelry too. Best wishes to you always,

  7. […] Variegated Plarn Tote Bag […]


  1. […] My Recycled Bags. There’s a crochet pattern here to learn how to make a variegated tote bag out of plarn. […]

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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!