Upcycling leftover yarn into reusable sandwich bags is a crafty way to reduce waste and create a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic bags. With just some yarn, a crochet hook or knitting needles, and a simple pattern, you can make cute and functional sandwich bags that can be washed and reused.
Gather Your Supplies
- Yarn – Acrylic or cotton yarn works best. Make sure you have enough leftover yarn in a worsted weight. Using scraps of different colors can create a fun, patchwork design.
- Crochet hook or knitting needles – Size 5-8 hooks or 8-10 needles work well depending on your yarn weight.
- Scissors – For cutting your yarn.
- Pattern – There are lots of free patterns online for crocheted or knitted reusable sandwich bags. Choose one that matches your skill level.
Choose a Pattern
There are tons of free knitting and crochet patterns for yarn sandwich bags online. The pattern you choose will depend on your skill level and the materials you have available. Here are some options to consider:
- Basic knitted bag – These patterns tend to be quicker and good for beginners. They use basic stitches like stockinette stitch to create a simple pouch.
- Crocheted bags – Crochet makes very durable and stretchy fabric perfect for bags. Look for patterns that use double crochet stitches.
- Drawstring closure – A drawstring gives you a secure closure for the bag. Many patterns incorporate drawstrings at the top.
- Colorwork bags – Making each bag with scrap yarn makes fun colorwork designs. Look for patchwork patterns.
- Waterproof lining – For extra protection, you can line your bag with a plastic bag or waterproof fabric. Some patterns include this.
Pick a pattern that matches your skill level and the materials you have on hand. Simple knit or crochet pouches are perfect for beginners.
Make the Reusable Sandwich Bags
Now it’s time to start crocheting or knitting your sandwich bags! Follow the step-by-step instructions in your selected pattern. Here are some general tips and guidance:
- Crochet bags – Work in continuous rounds without joining until the pouch is the desired width and length. Then join the edges together to form the bottom.
- Knitted bags – Knit a rectangular piece then sew the edges together leaving one side open.
- Yarn weight – Follow gauge recommendations in the pattern. Using the suggested yarn weight will give you the right bag dimensions.
- Handle – Many patterns include a hand strap at the top. This can make bags easier to carry.
- Lining – If adding a waterproof lining, follow the lining instructions in your chosen pattern. Stop crocheting or knitting an inch before the total length to leave room for the lining.
Take your time as you work through the pattern. Correct fit is important for functionality.
Finish and Use Your Bags
Once your reusable sandwich bags are complete, finish them off with some final steps:
- Weave in all loose ends neatly on the inside to keep them secure.
- Block your project if the pattern recommends it to even out the shape.
- Add any additional details like buttons, velcro, or drawstrings for closures.
- To use, fold over the open side and place your sandwich or snacks inside.
- When ready to clean, turn bags inside out and wash on a gentle cycle. Lay flat or hang to dry.
Some ideas for using your upcycled yarn sandwich bags:
- Pack kids’ lunches for school
- Carry sandwiches, snacks, or fruit for hikes or road trips
- Store odds and ends like small toys or art supplies
- Give them as gifts by adding a gift tag
Reuse your yarn scraps to create a eco-friendly alternative to disposable plastic bags. The options are endless with these handy upcycled sandwich bags!