We’ve always been huge yarn craft enthusiasts, ever since we were little kids. There’s just something so fun about watching beautiful things result from a single string because you tied some knots in it! Okay, we know that knitting and crochet are a lot more than that (we’ve been doing them for years, after all) but you see what we mean. Crochet has always been our preference, even though we do still knit and appreciate knitting a lot, because the things you can make with crochet techniques hold more structure. This makes things like bags, which are our personal favourite thing to crochet, easier to make! Just because we love something the way it is, however, doesn’t mean we aren’t open to adding a twist or shaking things up every once in a while. That’s why we’ve been so obsessed with the whole concept of plastic bag yarn lately! We’ve been scouring the Internet for cool patterns and tutorials for crochet projects made with “plarn”, or yarn twisted from strips of plastic bags. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that most online resources that give you patterns will also give you at least quick instructions for making your very own plarn.
Are you completely enamoured with the concept of plastic bag crochet, just like we were? Well, we can’t say we blame you; it’s a totally cool unconventional craft and it’s an awesome way to upcycle something that can be harmful to the environment if it’s thrown out! Check out these 15 awesome plarn and plastic bag crochet patterns, tutorials, and designs, that will get you started and have you making all kinds of things in no time at all!
1. Rainbow plarn tote bag
We’ve never really liked plastic bags because we can’t help thinking about the poor environmental impacts they have whenever we see them, but the one thing we have always kind of secretly enjoyed is how many different colours they’re made in. It makes sense that we enjoy this particular plarn and plastic bag crochet patten, then, because Solicroch shows you how to make a rainbow bag by weaving plarn from bags of all different colours! Make the bag they outline here, or simply use their plarn idea and crochet your favourite super bulky weight crocheted bag.
2. Plastic bag backpack
We’ve always loved tote bags because they’re useful for so many things, but we actually usually find backpack style bags easier to carry, particularly if we’re carrying very heavy things. We’ve never crocheted a backpack before, however, so the possibility hadn’t really occurred to us… until we found this plarn crocheted pattern from Crochet Pattern Ideas. They show you how to make quite a generously sized backpack that you’ll actually be able to carry over your shoulders with straps that are shockingly comfortable and durable thanks to the huge strength of the twisted plastic they’re made out of. You’ll be surprised at the weight this bag can carry!
3. Striped plarn hand bag
Were you slightly intrigued by the rainbow tote bag idea but you were actually hoping to make a bag that’s more open and sprawling, like those classic beach bags you remember your mom carrying in the summer when you were a kid? Perhaps you’d prefer a discernible striping pattern rather than just continuous strips all the way around. Then we have a strong feeling you might prefer the plarn making instructions and the plastic bag crocheted pattern featured on My Recycled Bags! We love the way their use of mostly-white bags with just coloured logos printed on some parts mimics the sort of speckled effect that’s so popular in regular wool yarn right now.
4. Plarn bottle holder sleeve
Ever since we were younger and playing team sports or running back and forth to dance classes, we’ve always appreciated water bottle covers and holders. We like that they’re easy to clip to your bag so you have one less bulky thing inside with all your gear or equipment and we also like that they give you more grip and stop the bottle from being slippery to drink from thanks to condensation. Usually the ones we buy are made from some kind of fabric but we’ve never liked that they absorb the condensation and get damp, so we were very pleased when we found this plarn version of the classic water bottle carrier! Naturally, we also adore that it’s crocheted. Get the full details for making one of your own on GettingYourKnit2gether.
5. Drawstring top plarn bags
We’ve shown you how to make all kinds of different plastic crocheted bags and totes by now, but we know that not all of them close at the top. This can be a great thing if you’re carrying bigger stuff or things you want to keep easy access to, but it’s not necessarily the best if you’ve got lots of things you need to make sure stay put. That’s why we thought this drawstring top bag was such a neat idea! Find out how to make a striped bag and how to put the drawstring in on Bags Be Gone.
6. Dual coloured plarn floor mat
We love a good floor mat. Maybe it’s because we’ve always been rather chilly people so we don’t like our bare or stocking feet to touch the floor during most seasons of the year, but our homes are filled with cool, creative looking floor mats in every room. We doubt you’ll be surprised to learn, then, that we were very excited when we stumbled across this plarn crocheted floor mat pattern featured on Prosperity Stuff! We like that they guide you through the process of making the classic ringed floor mat pattern you’ve probably seen countless times in stores.
