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Tag Archive | "green-crafting"

Update on Crafting with Recycled Materials

March 9, 2007 8 comments

I wanted to bring everyone up to date on my latest discoveries and completed projects using different recycled materials. Recently I used VHS tape to crochet an evening bag and also a round Motif bag purse. It works fairly well to crochet using the VHS tape but you do need to pull a bit on your stitches to make them uniform and even. Be careful as it can be a bit hard on your fingers and joints. It is a wonderful way to use those old VHS tapes that so many of us have lying around. The black tape gives a pretty sparkly sheen to your project. It appears to do be an excellent eco-friendly way to recycle those tapes!

Next I experimented using cassette tape as yarn. It’s much narrower and you need to use a small hook. I used single strand tape to make a set of Barbie Fashion Doll purses. The free patterns are available under my pattern link on the right. I must say that crocheting with cassette tape is easier on my joints and smoother to crochet stitches with. Another nice discovery was that you do not need to open up the case to use the brown tape as yarn. You simply use a rewound tape and cut off the clear lead so you just have the brown tape to pull out of the case. You can then just work your project by pulling out the tape as you go. It reels out smoothly and you don’t have to worry about your yarn getting tangled. Be careful as the tape colors do vary so check your color shades when you do your projects.

My latest project consists of plastic bags and cassette tape used as yarn. The brown center was a plastic grocery bag I cut very narrow to match my cassette tape width. I cut the plastic bag strips at about ¼ inch. Now I know this is narrow but you need this to match the brown cassette tape. I believe this is a bit like working with thread. While I don’t work with thread much, this was an easy item to stitch as you don’t need to manhandle your work. The stitching seems to move along effortlessly unlike some of the other recycled materials I use. I will post a picture of the bag here when it is completed.

Knitting Links for Recycled Bags

I will continue to try out new and test other recycled materials here on this website. My motto continues to be that this website blog is dedicated to recycling and crafting. In an effort to expand beyond just crocheted recycled crafts, I wanted to share with you several knitted recycled bags. Thanks to Mike at who agreed to allow me to link this knitted recycled plastic bag in a post.

So for you knitters out there, click on this link for instructions on creating a knitted recycled tote bag using a different method than I do for the […]

Recycling Plastic Grocery Bags and Making Recycled Handmade Items

January 24, 2007 26 comments

Hello! This is my first attempt at blogging and the opening blog for this website. I have read other people’s blogs and oftentimes been fascinated in other people’s ideas that they shared through a blog. So here goes.

Ever get tired of all those plastic grocery and store bags you have left over after going shopping? I always asked for paper bags so I didn’t come home with 40+ bags and not much use for them other than filling up our landfills and taking like a 100 years to decompose. Also many animals are injured or killed each year by these plastic bags. But several months ago, a friend had a cute handmade purse she was using. It was very unique looking and appeared to be crocheted out of some type of unusual yarn.

Well, it was crocheted out of old recycled plastic grocery bags! I was shocked and couldn’t believe it. How was that possible? I have crocheted for years and had never seen or heard about such a thing. She explained that her Mother cut the bags up in strips and tied them together to create a ball of “yarn.” I thought what a fantastic idea and a wonderful way to re-use all those pesky plastic bags.

I researched the process and found many other crafters out there doing the same thing. I have seen some beautiful creations of purses, totes, shoulder bags, hairpieces, coasters, rugs, placemats, and other clever uses for recycled plastic bags. Some people crochet, knit or weave to make their handmade products. But no matter what process you use, it is a wonderful, eco friendly use of these bags.

Myself, I have made totes, handbag purses, clutches, and shoulder bags using a large metal crochet hook. I have found that the metal hooks work smoother than the plastic ones but experiment with what works best for you. I clean my hook off with rubbing alcohol to remove any sticky ink or build-up that occurs. That helps the hook move a bit easier when you are crocheting. Crocheting using the plastic bags is hard on my hands and finger joints. I have heard this from others too so please be aware of this. I find that if I crochet for too long my left hand gets very sore. I am a right-handed crocheter. Taking breaks and shaking out my hands does help some.

Anyway that’s my blog. I would love to hear from others who are interested in this topic or people who would like to comment on my crocheted products. I do sell some of my items and hope to use some of my creations for future Christmas gifts for my family and friends. I do hope you too can recycle and help make our world a bit better one plastic bag at a time.

My shoulder bag created using brown plastic bags.

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!