Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Seen in the Yarniverse: Creating Recyclable Bags

May 2nd, 2008

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For some of us (especially New Yorkers), getting 10 plastic bags at a grocery store is not an unusual thing. If you’re doing that every week for a year, you’ve collected a lot of plastic bags. Some of you might not know what to do with all of these excess bags, and some may also want to figure out ways to reduce the wasteful usage of these bags. Luckily, Lifehacker posted an easy solution for this by crocheting your plastic bags to create a shoulder tote.

There are quite a few websites where you can purchase your own recycled bags, such as Reusablebags.com, and there are also some people who are creating some very amazing and cool bags out of recycled material. For instance, Cindy at My Recycled Bags does some absolutely incredible things with all types of materials. She’s given me permission to show a couple of her bags here, and she has some incredibly creative ideas. She even created a VCR tote partially using Incredible, a Lion Brand ribbon yarn!

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Crocheted Mini Shoulder Bag (Plastic Bags)

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Messenger Bag (Plastic Bags)

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Sling Bag (VCR Tape & Incredible Yarn)

  • Amy

    I love these bags! I think they are a great way to recycle. Does anybody know if there are patterns out there for knit bags like these? I would love to try to make a recycled bag but I am not much of a crochet-er.

  • Kristen G.

    Wow! this is great. I like to use reusable bags when I go shopping, but unfortunately this is a new habit for me so I forget them sometimes. This leaves me stranded with the plastic bags. I like to use them for trash and recycling, but they still add up. Thanks for the ideas!

  • Cheryl

    There are several web sites that have patterns for different things made with plastic bags. Here is one for example:http://www.needlepointers.com/ShowArticles.aspx?NavID=593

  • SueAnn

    Great idea to use up those bags.Anyone have a pattern for a large tote?

  • Kim

    I just finished making myself a large tote bag using grocery bags!

    The difference between the bags shown and mine is that I sort of made a “built in” handle. I just put a gallon jug of milk in mine to test it. It was a little “stretchy”, but it held up perfectly!

    Let me just say… it is SO worth it to create all of your “balls” of plastic yarn BEFORE starting. Having to stop and start to add more yarn is pretty time consuming. It takes LOTS of bags to create a good sized bag, so don’t worry about cutting up “too many”. I don’t think it is possible!

    I have separated all of my different colors of bags and have made separate “yarn” balls. That way if you want to change colors you are ready to go! I made a brown stripe in the middle of my mostly white bag that I thought gave it a nice touch.

    Good Luck!