7. Multi-coloured kitchen mat
Are you feeling rather intrigued by the idea of making a crocheter plarn floor mat but you’re not yet confident in your ability to do striping work or rounded edges, so you’d rather find a simpler design? Well, we’ve found a shape and construction that will definitely work for your skill level, but we’re pleased to announce that simplifying the pattern doesn’t actually have to mean skipping out on the colour interest! Check out how Stephsyaya made a super simple rectangular floor mat but kept some pizzazz in it by making plarn with multi-coloured bags to get a trendy speckled effect.
8. Crochet plarn fruit basket
We already talked about how much we love the fact that we can make much more structured things using our crocheted skills than we can when we’re knitting. Imagine, then, how cool the shapes you can build are when you’re working with something even more buildable than regular wool or acrylic yarn! This plarn crocheted fruit basket pattern outlined on Upcycling Ruth is the perfect example of what we mean.
9. Circular plarn floor mat
Are you still thinking about how cool it would be to make your very own plarn floor mat but you’d much rather crochet a circular mat then any other shape? Then we have a feeling you’re going to appreciate this spiralled increasing technique featured on Wiki How! Their pattern guides you through the process of growing a plarn circle with a large surface area, starting from the centre and working your way out.
10. Crocheted plastic bag purses
If you’re going to start crocheting plarn bags, would you rather stick to one that you can actually use as a purse? Then we think you’ll enjoy this design with a functional shoulder strap, patterned out and posted by Bags Be Gone. You can wear it simply strung onto one shoulder or crossed over your torso if you’re carrying heavier things in it. Either way, it’ll be very strong and easy to clean thanks to the plastic material it’s made from!
11. Simple plarn flowers
Have you actually be hoping to find new kinds of embellishments and details to make when you’re crocheting because you’ve got various patterns that you like to make repeatedly since you love their structure, but you actually still find them a little bit plain? In that case, we have a feeling you’re going to have a total blast practicing these adorable plarn flowers! We make these all the time with our kids as crochet practice and then keep them in a basket until we need them, hoarding the most fun coloured plastic bags we come across for making little blossoms. Get the full details from Solicroch.
12. Mesh plarn grocery bag
This awesome pattern from Vogie13 is one of our very favourite things to make because, aside from being extremely practical, its very conception also makes us laugh a little! It’s a durable, reusable grocery bag… made out of upcycled plastic grocery bags. It’s like getting the ultimate form of simple, everyday environmental justice as the grassroots level, all while practicing your cool crochet skills.
13. Plarn sun hat
We’ve talked a whole lot about bags and accessories so far, so we don’t blame you if you’ve been scrolling through our list wondering whether there are actually existing plarn patterns for actual garments or things you can wear. Well, we’ll admit that we certainly haven’t stumbled across very many, since plarn is quite hard and doesn’t feel great against the skin in sensitive areas, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t found any wearable patterns at all! We’d definitely encourage you to check out this awesome crocheted sun hat from Bags Be Gone. It’s perfect for gardening!
14. Plarn envelope purse
Were you a pretty big fan of the idea of making yourself a plarn purse but you’re not sure the other design we showed you was quite your style since it was very large? Then perhaps you’d prefer this smaller envelope style bag instead! We love the way iRational used simple, classic crochet techniques, like you would to make any standard crocheted envelope bag, and just adjusted the size of their hook to account for the fact that plarn is thicker than most yarns.
15. Plarn basket with a lid
Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about crocheted plarn baskets because you think your kids could really make use of something like that, but you’d prefer to make a version with a lid so they can put their toys inside and keep them more organized and contained when you have guests? Then we’d definitely suggest taking a look at this pattern outlined on Kapibara. We made a couple of these to keep in our front hallway and we store hats, mittens, scarves, and other small outerwear in them in the winter.
Do you know a crochet enthusiast who loves to experiment with new patterns and ideas but they’ve been in a rut for creative things lately? Share this post with them to give them something unknown and exciting to try!