What Can You Do With Plastic Bags? Make A Tote Bag or Purse!


Updated with photos of more plarn bags/totes/purses!
After discovering over 100 plastic bags while clearing out my parents' home, I decided to reuse them by turning them into plarn - plastic yarn. I searched for patterns online but didn't find quite what I wanted, so I made up my own patterns.
Plarn crossbody sling bag
Plarn crossbody sling bag
Plarn bag with round bottom
Plarn bag with round bottom
Inside showing round bottom
Inside showing round bottom
Single ply plarn - I use 2 "skeins"
Single ply plarn - I use 2 "skeins"
There are several videos online to show how to make plarn a couple different ways. I prefer using single ply to avoid the knots made in the double ply balls, but I still doubled it up by crocheting from two balls/skeins. Here's a link for quick lessons on how to do it both ways. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vo0xsp5SCFEF
Plarn wine or water bottle carrier
Plarn wine or water bottle carrier
Plarn coin purse
Plarn coin purse
Plarn handbag w/plarn flower & vintage button
Plarn handbag w/plarn flower & vintage button
Plarn market bag (stretchable)
Plarn market bag (stretchable)
Plarn clutch bag
Plarn clutch bag
Plarn doorknob organizer
Plarn doorknob organizer
Plarn makeup bag
Plarn makeup bag
Plarn tote bag with box-bottom
Plarn tote bag with box-bottom
This bag is about 14 inches across and about 18 inches tall. Most patterns I found were much shorter in height and I wanted a deep bag. Most online patterns call for using a large K or N crochet hook. I prefer the smaller J or K. This turned out really sturdy. It took close to 100 bags to make. This tote will hold at least couple grocery bags worth and is super strong! It will also work great for the beach and road trips. And the best part? Didn't cost a dime - just some of my time.
I still have oodles of bags left and my friends are saving them for me, too:) Looks like I'll be making more totes and other goodies - the possibilities are endless!

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Stephanie Rountree

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Paulah May
    on Jan 20, 2018

    How do you achieve the beautiful colors in your projects ? I don’t have any bags that aren’t mostly white or Beige. Can the plastic yarn be dyed?

    • Stephanie Rountree
      on Jan 20, 2018

      Hi Paulah! I don't think the plastic can be dyed. My friends give me bags from all kinds of stores, since I actually don't get them from stores myself (I use my market bags or cloth bags) - places like Walgreens, Target and a few other stores and those bags are white with red. A local market has white and pink. Dollar Tree's bags are white and green. Goodwill is white with blue and black. Ask your friends to save the colors that you want. I bet you'll be surprised at the variety you get.
  • Fredda Mathews Allen
    on Mar 14, 2018

    How do you make strips to use?



  • Ashleigh Joppie
    on Jul 10, 2019

    I am in LOVE with the bag in the first photo... but have no idea how to do this.

    Do you sell these, or do you have a pattern for it that I can ask someone else for help?

    • Stephanie Rountree
      on Jul 10, 2019

      I do sell them, Ashleigh, and that bag is available. You can contact me via email to discuss at edensong@hotmail.com.

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