Plastic Bag Recycling Projects

With all of the new crafting lingo these days, it’s sometimes hard to keep up with the new trends. Today we are looking at plarn projects involving recycling plastic bags!

Plastic + yarn is “Plarn”!

Most of you who have landed upon this page are probably familiar with this fascinating way to crochet with plastic bags.  

For those of you who need a lesson on how to make plarn, we have a great tutorial posted below on this page called “Newspaper Bag Yarn” (

If you are not familiar with plarn, be sure to visit that page first!

Plarn started out as a yarn created from plastic newspaper bags and is now made from all sorts of plastic bags, especially the grocery store bags that often end up in the trash.

So get ready to do some plastic bag crafts. Talk about an inexpensive project!!  Totally free craft supplies here!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent, teacher, or anyone else who is working to get kids creative. You know that supplies for creative crafts can get pricey. If you are working with a budget, it’s time to find free craft supplies by recycling!

We at Needlepointers are all about recycling, reusing, and repurposing items to use in crafts.  Be sure to take a look at our page with all sorts of eco-friendly projects!

Now, back to plastic bag recycling once you know how to make plarn.  This page is chock full of wonderful plarn projects that you will just love!

Keep in mind that plarn, used by itself or combined with yarn, is a great insulator. But it doesn’t breath and can be crunchy, so when you think of plarn projects, the best use is for household items, like bowls, cushions, tote bags, water bottle holders, and the like.

It’s interesting to know that sleeping mats are being made with plarn as charity projects for the homeless. I just love this idea!

With most of the projects that we have listed, you will crochet with plastic bags.  But never fear, if you don’t crochet, there are lots of other plastic bag projects that involve braiding, weaving, or fusing the plastic bags!

Plarn Projects: Bags

Let’s start with some great bags made with crochet plastic bags!  We have so many bag ideas for you. Here are just a few:

  • All American Plarn Bag (use red, white and blue bags to create a patriotic handbag)
  • Basic Bag (crochet plarn into a rectangular bag with openings for handles)
  • Beach Bag (remember that plarn is waterproof!)
  • Scroll down for more bag ideas!

Plarn Projects: Home goods

Make items for your home decor with these plastic bag crafts!

  • Plarn Bowls (remember that plarn is insulating!)
  • Rugs (this project uses a lot of bags, so you just might want to recruit family and friends to save plastic bags for you!)
  • Pot scrubber (a circle scrubber made with plarn and acrylic yarn)
  • Basket (use a Native American weaving technique with plarn. There is a link to another basket with an option to use T-shirt yarn.  If you decide to use T-shirt yarn, check out our tutorial on making T-shirt yarn.)
  • Braided Basket (no knitting or crocheting!)
  • Scroll down for more home goods ideas!

Plarn Projects: Miscellaneous 

There are so many things that you can create using plarn and here are just a few of the unique plarn projects that we have on this page!

  • 3D Flowers (several tutorials to make different and lovely 3D flowers
  • Fashion doll dress (crochet a doll dress with plarn)
  • Braided Coat Hangers (use this plarn project idea to create non-slip and decorative hangers)
  • Plastic Bag Wreath (use plarn, a hanger and duct tape to make a holiday wreath)
  • Keep Scrolling for many more creative plarn projects! 

We have many more plastic bag crafts below.  Don’t miss the tutorials showing how to fuse plastic bags for crafting as well as more plarn projects!

Get ready for some plastic bag recycling fun!

Plastic Bag Recycling Projects

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  Eco-Friendly Knits: Using Recycled Plastic Bags

Eco-Friendly Knits: Using Recycled Plastic Bags #ad

Create project such as a mobile phone cozy, purse, belt, beaded earrings, handbag and more using plastic bags. Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose. by Emily Blades - Paperback - Published 2010 Affiliate Link to Amazon

  Upcycled Accessories

Upcycled Accessories #ad

25 funky fused-plastic projects for all experience levels that use inexpensive, readily available materials. by Tracie Lampe - Paperback - Published 2010 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Plastic Bag Yarn - Plarn

Plastic Bag Yarn - Plarn

How to recycle plastic grocery bags into plastic bag yarn also known as plarn. This sturdy plastic bag yarn can be used for lots of different crocheting, knitting and weaving projects.

