Making Crafts With Plarn

January 12, 2013

I was able to keep the cost down when providing table favors for an event needing 20 items. The solution was to use plarn to make the favors. Plarn is strips of recycled plastic grocery type bags that you use instead of crochet thread or yarn.


There are free patterns on the internet and instructions on how to cut the plarn and join it together to crochet. The example I show used a pattern located on, plarn, and a large crochet hook. Once at the site select free pattern directory, Christmas, and then snowman family to locate this pattern.

I only used the largest one and embellished it to match our theme using felt, sequins, painted sticks, a piece of ribbon for the hat, and a low heat glue gun.

The example shown in the picture is using recycled Wal Mart grocery bags. After cutting the strips you use the scraps or more recycled bags to stuff you project. Recycling the bags kept the cost down to only the embellishments and glue to add them. You can find lots of patterns for more practical items such as scrubbies, tote bags, rugs, and the list goes on and on!

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February 19, 2012

This is a page about making a plarn bag. Plarn, made from plastic bags, is a marvelous substitute for traditional yarn for crafting.

Crocheted Green Plarn Bag

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February 19, 2012

Versatile plarn can be used in a wide variety of knit and crochet projects, including making a cute coin purse. This is a page about making a plarn coin purse.

Plarn coin purse.

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February 19, 2012

This is a page about making a plarn hat. Use plarn plastic bag yarn to make a cute summer hat.

Plarn hat.

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This mini Easter egg basket measures 2-1/2 inches wide and 2 inches tall with a 7 inch handle strap. It uses one ball of white plastic bags cut into strips 1 inch wide and interlocked to create a "ball of plarn" to crochet with. (Approx. 3-4 bags)

An Easter basket made from plarn.

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Roll plarn into balls (I used 3) and place them into a clean and dry recycled 2 liter pop bottle (or other bottle). Add crochet hook(s).

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 30, 2020

How wide should plastic bag strips be for a project using a size E crochet hook?
I want to make the hat in this project: Making a Plarn Summer Hat


May 30, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would say about an inch long as they are easy to scrunch up into theneeded shape

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June 1, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have made plarn and since I have arthritis in my hands I found that I was best able to manage it with a big hook -- I want to say I used a n -- and I used it at 1/4 thick. Too thin breaks, too thick bunches. I struggle with the joining and did best when I did large loops (cut the bag as a whole vs strips) and then do a slip knot...I think that is the right term--loop and pull to secure. I can try to draw it and will post when my computer is back. My friend used a split method but it didn't work for me. I did a small mat for the car. It lasted a few years then I think the sun rotted it.

If you want a fun recycled yarn, try using old pantyhose. I bleach (1/8 cup in a large bucket filled with hot water until the water cools) them for cleanliness, then cut loops at 1/2 inch and slip knot together. I made a great mat for the dog crate that is 10 years old. It is on the bottom and his blanket goes on top. It gives extra cushion.

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May 8, 2018

Could you give me directions for knitting a sleep mat using plastic bags?


May 10, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

this site actually has the explicit directions on how to do this.

YOu need about 40 of them
Cut the seam off the bottom and remove handles, so you get a very long sheet of plastic. Then cut that in a long spiral so you get a long string. Then use that to knit.

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September 7, 2018

Has anyone used nail polish to dye/color plastic bags? I am making plarn and trying to use what I have at home rather than buying dye?


September 7, 20180 found this helpful

It could have been old nail polish, but when I tried it chipped right off and you don't get much coverage from a bottle. BIG MESS!

Also a big mess is trying "permanent" is very messy and very time consuming and always looks streaky.

I find it easier to just hunt down the pretty color bags and beg all my friends to save them for me! Like at Easter everyone saves the pinks and purples ..the oranges at Halloween, etc.

It just easier!

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September 7, 20180 found this helpful

Permanent markers are a better idea. Here is a tutorial.

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April 3, 2014

My computer has a heavy duty security system and will not allow the instructions for making plarn. Could someone email the directions to me directly? I have a lot of bags and would like to knit some outdoor rugs and chair seats. I have 8 feral cats who love sitting on my cushions and I think the Plarn would be a great alternative... plus I'm recycling.

By Sandra V


August 9, 20140 found this helpful

I read somewhere, probably here, that you can cut plastic bags into strips of uniform width for plarn. I assume you would tie them together or attach them like you would a different color crochet thread. I don't crochet so I can't explain that part of the process.

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February 9, 2019

The thin gauge plastic that is used to cover dry cleaned garments can make plastic yarn to crochet purses, baskets and a variety of other things. This is a page about repurposing dry cleaner's plastic to crochet.

Dry cleaner's bags being used to crochet

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October 24, 2016

This is a page about eliminating static in plastic bags used for plarn. When crocheting with this thin plastic, you need to control the static.

Colorful plastic bags on a white background.

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August 23, 2011

This is a page about crocheting a rug using plarn - plastic yarn. Cutting grocery bags into strips makes a durable and very inexpensive material for making throw rugs for your kitchen, bathroom, and entryways.

A bunch of plastic bags to be made into plarn.

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