Prepare Your Plarn!

42 Responses

  1. Peggy says:

    did you ever post a bag pattern? I don’t see one.

  2. Diana says:

    OMG!! This is just so incredible. I’ve always wondered about these things —- why not reuse them rather than (or before) recycling. Reusing is higher than recycling.

    Thanks so much for the great “plarn” tutorial.

  3. Gina says:

    I just tried making plarn for the first time. It has turned out pretty weak. It breaks easily. I’ve tried Joann’s and Fred Meyer’s bags. Is it all like this or is it the bags I’m using? Would cutting thicker strips help? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  4. Kayla K says:

    Thicker, evenly cut strips are the easiest to work with. It’s not important to have tight knots, so there is no need to pull too hard. The strips will break on occasion, just work the knots in to your work.
    Hope this helps!

  5. Catnip says:

    This is probably a better way than the way I came up with making plarn…
    I had the same idea, what to do with them Darn plastic bags you get from the store. In sweden we have slightly thicker and not as easily breakable plastic bags so having them hold isn’t really an issue.
    My way of making it was cut long strips and melt them together. (I used a flatiron that I was about to throw away anyhow) only problem is finding the right temprature and you couldn’t set it on my flat iron.
    This seem more usefull.
    Other things you can use your Plarn to are bathroom carpet. shower curtains, maybe a raincoat? Now I decided to knit a dress, but I’m not very good at knitting but I’ll see in the end wether or not it’ll be one. I might try your way of making plarn seem to be less time consuming.

  6. Denise Painter says:

    I’m interested in trying this with a knifty knitter – bags would go very quickly if the plarn will work! Many years ago I made a welcome mat out of bread bags, it lasted for years!

  7. Judi Buller says:

    I’ve been a “reuser” and crafter for most of my life (more than half a century!), and I love discovering plarn! Since part of my contribution to my kids’ dance camps in the summer is putting together gift bags for the faculty, I’m always on the lookout for unique containers. This year it’s gift totes made of plarn.
    I’ve been able to use any and all kinds of plastic bag, adusting the strip width according to thickness of the bag; i.e., Target bags are great, just cut them at 7/8″ instead of 1″. Fred Meyer bags are cut a bit over 1″ for strength.
    I would suggest not cutting off the handles – if you start from the bottom, cut very near the seam. Use a clear straight edge and a rotary cutter, and work your way to the top of the bag. It’s okay to have a bit of unevenness in the last strip, just make sure the uneven part is next to a full part when tying the knot.
    I’ve been experimenting with different designs and color combinations, which is great fun – one tote is modeled after a designer purse!
    Good luck with your designs, I’ll be checking back to see them!

  8. Debbie says:

    I’ve been anxious to try one of these patterns. I have plenty of bags. So here goes!!

  9. Emma says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I wondered how to make the plarn so that I could crochet it. I have seen the patterns, but did not know how to cut the plastic bags and put them together. This is great!!

  10. Granny Lynn says:

    I have made several bags from the plarn. I found that cutting the strips about 1 1/2 inches is best for most of the grocery bags I get. I shop at Kroger, Save-A-Lot, Walmart and Dollar General. The Kroger bags are very hard to work with. Some are really thick and others are so thin you tear them when you link the together. You just have to work with them on several items and get the feel of the different bags. So far I’ve made 2 rugs and 5 totes. One I made to carry those 30 egg trays from the grocery. It can hold 3 and safely carry them home. It can also be used for books.

  11. robin says:

    would love to see more on these, do you have more pictures of them ?

  12. Dodie says:

    Thank you, Thank You. This is the first pattern I’ve seen for left over plastic bags that I’ve seen. Very excited about trying this.

  13. Anne Koontz says:

    I’m 87, live in the mountain twenty miles from the closest shopping and don’t drive anymoreso I buy ahead to have things on hand when I can’t get to town. But during the ’20’s depression we saved everything. Fresh meat was wrapped in butcher paper and tied with string. By tieing the strings together my mother made beautiful bedspreads, afghans and doiles, skirts and blouses for all of us little kids. And nary a string end showed. I learned to save and recyle everything back then an my enclosed deck room is filled with bags of plastic bags. This tutorial is right up my alley and I plan to spend the winter crocheting whatever pattern you give us with them. What a “light in the darkness” for me. Lonely and isolated, I must keep busy or go up the wall so thank you so much for all patterns.

