Plastic bags make a great DIY yarn alternative

Sustainability |  < 1 min. read

Got Plarn? If your answer is yes, then you know what the photo above is.

But if you’re saying to yourself (or whoever else is in the room): “’Plarn’?  What is Plarn?  And why does that bowl, or is it a basket, or whatever it is, look like that?” — stick with us.  We’ve got some knowledge for you.

That basket is woven with strips of plastic bag.  Like the kind of bag you bring home groceries in, or carry off your take-out order.  Those plastic bags are polyethylene and start with the petrochemical ethylene.  And yarn, made from plastic bags — that spells plarn.

And if you’re wondering:  “Is that really a thing, or did they just make that up?”  We’ll wait for a moment while you Google “plarn”.

Yeah, it’s a thing.

And it’s actually a pretty easy thing to make too.  You cut up your plastic bags into strips, you tie the strips together, you roll that up into a ball, and you crochet or knit whatever you’d crochet or knit otherwise:  tote bags, purses, rugs, hats, sleeping mats, doormats, curtains, shoes (!) — and yes, baskets.

And, if you’re a crafty sort of person, it’s pretty smart too.  You get your “yarn” for free, and it keeps those plastic bags out of places plastic shouldn’t go — like the trash.  Yes, recycling plastic is good.  But so is re-using plastic.  And, since a plarn tote bag, for instance, uses about ONE HUNDRED plastic bags — your plarn project is definitely keeping plastic where it belongs —  hard at work every day.

Good luck!  (And if you’re new to plarn, but curious — the internet really IS full of how-to videos.)

Cover photo by Catsimmons – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,