I’m fully addicted to crocheting – and not with just yarn, but also with plarn! I have used the plarn to make plarn totes – the ultimate in using upcycled materials for crafting! Not only am I putting my grocery store plastic bags to good use, I’m also finding a way to use old toothpaste tubes!
Not familiar with plarn, plarn totes, or crocheting plastic grocery bags? I wasn’t either until I read this post here and got inspired. It explains how to make plarn.
Materials Needed to make your own Plarn Tote Decorated with Toothpaste Tubes:
25 (approximatly) plastic grocery bags
3 empty toothpaste tubes
Crochet needle (K hook)
Needle and thread
Plarn Tote Crochet Pattern:
When you get your plarn ball ready to go, then follow these easy (well easy if you already know how to crochet, somewhat challenging if you haven’t got a clue what a crochet needle even is) instructions on how to make your plarn tote:
Using a K hook, Ch 51 (or however wide you want your tote to be.)
R1: Sc 50 starting in the second bump at back of chain, then work 50 sc on opposite side of chain (front loops of chain.) You will have finished 100 sc in the round.
**Don’t worry if your bags twists a little funny when you are starting out. When you get enough rows done, it will straighten and look like a normal tote.
R2-45: Sc 100 in the round. I did about 45 rows, but again, you can customize the # of rows based on how tall you want your tote to be.
R46: Sc 20. Ch 10 and then sc 20 starting at the 30th stitch. This will create your tote handles. Repeat this so that there will be an opening on the opposite side of the tote.
Using K hook,
R1: Ch2, 6 sc in second ch from hook
Ch 6 and loop making a petal and reconnect the loop by sc in the 2nd stitch from R1. Repeat this 6 times so that you will have a petal in each stitch from R1.
*I made and used bright blue colored plarn from plastic that covered my newspapers.
Here’s where the toothpaste tube part comes in: they created the silver flower stems that I sewed on my tote.
Cut it into strips and connected them into a chain, the same way you do with the plarn you made from the grocery bags.
I cut apart 3 different toothpaste tubes and made 3 different strands of “plarn.” I then took those three strands of toothpaste tube plarn and braided them together to get the strand that I sewed onto the bag.
Use the toothpaste tube chain to design the stem and hand stitch that to the tote. When the silver stem is securely sewn onto the tote, top it off by hand stitching on the flower.
When I was just starting this project, my husband made fun of me quite frequently when he watched me cut up the plastic and thought I was crazy. Now that he has seen the finished product, he did say that he had to admit that it was quite creative and really likes how it turned out. My mother too was rolling her eyes at me while I crocheted plastic bags. But when she saw the final bag, she requested one for Christmas. 🙂
Other people can’t believe when they see this plarn tote that I made it out of grocery store bags and I either hear “oh teach me how to do this,” or “you could totally sell these!” I don’t have any in my Etsy shop right now – but maybe I should add some???