Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Make Plarn (Plastic Yarn)

I live in Portland Oregon and for those of you who don't know, this is pretty much the mecca of eco-friendliness. It's a passion here, a way of life. And although I am admittedly not the most avid recycler, I try to do my best. So in order to become a little more "green," I have recycled my plastic grocery bags in plastic yarn or "plarn."

Making plarn is pretty simple but can be tedious. Although I actually found the repetitiveness of it kind of therapeutic. So here is how to make plarn. Hopefully you will get the gist of it from the pictures :o)

1. Flatten our your plastic bag. Smooth it out to be as flat as possible. Use the static electricity to your advantage as it will help to really get it to lay flat.

2. Fold the bag in half so the handles line up.

3. Now fold it one more time so its one long strip.

4. Cut the top (handles) and bottom off. Discard them.

6. Now cut the rest into approx. 1/2 inch strips. If they are too thick they will be harder to crochet. If they are too thin, they will break. 

7. Unfold the strips and you will see that they are loops. You will now connect the loops together the same way you would connect rubber bands. Lay right loop end over left loop end. Pull end of left loop up and over the right and then through itself.

8. Pull tight to make a knot (but not too tight or the plastic will break).

Keep connecting and roll into a ball when finished.

You now have plastic yarn! Check back tomorrow to see what I made with my plarn. Here is a sneak peak:


  1. Oh my goodness... I am so doing this today! Thank you for sharing... I will never throw away another plastic bag!!
    Shari :)

  2. What an excellent way to reuse those plastic bags!! I few weeks ago I made J-yarn (jeans-yarn) . Now I see there are other creative minds in the bloggy world, who would crochet with anything :)
    I love your craft,

  3. I've wondered exactly how to do that. Thanks!

  4. Can't wait to see what you made!
    I saw someone once who made jumpropes out of plastic bags. That's your next project, mkay? :)

  5. That is so cool! I want to do it!!!

  6. Oh my gosh! I'll be checking back like a MILLION times today! I can't wait to see your bag and how you did it!!!!

  7. How do you connect the loops? Please reply :)

    1. Actually I figured it out! Please ignore my other comment :). Thanks so much for this cool idea! I will be making something plastic soon :)

  8. I have been wanting to try this, thanks for posting!! -Your newest "follower"-

  9. I live in Ottawa Canada and we get our milk in plastic bags, not jugs. My friend has been crocheting plarn milk bag sleeping mats to send to refugee camps. plus they make great indoor/outdoor doggie mats n mudroom mats too. they clean with a quick rinse. enjoy! oh. many church groups collect the mats to send to the refugee camps. happy crafting!