Plarn is the craft of the day.
I hear you, plarn? What is plarn? Plastic yarn crafted by recycling plastic bags.
Definition Of Plarn
Plarn is yarn made from plastic bags. If you own a collection of plastic bags, and I know you do…. then making plarn is very simple and quick to ‘manufacture.’ Once you create the plarn, there are many fun and upcycle projects any knitter, crocheter or DIY er can make.
Although plarn does not garner an entry in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, technically plarn is defined as plastic yarn.
Indeed there are a vast variety of items which can be made into plarn. One of the most popular plastic yarn crafts is the crochet shopping bag. A wonderful plastic yarn craft, particularly for grocery shopping.
Your creativity and imagination are the only constraint as to what can be made into plarn. A few of the popular plarn projects include:
- throw rugs
- wall hangings and art
- and my favorite the plarn mat
My favorite use for plarn is a community service project where plarn mats are made for the homeless community. This project can involve youth groups to collect the bags and make the plarn and young adults through seniors to knit or crochet the plarn into plarn mats.
How To Make Sleeping Mats For Homeless With Plastic Yarn
One of the best uses for plarn is to knit or crochet the plarn into a mat for the homeless. Plarn mats can be used for protection from the ground and weather elements. The mats are portable and can be carried with a handle or as a messenger type shoulder bag.
My post earlier this year describes how to make plarn mats for the homeless, click here to view the post and the video tutorials.
A supply of plastic bags, knitting or crochet needles are the only tools necessary to craft plarn mats.
Hold a Plarn Drive
There is no plarn without the requisite plastic bags and some projects use many many many! plastic bags. But this is a good thing from the recycling viewpoint, who doesn’t have a drawer or closet bulging with plastic bags?
With the proper planning, a plarn drive is a wonderful community service project for any group of any age. And be prepared, once the call goes out for plastic bags you may be overrun with plastic bags. But the bags will definitely be used, one plarn mat will use 500-700 plastic grocery bags.
Free Plarn Patterns
If you are interested in making plarn items for your house or lifestyle, join our DIY newsletter to receive a list of my favorite FREE plarn projects. It is amazing the useful and practical items creative knitters and crocheters make with plarn. Simply fill out the form below with your email address for your list of free plarn patterns delivered directly to your inbox.
The flickr group Plarn Creations has over 500 photos of beautiful items crafted with plarn.
Check out both websites to find your next plarn project.
Deborah Goetz says
Still not sure how to cut bags
Flatten the bag on the table.
Cut off the top of the bag and the bottom of the bag.
Fold the bag accordion style so the open cut ends of the bag are the ends of the accordion. Approximately one inch wide segments for each accordion fold.
Then take the folded accordion (looks like a log) and cut into 1/2 inch segments. Separate each segment of the plastic bag and you will have rings of plastic to make into plarn. Hope this helps 🙂
how do you connect the segments yarn so you have a continous piece of yarn
Instructions are available here > https://thesavvyage.com/turn-your-plastic-bags-into-sleeping-mats/
Doris Massengale says
Is there a picture of how to cut the bags?
The bags should be laid on a flat surface, smooth out the wrinkles and seams. Then cut the top and the bottom off the bag. The bag is then ready to be folded accordion style side to side so the open ends (top and bottom) are the edges of the ‘accordion’ roll.
This is fantastic! I plan to get a group of crocheters to get started! How do you distribute the finished mats? Can you drop them off at a shelter or do you need to make arrangements first! Thanks so much!
We contact shelters & aid agencies in advance. Some of the organizations with mobile “care vans” also like to have the mats on hand to give out particularly in inclimate weather. The care vans usually have portable care items depending upon the weather, food, info and the mats available to assist. It is a great project for crocheters!
I cut them quickly with a ruler and rotary cutter on a mat.
Absolutely, I agree. Quicker to cut if one has a rotary cutter!
Cadence Younkin says
My Mother is the Valley County Extensionagent and she posted this on Facebook I thought it was cool