Tag Archives: plarn

Bags2Bags for me!

27 Aug

It’s not very often that I make a Bags2Bags purse for myself. Way back in March I decided I could use a new small handbag, so I started crocheting with black and white plarn. It took a while to finish because I ran out of white plastic bags with black print along the way, and, well, life happens. It is finally finished and it is so fun to have a new plarn bag.

Without further ado, here is the Black&White purse I made for ME!

recycling in Red & White

29 Nov

My small home town of 250 people does have a high school. The school ‘s mascot is the cardinal and school colors are red and white, so I guess I am a bit partial to those colors. I have made a number of purses and totes from white bags with red lettering as white plastic bags with red print are easily found (usually I can count on Target or JCPenny). Each time I make one, I think of my Cromwell hometown and high school and consider them my Cardinal bags.

As I was nearing completion of a Cardinal bag, I had used up my all my red and white plarn.

Sometimes when I need a certain plastic bag color that I know comes from a specific store I make a special trip to ask if they have any used bags that I can take off their hands.

It seems they typically toss them since used store bags get so wrinkled and they can’t reuse them in the store, though hopefully they recycle the plastic bags. Most stores have no problem with allowing me to take bags from their discards, though I have been told no on occasion.

Since there is a mall only 1 mile from my home, I went over to JCPenny and asked for bags that had been used for returns at the check-out counter.

They gladly gave me some of the bags and were pleased to hear that I recycle them into trendy purses, handbags, and totes

I heart JCPenny and their white with red bags!

Don’t you think these make great  bags to use at Christmas!

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!

Kari’s Mesh Tote

30 Aug

This past June on our roadtrip, I worked on completing Pam’s mesh tote. I worked on it while we stayed for a weekend in Minnesota with my niece Kari. She mentioned that she really liked it and I said I would make a mesh tote for her.

When we arrived home, I found some bags to make plarn for a similar color effect as Pam’s tote and got started on the new mesh tote for Kari. Then I came across a larger mesh tote I started way back last winter—a couple inches bigger and with solid color plarn mixed with the basic white (with color flecks). Since it was already started I figured it’d be easiest to keep going on this one. So, I sent a picture to Kari asking if the color on this one is OK and she said “I do like the one with a lot of color! That would be great!”

So I continued crocheting this more colorful mesh tote and recently completed it. Now it is on it’s way for Kari to use before summer’s end.

“I love it, I think the size is great! Thank you so much.” – Kari