Making Plarn

By: Heidi Gustad for
Updated May 29, 2023
Making Plarn
Making Plarn
This image courtesy of

Plarn, or plastic yarn, is yarn made from plastic bags. Making plarn is a great way to recycle and reuse. With plarn, you can crochet plastic bags into mostly anything you can make with regular yarn. Most people have more plastic bags under their sink then they know what to do with. By learning how to make plarn, you can turn all of your unwanted plastic bags into useful, colorful yarn for various projects. It takes only minutes to turn a plastic bag into "yarn" so you can start crafting right away. The options are endless.

Estimated CostUnder $10

Time to CompleteUnder an hour

Primary TechniqueGeneral Crafts


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This is one of the best ways to recycle plastic bags! I have about 5 big balls of homemade plarn, but just haven't used them. I have been waiting to find a good crochet pattern to use them up. Still looking.. Thank you for sharing this how to idea.

I think I found this a little late and I can't attempt it but I love it's recycling idea. Since plastic bags were banned,I can't access them anymore but I've been seeing bags and jewelry made from them. What an easy way to make plan and once you have made enough for one project you'll be collecting more plastic bags.

Everyone has seen those for "Dummies" books. While browsing through the crochet book, I ran across the idea of making plarn. It has been a while and I can't recall what the book entitle it but this is such a great idea. This can keep a lot of plastic bags out of our landfills and still be useful.

Good instructions. I have done this before and made shopping bags and mats for the homeless. However the plastic irritates my hands so I don't do it anymore. It really does not take a lot to make something. The best to everyone who can work with the plastic.

Love Love Love - Saw the idea of making plarn in a book and was not sure how to make a continuous piece. Thank you for the pictures as I am one of those people that need to see how to make it happen. I always recycle my plastic bags but now I can make a reusable shopping bag from plarn and recycle at the same time.

I recently began a project similar to this where you take flat sheets bought at the resale shops. This looks like a much easier task however, it took me days to cut up enough material to make my project. This looks like time wise it would be shorter and much easier to complete. Any ideas on what projects to make?

Sleep mats for the homeless is the old standard. But how about shopping bags, mats for camping, doormats, coasters, outdoor rugs, picnic mats, porch sunshades, privacy blinds to cover chainlink fences.

Wow, what a practical use for bags! I have seen wreaths made of plastic bags, but never knew about plarn! It is a great way to use up old bags, but if you need specific colors and don't want to spend a lot, the dollar tree type stores have plastic bags in various colors. They are thin, but I have seen green diaper disposal bags, and pink and blue tall kitchen trash bags. Another source I have seen is sometimes newspapers or mailers come in thin plastic bags, I have had orange and red ones before! So if you do want specific colors, there are some options! Otherwise ask neighbors and friends to save specific colored bags for you! Fun and practical projects!

I never would have guessed that you could crochet with plastic bags--this is awesome!

Have seen patterns using 'plarn' and thanks to these directions I now know how to get the plastic bags ready to use.I only wish I could find prettier colours of plastic bag

Cool! I have so many plastic bags under my sink and this is an awesome way to get rid of them while making something useful.


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