DIY

How to Make Plarn and Reuse Plastic Bags

Why Do I Make Plarn?

There are so many reasons, I love to reuse plastic bags to make plarn and it’s one of my favorite upcycling projects.  I have mentioned it quite a few times in various posts, so today I’m actually going to show to make plarn.

Plarn Definition

Plastic yarn, called plarn, is yarn made from plastic bags.

Making plarn is one of my favorite upcycling projects. I've mentioned it quite a few times in various posts, so today I'm going to show to make plarn.


 

Plarn Projects

Plarn is plastic yarn made from plastic bags. The beauty of this activity is that you can find the medium for these projects literally anywhere.  If you talk to a crocheter, their eyes will light up when you talk about their yarn stash. Crocheting with reused plastic bags is the same way, but instead of going to the store, you can walk outside and see these little treasures. I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve been having a bad day, took a walk and found a plastic bag just waiting to be turned into a beautiful bag for the homeless. It’s affordable, easy to find resource and it helps both humans and the environment.

We cut up 36 bags, to make 576 yards of plarn to make one bag for someone in need.

 

Can You Recycle Plastic Bags

I also think reusing plastic bags to crochet with plarn is important for environmental reasons. Every year, Americans reportedly throw away 100 billion plastic grocery bags.  The average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year. These bags are considered the American flag because they are found everywhere, wreaking havoc on plant and animal life. The local landfill pays a hefty fee to keep them cleaned up around the landfill. Of the bags that make it to the recycling programs, only 1 percent are recycled. They often clog the machine because they are so light weight.

How to Reuse Plastic Bags

That being said, it’s important to do everything we can to reduce our consumption of plastic bags. Until policy or the rest of the population catches up with this knowledge, there are tons of plastic bags floating around. Finding ways to reuse plastic bags is the next best solution because they are fulfilling a purpose instead wreaking havoc.

Plarn Crafts

There are tons of way to reuse plastic bags, but my favorite is to make plarn.

With plarn you can make:

  • throw rugs
  • purses
  • wristlets
  • sandals
  • basket
  • tops
  • hats
  • costumes
  • wall hangings and art

Plarn Crochet Patterns

If you’re looking for more ways to crochet with plarn, check out these awesome plarn crochet patterns.

How to Make Continuous Plarn

Also, we make plarn often as a family activity- our whole family gets together for a ‘plarn making factory’.  Crocheting plarn is a win-win-win. It’s a win for the environment, it’s a win for you because it’s free and it’s a win for who ever you create the project for.

Materials Needed:

Plastic Bags
Scissors

Step 1: Prep

You can find inspiration for this project everywhere. Go on a walk, get your family involved on your treasure hunt. Once you’ve collected a few dozen plastic bags then lay them out flat, fold them in half and cut the seam at the bottom and the handles off the top.

Step 2: Fold

Once you have an open rectangle, you’re going to fold it almost in half, leaving about an inch uncovered at the top. Fold the bottom flap again in half, then once more, still leaving that inch at the top.

Step 2: Fold Once you have an open rectangle, you're going to fold it almost in half, leaving about an inch uncovered at the top. Fold the bottom flap again in half, then once more, still leaving that inch at the top.

Step 3: Cut the Strips

Cut 1 inch strips up to the top of those bottom folds, leaving the 1 inch seam uncut.

Step 4: Cut the Spiral

Unfold the strips and you’ll find what looks like a rib cage with that 1 inch seam unfolding like a spine to hold the ribs together. Put your arm through with that spine going length wise across your arm. Start to cut the space between the first loop and the second loop at an angle, such that you’re cutting from the top edge of the first loop to the top edge of the second loop, as shown in the photo.

Step 4: Cut the Spiral Unfold the strips and you'll find what looks like a rib cage with that 1 inch seam unfolding like a spine to hold the ribs together. Put your arm through with that spine going length wise across your arm. Start to cut the space between the first loop and the second loop at an angle, such that you're cutting from the top edge of the first loop to the top edge of the second loop, as shown in the photo.

Step 4: Cut the Spiral Unfold the strips and you'll find what looks like a rib cage with that 1 inch seam unfolding like a spine to hold the ribs together. Put your arm through with that spine going length wise across your arm. Start to cut the space between the first loop and the second loop at an angle, such that you're cutting from the top edge of the first loop to the top edge of the second loop, as shown in the photo.

Step 5: Crochet and Enjoy!

Hopefully you see how easy it is to make plarn! It’s easy and fun, get your friends involved and share the joy. Here are some other posts where I talk about my love for plarn!

 

Why I Love to Help Others

How to Find Your Beautiful Treasures

For the Love of Handmade

Don’t forget to pin these instructions for later!

Making plarn is one of my favorite upcycling projects and reuse plastic bags. I've mentioned it quite a few times in various posts, so today I'm going to show to make plarn.

 

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3 thoughts on “How to Make Plarn and Reuse Plastic Bags

  1. […] For this tutorial, you’ll need 25 toilet paper rolls and assorted ribbons or other decorations. As I started this project, I started feeling guilty for using so much ribbon, so I decided to use some plarn (plastic yarn) to add a little extra color, but also use as an additional repurposed touch. You can see how it looks on number 8 and 9 in the picture above. Not too shabby right? Learn how to make plarn here. […]

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