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FAQ :: How do you color the plastic?

15 Nov

Yes, I really have been asked that question—more than one time!

The first time was at my father-in-law’s apartment when I was showing his friend’s some colorful handbags and totes I had crocheted. One of the older gentlemen asked “How do you color the plastic?”

The other times I’ve had someone ask me how to color the plastic, the question came upon learning that the Bags2Bags purse they’re complimenting is crocheted from plastic shopping bags.

Hopefully most people know you don’t color the plastic bags. Shopping bags come in quite a variety of colors! It is a continuous treasure hunt to find great colored bags. I love it when friends hand me a stash of colorful bags they saved up for B2B. Thanks to all of you who have blessed me with color for my plarn projects.

One of the most reliable sources of color (at least, color more exciting than brown) comes from newspaper bags—I have used yellow, orange, red, blue, and lavender. Many grocery and department store bags are white with lettering in various colors that add speckles of color to an overall white finished product. Then there are the plastic bags that make me feel like I have won a prize—bags which are big and colorful—pink, purple, gray, yellow, red, blue, green. Some colors are rare making them a real treasure when I come across them.

If you come home with any colorful bags from your next trip to the mall (or any shopping trip) and you want to donate them to be recycled/repurposed into a Bags2Bags purse, leave a comment or send me an email. I welcome donations.

FAQ :: What is Plarn?

1 Nov

“Where do you get the plastic yarn?”

I have gotten this question several times. Along with many other plastic bag recyclers, I cut plastic bags into long narrow strips for my plastic yarn, which is called plarn. Think…cut a plastic bag into one long continuous spiral. That’s how I do it. There is another technique…cut the bag in strips and then knot them together. But, I prefer working without knots in my plarn.

                           Mostly, for my plarn, I use the plastic bags that grocery and department stores send your newly purchased items home in. If the bag is a thicker/stiffer plastic, I cut it in a narrower strip so it is easier to crochet.

I also use newspaper bags, bread bags, and, on occasion, I have even used recycled plastic table cloths, emergency raincoats, trash bags (unused), and caution tape!

FAQ: what’s in a name?

6 Sep

Way back when I first began crocheting (with a couple attempts at knitting plastic) purses out of plastic bags, I made quite a few purses, handbags, and totes for family and friends as gifts.I even received lots of compliments and curiosity from strangers. Eventually I started getting requests and orders from friends, family, and strangers. My daughter, Lisa, encouraged me to come up with a name for my fun recycled creations. After lots of ideas were considered (including Bag Lady), I settled on Bags2Bags. The full name being Plastic bags 2 Hand bags as you can see in the logo Lisa designed for me.

FAQ :: what does re-purse mean?

27 Nov

With all the bags that my father-in-law cut for me, I had so many brown ones I decided to make a purse with fall colors:  browns, yellows, and oranges. I did end up using a few more colors, but the overall color scheme is fall. I planned on making this purse and keeping it for myself.

The first day I used the purse after finishing it I went to a church dinner and sat with my siblings. Interestingly, the conversation came around to purses, as two sisters-in-law were looking for new ones. After showing them my new fall purse, I offered to make them each a purse, but they weren’t at all interested in a recycled plastic bag purse.

That incident was rather deflating to my ego—everyone else that I’ve spoken with regarding these purses has absolutely loved them! But, later that evening we went to visit another sister-in-law. When she saw my purse, she immediately commented on it and said she would like one just like if, if I were ever to make another with the same colors.

Well, when she expressed such excitement over it, I took my things out of the purse right away and passed it along to her. I guess you could say I “re-pursed” it. Of course, I had to ask her if I could have a brown paper bag to use as my purse until I could retrieve one of my old purses to use in replacement of the fall purse.