Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Ubiquitous Plarn Bags

Ok folks, this one is going to be long.  I saw plarn on the internet maybe 4 years ago. It intriqued me. Making something useful out of those nasty plastic bags you get at all the stores really appealed to me.  So I got to work cutting up my supply of bags and turning it into plarn.  I followed the instructions here .
Very soon I had made my first bag and was looking around for more bags to cut up.  I quickly realized that buying stuff to get bags wasn't going to work. I just don't have that kind of money !  I looked at buying bags wholesae, but that was going to be too expensive, too.

Things got rolling when  my mom took some bags to church with her.  Not only did she sell the bags, but the church ladies offered to bring her their excess shopping bags.  Soon, things were going so fast I had to crochet all day most days to keep up with the orders.  Next, the project took over my house. There is plarn all over the bedroom. There are plastic bags all over the laundry room, the kitchen and the living room. Mom was still hauling giant bags of bags home with her every Sunday and her house got filled, and her garage is filling. Be warned : this is a time and space consuming hobby.

We seem to have filled the demand at one church. Everbody that wants a bag has one. Several people bought them in bulk.  Looking for new ways to sell these bags, I checked out Etsy. Nope, there are already thousands of plarn bags out there. If I find a good marketing strategy I'll let you know.  In the meantime, here is a sample of the bags I have made:
These three are Kroger bags enhanced with less common bags.
The red and white color scheme is my best seller.  The left is made from all Target bags. The red in the right hand bag is from newspaper bags. 
Good old Dollar General supplies yellow bags with black printing. This is my super giant size.
Blue is a most popular color, and very hard to find here in Michigan. The bag on the left makes use of a few precious newspaper bags by stretching them out with white.

If anyone is interested, I can supply crocheting directions, but it is really very easy.  Using single crochet make a rectangle the size you want the bottom of your bag. Then crochet around the edges of your rectangle in continuous rows.  Walls will rise. You can then make your bag as tall as you like. the straps are 4 rows of any length you like and sewn on.

I have broken down and actually bought bags from Store Supply to get the colors I want.  Another way to get specific colors is to buy disposable plastic table cloths and cut them into strips. The downside on using the tablecloths is that you have lots and lots of ends to weave in. So tedious, but sometimes only the right color will do.


  1. Hi Joan,

    I have a ton of plastic bags I have collected. In a few different colors. I have many in lime green. Would you be willing to buy some plarn if I make it?

    1. Thanks for the interest, Meagan. My house is currently knee deep in bags and plarn, so sorry, but no to more plarn.