“Repurposing Plastic Bags into Stylish Crocheted Purses”

“Repurposing Plastic Bags into Stylish Crocheted Purses”

Repurposing Plastic Bags into Stylish Crocheted Purses

Introduction

Plastic bags are incredibly convenient for carrying groceries and other items, but they also create a lot of waste. An estimated 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide each year, with billions ending up in landfills and oceans. However, there is a creative way to repurpose plastic bags and give them new life – by crocheting them into stylish purses!

In this article, I will provide a comprehensive, in-depth guide on how to transform plastic bags into unique crocheted purses. I will cover the entire process from start to finish, including the required materials, steps for preparation, crocheting techniques, adding handles and other touches, and care instructions. Whether you are an experienced crocheter looking for a new challenge or want to pick up a plastic bag craft for the first time, this guide has all the information you need. Let’s dive in!

Gathering Materials

The great thing about crocheting plastic bags is that it requires minimal supplies, many of which you likely already have at home. Here is a list of the materials needed:

  • Plastic bags – grocery bags, shopping bags, dry cleaning bags work well. Estimate about 100 bags per purse.

  • Crochet hook – size N or P recommended for working with plastic.

  • Scissors – for cutting bags into strips.

  • Ruler or measuring tape – for measuring even widths of plastic strips.

  • Optional: Yarn needle, yarn for handles, bag closure like a button.

Make sure to collect plastic bags in advance. Ask neighbors, family, and friends to save their bags for you. If buying new bags, opt for thin, lightweight ones without grommets as those work best.

Preparing the Plastic Bags

Before crocheting, the plastic bags need to be cut into long, even strips:

  • Cut off any handles, grommets, or sealed ends. Remove any paper receipts or sticky residue.

  • Open up each bag fully and flatten it out.

  • Using the ruler, measure and cut strips about 3/4″ wide. The length can vary.

  • Cut through all layers of the plastic bag at once for uniform strips.

  • Neatly stack the strips and store until ready to crochet. This prep work can be done in batches.

  • Plan on about 100-120 strips per purse. Recycle any uneven or unusable pieces.

The strips should be consistently wide and cut straight across for easier crocheting. Take your time on this step to end up with clean plastic yarn.

Crocheting the Purse Body

Now the fun begins! Follow these steps to crochet the purse body:

  • Create a slip knot at the end of one plastic strip and insert your crochet hook.

  • Chain stitch the desired width for the base of the purse. Aim for 25-35 chains.

  • Begin crocheting “yarn overs” and single crochets in the 2nd chain from hook and each chain across.

  • At the end of the row, chain 1 and turn your work.

  • Continue to crochet single crochets to form rows until the purse base is roughly square, about 5-6 inches wide.

  • To move onto the purse sides, evenly space increase stitches to widen the piece. Double crochets work well here.

  • Crochet until the purse reaches the desired height, about 10-12 inches.

Take your time and maintain even tension on the plastic strips as you crochet. Add new strips as needed by tying ends together. Shape the purse by increasing/decreasing stitches.

Adding Handles and Finishing Touches

Once the purse body is crocheted, it’s time to add handles and other final touches:

  • Weave in any loose plastic strip ends along the sides to hide them.

  • Single crochet a rectangle base for the purse flap, about 6 inches wide.

  • With yarn and a yarn needle, sew shoulder straps to the top corners of the purse. Use sturdy stitching.

  • Sew on a button as a closure for the flap. Get creative with other embellishments too!

  • Line the inside with a sturdy fabric if desired. This helps the purse hold its shape.

  • Weave in the remaining tail ends and trim any excess plastic sticking out.

Take time shaping the purse, flap, and straps. Vary yarn colors for fun accents on the handles or flap. Add a charm, tassels, or other decorative flourishes to make it unique!

Caring for Your Plastic Bag Purse

Caring for a crocheted plastic purse is easy. Follow these tips:

  • Avoid excessive heat or sunlight that could warp the plastic bag yarn.

  • If cleaning is needed, spot treat stains and surface wash with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the entire purse.

  • Be gentle when opening and closing the purse to avoid undoing stitches.

  • With proper care, your plastic bag purse can last for many years! The plastic strips do not biodegrade but are given renewed life.

So grab your crochet hook and favorite plastic bags and get creative! Crocheting plastic bag purses takes recycling to a stylish new level. I hope this comprehensive guide gives you all the knowledge needed to repurpose plastic bags into fabulous crocheted purses.