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Basic Plarn Tote

By: Kayla Kramer from

Get eco friendly and reuse all the plastic bags you have laying around the house to crochet a tote. This free crochet bag pattern uses a K hook and plarn.


Crochet HookK/10.5 or 6.5 mm hook


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Apparently, lead-based inks have not been used on bread bags since the mid 80's. Just an FYI that I thought was important to post here. So, okay to use these for plarn. Thanks for the pattern and discussion!

I love making plarn totes. To cut down time, I use a rotary cutter for cutting the strips, it goes much faster!

I love making plarn tote bags. Have used several different tote bag patterns. Materials are free. When I go to the store I raid the recycle bins for bags. My husband and I drive truck, when we have a special server, I give her a bag plus a tip. Thank-you for the wonderful idea

I'm almost done with my first plarn tote, which has already been 'claimed' by a coworker, and now have people at work giving me their bags to use- which gives me a much wider color variety. Yes, it does take a lot of time and work to 'process' the bags into plarn, but the resources are free. I also have my grandmother's hand-crank yarn baller, which saves a lot of time. I've made bottle cozies as well, and have also started saving bread bags and found that plastic hooks are not good to work with them; I switched to an aluminum hook and it went much smoother. I've also saved the little treat bags that my kids get when they go to their friends' birthday parties. Just for the fun of it, I plarned and crocheted a medallion out of one of them- it made a great keychain fob!

PLEASE, PLEASE be careful when using bread bags for adding colors to your tote. Bread bags are printed with ink that has lead in it (to adhere better to the plastic) and it is very toxic. Personally , I would not use bread bags in any craft that I make.

I found it was easiest to cut the bags into loops but attach each loop as I went along. Also do not use the thick, shiny bags as they stick to the hook and each other.

Snuggles is right it is alot of work to make plarn but I do it while watching TV. One night I will fold all my collected bags the next I will cut all into strips and put them into smaller plastic bags separated by color. Then another night I make the plarn chain and roll them up into pull skeins. After crocheting with plarn it gets easier I use a size M hook. These bags are stretchy, strong and completely free. So far I have made 5 of them. Make your first one then use it as you will be surprised at how big it stretches. I made up my tote pattern and had to make the next ones smaller due to the stretch factor.

Nice for the environment, but not easy to make, it takes a lot of time.

what a great green idea


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