How to Make Plarn (Plastic Yarn)
Creating Yarn From a Tube
Purse from Plastic Bag Yarn
Why Use Recycled Yarn?
I was first introduced to the idea of making my own recycled yarn by watching the above video by Rock Pool Candy. After watching this I realized--you could make yarn out of ANYTHING you wanted to! OMG!
In particular Plastic Yarn, or Plarn, is a great material to use when crocheting or knitting things that will need to be very durable, like bags or rugs, or items that will be outside, like yarn bombs.
Depending on the material you use to create your recycled yarns you can have a variety of great textures and patterns. Some may be stiff enough to hold their shape firmly after being crocheted, which is great for baskets. Some may add a furry quality perfect for stuffed toys. No matter what, you will always create something unique that cannot be replicated with store bought materials. PLUS you can feel good knowing you helped out your planet by keeping just a bit of trash out of landfills. It may not feel like such a big deal when you think of just yourself, but imagine the difference we could make if we all tried a bit harder to Reduce, Re-Use, and Recycle!
I love Rock Pool Candy's video, but I thought it may be helpful for some if they had step-by-step photos of the process to follow. So below are a couple photo guides on how to create your recycled yarn. I've also included some cool reseources on ways you can use your recycled yarns and other upcycling crafts.
Note on Scraps
You will have to trim off some pieces to create your yarn, but to make this a 100% green project--don't throw your scraps away! Plastic scraps can be used as stuffing for toys, pin cushions, and other soft sculptures. Use fabric scraps for sewing projects like quilting, patchwork, or small toys.
You can use the tube method of making yarn from recycled materials like old t-shirts, clean socks, pant legs, plastic bags, canvas totes, stockings, leggings, shirt sleeves, or anything else that has a tube shape. So next time you get a gross stain on your shirt, a run in your stockings, or find yourself with a load of plastic bags you don't need--now you'll have a cool and productive way to re-use them.
Finished Plarn & T-shirt Yarn
I made some swatches out of the yarn I finished for this guide so you can see how it will look when you use it. The plastic produce yarn made a very fine yarn that can be used with very small hooks. The shopping bag could be used with small or medium sized hooks. The t-shirt yarn, cut at thumbprint size, was very chunky so I used a big hook--but if I had cut it thinner, I'm sure a medium sized hook, or smaller, could be used.
This process is a bit different from the tube methods shown above. Here you can take a knitted or crocheted piece and reclaim the yarn used to make it. Yarn can be pretty expensive, but if you go to a thrift shop you can reclaim lots of quality yarn for just a few bucks--or for free if you find stuff hiding in your own closet!
Up-cycled Yarn Projects
Recycled yarn can be used the same way as regular yarn, so try it out with any of your projects. Here are some crochet projects I thought would be perfect to use recycled yarn with.
To the right are some of my crochet Hubs that may be fun to try with plarn or other recycled yarn.
Crochet Storage Bin
Crochet Round Basket
Crochet Jewelry Bowl
Other Up-cycled Projects
These projects don't use recycled yarn, but can still be made with materials you may find lying around the house.
To the right are some hubs I've written for projects that may use recycled materials.
3 Upcycling Projects
Soda Pop Tab Purse
Candy Wrapper Purse
This purse can actually be made with any kind of paper, but candy wrappers tend to be a more durable material.
You can find projects like this and so much more by checking out my boards on Pinterest and, of course, following me here on Hubpages!
If there is anything you'd like to see, let me know!