  14. Kathie McCarthy says:

    I am still a little confused on the “Lark’s Head” knot. I can’t quite grasp how it is done. Is there another site that shows how to do it more explicitly?

  15. pKae says:

    I too am a maniac for reuse (cuz recycling often ends up in the dump for lack of manufacturers to remake things. Kind of feels fabulous that we all can reuse and KNOW these bags won’t end up where they shouldn’t be! :-)

    I also have directions for basically melting bags together to make nice big reusable shopping bags. And if you can get the colored bags you can make fab designs. I don’t yet have a website (watch for me; I’ll be coming!) So not sure how I can share my little bit of reuse news.

    I LOVE the 1st bag I saw of yours at how do you get the great design using color in them?

  16. Mary York says:

    I thank you so much for the plarn pattern. I didn’t worry to much about recycling; but now that I have 4 grandchildren I think about their future on this earth. And now I am teaching them about recycling. My 4 year old grandson will get onto his Papaw for throwing things in the trash that go into the recycle bin. I think its great. Again thanks for the idea of the plarn bags. I look forward to making them with my grandson that lives with me.

  17. Trudy says:

    Nice pattern! When I discovered plarn I couldn’t find a grocery tote pattern so I made up one using single crochet oval bottom then a chain & SC netting for the body and similar handles to yours. Verrry stretchy so I had to downsize the 2nd tote. I found using a size M hook for the tote made it easier to crochet the plarn and the tote was still strong. I am going to try your pattern with my M.

  18. Kayla K says:

    I like to use a “J” for a very sturdy tote. I really enjoy “plarn” because it makes such a useful, heavy-duty product.

  19. Kristen says:

    I can not thank you enough for this!!! I discovered an awesome beach tote made with ‘plarn’ and regular yarn crochet together and couldnt figure out an easy way to join the bags, so I literally spent HOURS melting the ends together with my iron and paper bags. Of course the bags were a hit and lots of people requested them but I dreaded melting the bags together again. Now thanks to this it will be a breeze!!! You are awesome!

  20. Di says:

    Well girls, this project is right up my alley too as one lady stated. I like to tackle different things. Only this one is not so different from what my 90 year old grandmother showed me when I was a teenager. She never threw out anything and from old clothing she made beautiful rag rugs. The item was cut in stirps of an inch or less and tied together. She even had my father to whittle her an extra large crochet needle from a oak tree limb. She single croched one long strand of material strips. Starting from one end she laid the strand on the table and formed an oval rug by rolling the strand around itself and tacking each round with needle and thread. Those rugs lasted for year and were quite colorful as she used scraps & pieces of dresses she had sewn for herself, my sister & me as well as cousins, neices & others. She always said she wan’t a stingy person she was just a “saving person”. She knew about saving and using what you had and she was “Green” way back then!! I’m 65 and that was 50 years ago!

  21. Cynthia says:

    Thanks, Kayla. I’m presenting “Plarn” to my Prayer Shawl group next month. Have you created or seen any patterns that blend plarn with yarn?

  22. Trudy says:

    Kayla, have not tried your pattern, but know it will be easy. When I was a teen, my Grandmother also made items from bread bags, and when she wanted heavier items, she cut up trash bags. That way she could have solid colors to work with, and made bath mats, welcome mats, mats to put under flower pots. She even made covers for her terra cotta flower pots. She made several covers for toasters, and other kitchen items. She made a set of place mats for her kitchen table. She said if it could be made out of yarn, you could do it with plastic. She made herself a plastic rain cap, wish I could have remembered that pattern. Quite a creative lady she was back then.
    Am looking forward to seeing new patterns from you. Thank you very much for your ideas.

  23. betty says:

    I just accidentally found this site. I just came in from the grocery store and put all the plastic bags in with the other pile I have. I just asked my husband what is the world are we going to do with all off these plastic bag? well, now I know exactly what I am going to do.. I am going to crochet a bag or something. thank you so much. I hate to put these in the trash.. I have sometimes given a bunch to goodwill as they do use them. thanks again betty

  24. janet says:

    Thanks for this wedsite. I just recently found it and just this morning found this subject line. I am enjoying looking up patterns and getting new ideas.
    I have been making these bags for the last 2 or 3 years. I cut the tops and bottoms off the folded bags, fold them over and cut at the fold. Fold again and cut. I have to seperate into 2 stacks at this point so the thickness doesn’t distort the cut but this makes fast and even loops. I like a 1 inch width and use an H hook. For me it is easier than using the thicker, bulkier strips. Makes a strong, smooth and attractive bag in any size or shape.
    I cut my bags into loops as soon as I bring them home. Fast and easy to do a few at a time and I can keep the colors seperate until needed. By now I have finally made enough bags to keep a few for myself!

