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How to Crochet Without Yarn: Unconventional Crochet Ideas

By: Jeanette Benoit, Editor, AllFreeCrochet.com
How to Crochet Without Yarn Unconventional Crochet Ideas

Yarn is, of course, the most popular material to use for your crochet patterns. There are a variety of different yarn weights to choose from, ranging from thin crochet thread to super bulky yarn. But don't forget there are a variety of other innovative materials that you can crochet with, too! Learn how to crochet without yarn with this collection of unconventional crochet ideas. Whether you're on a strict yarn budget or just want to mix things up, you'll be amazed at how many clever and innovative yarn alternatives there are for you to choose from. Some common yarn substitutions include embroidery thread and wire, both of which are often used to crochet jewelry.

When shopping for yarn, keep an open mind; crochet materials don't even have to be bought at the craft store. Paracord is a great option that can be bought at the hardware store, plastic grocery bags are always a popular (and eco-friendly!) choice to make plarn, and you can even make t-shirt yarn using cut up strips of old t-shirts.

Whether you're on a strict yarn budget or just want to mix things up, check out our collection of Things to Crochet Without Yarn. You'll be amazed at how many clever and innovative yarn alternatives there are for you to choose from.

Crochet with Plarn

Upcycled Plarn Grocery Tote

"Plarn" stands for plastic yarn. It's a great way to incorporate recyclable crafts into your crochet designs, and it's an ideal material to use for making sturdy items such as reusable tote bags, purses, doormats, and more.

It's easy to make plarn; simply cut plastic grocery bags into strips and then tie these plastic strips together into a single long strand. Learn how to make plarn, and find our most popular plarn crochet patterns below.

Crochet Paracord Projects

Paracord Cuff Bracelet

Also known as parachute cord, paracord is a lightweight nylon rope that can be found at most hardware, outdoor, and even army surplus stores.

It's used by both military personnel and civilians as a general purpose utility cord, which means that once you crochet with it, you can unwrap your crocheted item and use it in emergency situations when camping, hiking, or fishing. Simply unwrap the item and use the paracord as a tourniquet, splint, shoelaces, belts, fishing line, etc.

Crochet TShirt Yarn Projects

Recycled T-Shirt Crochet Rug

Put your old t-shirts to good use by making t-shirt yarn out of them. It's super easy to make t-shirt yarn (learn how to make t-shirt yarn here), and it's a great way to crochet with recycled materials.

Because t-shirt yarn is made out of old shirts you already have, it costs nothing to crochet with t-shirt yarn. Recycled crafts are great for those that are on a budget.

Crochet with Hemp Yarn and Jute

Flowery Hemp Scrubbies

For those of you that appreciate a more natural and organic look, hemp and jute are popular yarn substitutions.

Because it's such a sturdy material, hemp is an excellent choice for items such as crocheted baskets and containers. Find some free crochet patterns below that are made using hemp and jute.

What "non-traditional" material have you crocheted with before?

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You can use wmbroidery floss for chrocheting things for Barbie and her younger sisters as yarn is kind of bulky for them.

I use curling ribbon to make Christmas ornaments, especially tiny wreathes. It is not easy to crochet with but works. You could also use narrow lace or regular silky ribbon. I have a photo of the wreathes.

I always make rugs from t-shirt yarn. They are awesome! I have also used jute, but I hate the rough feel of it....

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