How to Make Plarn, AKA Yarn Out of Recycled Plastic

bag made from plarn

Say it with us: plarn. It’s exactly what it sounds like — yarn made from plastic. You can’t find it at your local craft store, but you can make it by recycling all your plastic bags from the grocery store. It’s easy, quick and totally eco-friendly. Not to mention it gives a cool effect to lots of fun projects.

How to Make Plarn

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors
  • Instructions

    1. Make the First Cuts

    Plastic Bag Laying on Cutting Mat

    Place a plastic bag on your cutting mat, folding in the sides and flattening it as much as possible. Don’t worry if there are a lot of wrinkles — it won’t be noticeable in your plarn.

    Plastic Bag without Top - How to Make Plarn

    Remove the bag handles, cutting as closely and as straight as possible along the top. Then cut the bottom ½” off the bag.

    2. Make the Strips

    Plarn Process - Cutting Bag into Strips

    Cut the bag into strips, approximately 1″ wide.

    3. Join the Strips

    Strips of Plastic Bag - Making Plarn

    Open two of the strips into plastic rings. Lay one ring on top of the other.

    Weaving Pieces Together for Plarn

    From the top, pull the left loop to the right. From the bottom, pull the right loop to the left. Pull the ends snug, but not so tight that you’re stretching or distorting the plastic. This will create a knot and your first length of plarn!

    Attaching Strips of Bag - Creating Plarn

    Repeat this step, looping and knotting a new ring of plastic until you have the length of plarn needed for your project.

    Pieces of Plarn

    Depending on how thick you cut your strips, you can make about 8-10 yards of plarn per plastic bag. If needed, cut up another bag and add it to the end of your plarn ball.

    Pro Tip: Before beginning your project, make a gauge swatch just as you would with ordinary yarn. You still want to get a sense of what kind of fabric will be made.

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