3D Flower with Stamens

A 3D flower pattern made with plastic yarn (plarn). moira Crochets Plarn

3D Scalloped Flower

3D flower motif made with plastic yarn (plarn). Moira Crochets Plarn

All American Plarn Bag

This free project is crocheted using red and blue newspaper bags and white grocery bags that were recycled into plarn. My Recycled Bags

Basic Bag

Instructions for a basic bag made with plastic grocery bag yarn. Nezumi World


Create a basket with plastic bags using a Native American weaving technique. Lucky Ladybird Craft

Beach Bag

Instructions for making a beach bag; along with instruction for cutting and joining strips. Bev's Country Cottage

Braided Basket

How to make a braided basket out of plastic bags. Instructables

Braided Coat Hanger

Recycle plastic bags into a nifty coat hanger. This craft a child can make! All free Crafts

Braided Rug

How to make a braided rug from bread bags. SF Gate

Can Cozy

Here is a free can cozy pattern made with plarn (plastic yarn). Crochet Spot

Cellphone Cozy

This is a free pattern for a cellphone cozy crocheted from plarn. Moira Crochets Plarn

Clothes Pin Bag

This project to create a clothes pin bag using plastic grocery bags. My Recycled Bags

Clutch/ Toiletries Bag

With this free pattern, recycle plastic bags into a useful clutch/toiletries bag. Nezumi World


This free coaster project is a quick little crochet project using recycled plastic bread bags. My Recycled Bags

Cosmetic Bag

Recycle bread bags into a cosmetic bag - free instruction. My Recycled Bags

Doll Braided Headband

Doll Braided Headband

How to make a doll braided headband for 18" doll. This headband is made repurposing plastic newspaper covers/sleeves.

Easter Basket

Easter Basket

How to make a crocheted basket with plastic bag yarn. Free Easter basket pattern.

Fashion Doll Plarn Dress

This free crochet pattern creates a fashion doll dress with plastic yarn (plarn). My Recycled Bags

Fused Plastic Cosmetic Bag

This tutorial will show you how to make an appliqued zippered cosmetic bag from fused plastic. Instructables

Fused Plastic Messenger Bag

No sewing necessary! Make a durable, waterproof, recycled, messenger bag of fusible plastic. Instructables

Fusing -  Plastic Bag Fusing

Fusing - Plastic Bag Fusing

Take some of those plastic shopping bags and fuse them into a fabric that can be used for making projects.

Granny Square Bag Pattern

Create a bag with plastic bags. My Recycled Bags

Jump Rope

No need to purchase jump ropes. You can make it by recycling plastic bags. Childs List

Messenger Bag

This project is a messenger bag crafted from plastic grocery bags. My Recycled Bags

Newpaper Bag Yarn

Newpaper Bag Yarn

Recycle newspaper bag sleeves into yarn which can be used in crocheting, knitting and weaving projects.


Crochet a fun placemat using plastic grocery bags and this free pattern. Creative Jewish Mom

Plastic Bag Bag

After making plarn, crochet up a useful bag with plastic bags. Vegan Crochet

Plastic Bag Bowls

Crochet plastic grocery bags into small bowls. Nezumi World

Plastic Bag Crochet Hint & Tips

Useful tips when crocheting with plastic bags. Nezumiworld

Plastic Bag Hat PDF

Instructions for making a hat with plastic bags. The Dreaming Printer

Plastic Bag Rug

This woven rug is pretty easy, really cool and costs next to nothing to make by making a cardboard loom and using plastic bags. Thrifty Fun

Plastique Plarn Purse

Recycle plastic grocery bags into a useful item. The Knitty Professors

Pot Scrubber

This free pattern is for a circle pot scrubber made with plarn (plastic bag yarn) and acrylic yarn. iYarny

Purse / Bag

How to knit a purse or small bag with plastic yarn. Instructables

Quilted Plastic Bag

An article on making a quilted plastic bag from fusible plastic. Craftastica

Recycled Plastic Water Bottle Holder

This water bottle holder has a wide and long strap so it may be worn as a sling bag over your shoulder and across your body. My Recycled Bags

Rose Embellishment

Instructions on recycling plastic bags into a plastic bag rose embroidery. Nezumi World

Sleep Mat Tutorial

Learn how to crochet or knit a sleep mat using plastic bags. Vickie Howell

Sleep Mats

How to make sleep mat with plarn. DIY Ways


How to knit a tote from plastic bags. All Free Crafts

Tote Bag

A tote bag from plastic grocery bags. My Recycled Bags

Tote Bag - Bread Bag Tote

Recycle bread bags into a useful tote bag. My Recycled Bags

Wreath - Plastic Bag Wreath

Wreath - Plastic Bag Wreath

A fun way to recycle plastic grocery bags is to make a holiday wreath.

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