  25. Shirley Miller says:

    While looking for bag patterns, I found your patterns for bags. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do these so I passed them by but I did go back to them. After looking at how you made them, I’d give it a try. The longer I looked at your instructions, the more I liked the idea. I keep trying to get my mother to conserve the bags more but she says that we have more than enough. Maybe now she will help out. She isn’t too keen on this idea and gave me a I’ll prove her wrong. Thanks for the ideas and instructions. I can’t wait to get started.

  26. Shirley Miller says:

    While looking for bag patterns, I found your patterns for bags. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do these so I passed them by but I did go back to them. After looking at how you made them, I’d give it a try. The longer I looked at your instructions, the more I liked the idea. I keep trying to get my mother to conserve the bags more but she says that we have more than enough. Maybe now she will help out. She isn’t too keen on this idea and gave me a funny look. I’ll prove her wrong. Thanks for the ideas and instructions. I can’t wait to get started.

  27. Ellen says:

    sorry but I dont understand how to do the knot. does it knot and then make a single “strand”? All I can see are pictures but nothing else. no step by step for the larks head plarn knot. please help as I have lots and lots of sacks. thanks

  28. CAROL FARRELL says:

    AWESOME IDEA. we have been taking our bags to the Nutrition Site where they use them to send out meals on wheels. We also use then in our small trash cans as an easy way to collect the trash without having to clean the trash can all the time. But we still have lots of bags. I have been wanting to make a reusable bag to get groceries in, but have not seen on that struck my fancy. I think this is it. At least I will give it a try.
    First I HAVE to finish my Granddaughters afghan. I finished her twin sisters, but Miss EM picked a muchmore difficult pattern. Even at 8 she is very determined when she wants somethine. My own fault, I said she could pick the pattern. Ha!! I learned a valuable lesson from that.

    Thanks for the wonderful idea and I will be watching for more great ideas from your site.

  29. Katrica says:

    I have only just started crocheting recently, but I think this sounds like an amazing idea. I have always been an eco friendly sort of person and am constantly annoyed over how many plastic bags we have all over the house. I was hoping I could make something like this for Mother’s Day, but unfortunately, I don’t think I have enough time (or the right size crochet hook). Do you think it would be possible to use a size 4.5mm (or size 7, I think you call it in the USA)?

    Thank You!

  30. Brenda says:

    I make plarn but I do it in a way that doesn’t require looping it together. Each bag comes out as one long strip. This works with t-shirts too.

    Here is a good video tutorial. I can’t remember where I found the written tutorial but it is out there somewhere.

    Happy plarning

  31. Joy says:

    I saw at one point where you could make cards with the bags & now I can’t find it again. Does anyone know where I might find the instructions on how to do that? Thank you to anyone who knows where that might be!

  32. Donna says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I admit it will probably take me awhile to try. I am new to crocheting and am trying everything. I am just absolutely floored that you came up with such an idea. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this idea and the patterns

  33. ella says:

    Great idea, thanks. I have tons of old plastic bags. One could also cut the bag in a spiral to get one long strip but I guess this way produced double ‘string’ and perhaps it is stronger to crochet with.

  34. Andrea says:

    Great tutorial and kudos to you for getting crafters excited about this great material! I’ve been using it for a bit and found that for very little money (read: none…LOL) and a little time, it’s a great way to recycle and help the community. I’m currently making cage mats for the local animal rescue so that their rescues don’t have to stand on a yucky wire cage. I’m making rectangles in various sizes – 12×18, 18×24 and 12×12. I’ve also heard people donating 3 foot by 6 foot rectangle mats to their local homeless shelters/churches as mats for the homeless. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in giving back to their community – and it gives me something to do while watching TV at nights!

  35. Kayla K says:

    That’s awesome! It makes a nice cat litter box mat because the litter falls through but the surface stays soft.

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