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How to Make Plarn, Plastic Bag Yarn


Our knitting group was asked to try to think of a creative “green” use for plastic grocery bags; thus, 'Plarn” was born. Plarn, plastic yarn, is strips of plastic bags half-hitched together to form knitable or crochetable material. I like to use knitting worsted weight yarn to knit or crochet with the plarn for color and stability. I have used plarn for several projects, such as,tote bags, shopping bags, plant pot covers and coasters.

Plarn Bags


  • several grocery bags (15-20)
  • scissors
  • size 15 knitting needles
  • large yarn needle.

Instructions for plarn:

On a flat surface, lay a plastic bag flat, tucking in both of the side seams as flat as possible, Fold the bag in half lengthwise. Both handles will be together. Cut off the handles, making sure you have a straight edge across the top. Cut off the bottom seam, making sure none of the seam is left. Fold the flattened bag in half two more times. Now cut the bag in ½ inch to ¾ inch size pieces.

To put the bags together to make plarn, open each piece you cut. The pieces will be a ring or circle of plastic. Halfhitch these pieces together. To halfhitch, place one ring into the second and pull the part of the ring hanging out, up through the piece you put into the ring. Pull to make a small knot. Continue with this method until you have a long strand of plastic. I wind it into a ball to keep it manageable. Put a rubber band around the plarn ball when not working with it.

Instructions for a grocery shopping bag:

With size 15 knitting needles, cast on 12 stitches. Knitting every row, garter stitch, work until piece measures 40 inches. This is the side and bottom of the bag. Bind off. To make front of bag cast on 32 sts. Work until piece measures 14 inches. Bind off. (make two)

To put together, sew the front to the side piece. Sew 14 inches down, 12 inches across the bottom and 14 inches up the other side, stretching where needed. Then repeat to sew back piece in place.

For handles: Pick up and knit the first 5 sts from the left side of front. Knit these 5 sts for 24 inches, bind off and sew to last 5 sts of front piece. Repeat for back handle.

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