Plarn-Palooza

The Holiday Season has come and gone and the only thing I have to show for it?

PLASTIC BAGS!!

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(Not my collection, but a close representation. Thanks, Flickr!)

I knew I needed to do something worthwhile with them. Recycling would be a convenient way to decrease my carbon footprint, but that would have been way too easy. I needed a challenging, creative way to make treasure out of this trash. (True confession:  It was also after Christmas, when funds for “recreation” were low. I needed to do something over vacation with little to no expense.)

Ladies & Gentlemen:  I give you PLARN!

Plarn, or PLastic yARN, is a wonderful way to upcycle those unused shopping bags.  This process involves lots of cutting, lots of tying, lots of patience, lots of crocheting, and a little pain.  But the end product is useful and could even be pretty, if I wasn’t doing it.

I started out by collecting all of my plastic bags.  It’s amazing how many fit into those cylindrical holders!ideas for ikea plastic bag holder_1431
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I spent an hour smoothing out every bag so that the creases were neat and that the bottom of each bag had their side darts tucked in.

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Next was the cutting marathon.  The handles and bottoms of the bags are cut off and recycled.

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The core of the bag is then folded over a few times and cut into squares that are expanded into strips.

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The strips are looped together to make one long chain of plarn.

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20160110_212829Balled up and ready to go!

I used my largest hook, did a chain and started on my merry way.  I felt like an alligator wrestler trying to grapple with the plastic, as it was quite uncooperative and my hands hurt from handling it.  In my post-plarn research, I found out that plastic hooks are NOT the best to use with plarn.  #nowtheytellme

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Many hours later, I give you my first plarn project:20151230_202139This mat is “blinging” up my back deck.

My first plarn experience will probably be my last, as it was tedious and painful.  However, there are so many wonderful uses for it, such as mats for the homeless, as it’s soft enough for bedding, yet light enough to carry.  There are also many pretty patterns for baskets and mats.  Maybe I’ll revisit it after next Christmas.  I’m sure I’ll have enough bags by then.

Until next time, Plarn away!

For more information about plarn, check out this Pinterest page.

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