Toot Tuesday; Making Plarn

About a week ago I wrote this post that told the story about how I came to work with plastic grocery bags turned into yarn, a material that is now know as “plarn” ([p]lastic y[arn]).  Now I’m going to share with you how plarn is made.

When I first started crocheting with the plastic bags I had never seen it done before and was therefore winging it.  In those days I would cut my bags into long flat strips and knot them together using square knots.  This plarn is okay, but not ideal in my opinion.  It’s still strong and I’ve never had a problem with the knots coming undone or anything, it’s just “messier” looking, which is fine, but I like the cleaner look better.

After spending about a year making things with the knotted plarn I learned about the looping technique that I will show you today from my Grandma Virgie.  I think she told me that she’d seen it on TV, but I’m not exactly sure.

Now, without further ado, your tutorial on making plarn:

Materials needed:
Many plastic grocery bags


First, cut the bottom seem off of your bag.

Next, flatten out the bag and cut off the handles.  Now you should have one big tube.

With the open ends of your big tube facing East and West, cut your big tube into strips North and South.  I usually get 6 or 7 strips out of each bags.  The wider your strips the thicker your plarn will be, so play around with what thickness works best for you.  These newly cut strips will now look like big loops.

Now you’re going to lock your loops together. It’s a little hard to describe with words, so I hope this next sequence of pictures illustrates the process well enough for you to understand…

Now your on your way to making some plarn!  You will need a LOT of bags to make a purse, so get to work!  Make sure that after connecting all the loops of two or three grocery bags you take the time to wind them into a ball so that they don’t become a knotted mess on your floor (because it will happen if you don’t).  A simple ball will do, but if you’re a bit on the OCD side like me you can make a center pull ball (shown at the top of this post) so that it doesn’t roll all over the place as you work.

Happy plarning!

Did you find this tutorial helpful?  Was any part confusing or unclear?  Let me know in the comments below so that I will be encouraged to continue making tutorials and making them better.

If you did find this tutorial helpful, make sure to like zween’s facebook page and you will be updated when future tutorials, stories, and events are posted on my blog.  Thank you!



Filed under Tutorials

6 responses to “Toot Tuesday; Making Plarn

  1. I have a ton of plastic bags I’ve been hanging on to to make some plarn projects. I love your tutorial on how to join the bags together. Thanks!

  2. The tutorial is fantastic, very clear and adding photos always works well as some people are more visual. I crochet with textile a lot because I just love the texture. Right now I am recycling old cotton sheets and then mixing it with yarn or cotton thread. Variations are endless… I think you have a great product here, plastic is very durable and comes in different colors too… our imagination is the only limitation…
    Thanks for inspiring!
    Sunchi, 🙂

  3. Awesome! Thanks for sharing – I can’t wait to try this!

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